Over my 13 years of motherhood, I have truly realized how significant having a tribe of friends truly is. When I first started my journey into motherhood, I was isolated. My then-husband did not support my friendships. Most of my socialization for the first several years of motherhood was either online or with my grandma. My self-esteem was low, I felt intimidated by most humans, and chalked it all up to being “shy”.
When my oldest son was 5, I started yoga teacher training. During those 200 hours, I started to crack open my social shell and I got a glimpse of what a “tribe” could be. Over the next few years, my tribe was definitely formed in my hometown. I learned how great it is to have women who are uplifting and positive, leaving the drama and judgment behind. When I went through my divorce and move, I had a lot of support to push me forward toward my goals. I always think about that with sincere gratitude.
I left the comfortable nest of my hometown and moved to Florida. In that time, I remarried, had a baby and settled into my new home and surroundings. After having Ezra, I started feeling postpartum anxiety and after getting my health in check, I had the realization that the one thing that kept me feeling down was my lack of female friendships. I set a goal to make that piece of life feel full again and started taking action toward it.
There are a lot of reasons we become isolated as adults. Our lives become monotonous. When we have babies the cycle starts of feeding, changing, chasing kids, picking up, dropping off, cooking, cleaning, catching up on sleep. And, oh yeah… making money. All of these are reasons why we often isolate ourselves. The other pieces to the puzzle are working around scheduling conflicts, the effort it can take to leave the house, having a shy disposition, or feeling intimidated by others in the group.
In this day and age, the internet is a wonderful resource for networking. There are many ways to connect with people of similar interests and form relationships. Online is a great way to make those connectins, and can be a great icebreaker. Although, there is nothing quite like human contact. Humans are actually pack animals, and according to Maslow, humans are motivated by Survival, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Fulfilment.
Joining a Pack
As a mom who has all of the pressures of raising kids and family sometimes finding a new group of friends can seem daunting. As I mentioned before, Facebook is a great place to start. See if there are any local moms groups, or just activities that interest you and make it a point to attend.
Local library story times are a wonderful avenue for meeting other moms, MOPS groups, exercise classes– for yourself or mommy & me type classes. If you live in a smaller area or a rural location and can not find what you are looking for, take some initiative and create it. If you are searching for it, there are others looking for the same thing and ah-ha, you have a connection!
After the birth of my second child, taking the steps to get out of the house and create a new social life was my sanity saver. It was refreshing to talk to other moms, make plans and schedule coffee and playdates. Since that first venture out, my world has expanded quite a bit and I am watching my relationships blossom and grow over that first step out of the house.