“Motherhood: A story about coffee getting cold.”
“It takes a village to raise children.”
“Find your tribe.”
“You need to take time for yourself!”
“Just ask someone to babysit.”
How many times, as a mother, have you heard these well meaning and simultaneously frustrating statements? I honestly can’t count the number of times someone has said these things to me. But, what if you don’t have a tribe?
I will never forget the day I sat in my living room, with a toddler screaming, dogs barking, my husband at work for the next 5 hours and sobbed. It was a particularly difficult mom day and I had no one to turn to. No one to come over so I could take a little break or someone to sit down and cry with me and tell me it would be okay.
I was alone.
Two sets of parents moved away when my daughter was little, none of my friends were moms yet and the only family members living in the same state were at work or too far away to take the ride. I was so hopeless.
There were no play dates with other moms. There were no friends stopping by to say hi and there were no family members coming over for dinner.
I so desperately needed that village to help me lift me when I was down but I didn’t have one. It was the most isolated I have ever felt in my life.
To the mom who is feeling the same way. To the mom who is lonely. To the mom without a tribe: I see you.
Related: To The Mom Who Is Tired
I know what it is like to never have a break because there is no one to babysit. I understand the feeling of helplessness when you don’t know how to calm the baby, your partner is at work and there is no one to come help. I have felt the pain of longing to make friends with other moms but not knowing how to do that.
I know how hard it is because I have been there. I have cried. I have yelled. I have been depressed. Mama, I see you and I feel for you.
But do you know what happened during those years of mothering without a tribe? I became a different person and learned so much about myself and about being a mother.
I learned that there will be days where I will see no one but my baby and I have to be okay with that. I learned that no one is going to hold my baby while I nap or while I shower when my husband is at work. I learned that people have their own lives and will be busy doing their own thing.
I learned that sometimes, you need to be vulnerable and ask your partner for help.
But probably the biggest lesson I learned was also the hardest lesson: that the only people I can rely on a daily basis is myself and my husband. And that, will always be enough.
Mama, I know this season of motherhood is lonely. I know it is sad to not have a village to help you. I know you desperately want a tribe and someone to call when you need to cry.
And do you want to know something? I have that now. I have what I yearned for 7 years ago. I have friends who I can vent to and who will walk my daughter up to school when I am sick with the flu.
I have friends who we spend holidays with when our family isn’t here and who love my child like she is their own. I have reconnected with old friends and have made brand new friends.
I have even met other moms online, through my blog and social media, who I can commiserate with and share my experiences with. And I am so, so grateful!
So, to the mom without a tribe: I know you. I was you.
I have felt your pain and I have longed for that village.
You will find your tribe one day. Go to the park, join a MOPS group or connect with other moms in a Facebook group. There are so many other moms out there who are looking for the same thing you are.
And when you find that tribe? Hold on tight. They will be your lifeline and will make mothering those babies just a little bit easier.
If you need someone to talk to or someone who listen to you when you cry, I am here. I know we have never met face to face but I will be your tribe. Please feel free to reach out or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!