Mom Friends are Hard to Come By
Want a hard truth? Here it is… when you become a mom you do not automatically fit into a mommy mold or by default become accepted into a Mommy Tribe. Women are harsh critics of one another and having children does not end the criticisms.
After my eldest child was born it took me an entire year to get over this truth. That feeling of non-acceptance or having to change to fit into a certain “mommy mold” made me hate mommy groups. Yes, I said it, for years I hated other mommies. Or maybe it was just women in general.
Memories of attending an all-girls high school followed by a fashion college, basically living in a world with more cliques than any TV teen drama could create, definitely skewered my reality of women.
To set the record straight: I didn’t hate all women. I love my mum and adored my grandma, but my female peers seemed content to be filled with drama that seemed amplified during my twenties. I had a handful of strong female relationships. Thinking back, those women whom I still consider my best friends were and always have been the, “fiercely independent girls.” They were women who would never stand for gossip and were often referred to as, “the sons their fathers never had.”
I loved watching female relationships like that of Carrie and the SATC ladies but never believed those actually existed. The fall-outs in the show and friendship “break-ups” I DID BELIEVE were accurate, after all that’s what women did. Right? We get close to each other and then turn against one another. That was the reality. My reality.
And the cynic in me believed it was much easier to have male friends. The ones who were fun to hang out with and drama free. The non-gossipers. The ones who told me to my face if I was being a brat. Those male friends along with my handful of female BFFs gave me honesty and security. But it couldn’t last.
Meeting new people the older you get should be easier right? Wrong!
But then I moved abroad and all at once I faced excitement and a strange feeling called fear. Excitement at a new adventure but fear as I suddenly realized I had to make a whole new circle of friends and in your thirties that isn’t always so easy.
The men are now married and come with girlfriends or wives, some of whom do not always appreciate a new female friend for her partner.
So I sought out female friends and these women… well they turned out not to be so bad! Admittedly some of the earlier fault lay in me. I had to put behind me the preconceived ideas I placed on women and forget what I had programmed myself to believe. Honestly it was not easy and took several years of inner change plus a few mistrials until I found my “tribe”… That is the cooler word for “clique” right?
Giving Girls a Chance
I had to seek out those strong independent females as there had to be more than just my handful. And perhaps we could invent a new type of clique. One that welcomed diversity, talked openly, cried and laughed with one another and most importantly just listened.
I realized I needed to put my trust in women and maybe if I stopped pretending to be someone I was not, I would find women like me… women who do not always look “put together,” who stumble as they raise their kids (sometimes crashing flat on their faces). To my surprise I stumbled upon adulthood, female adulthood.
Maybe it was age, or the realization I needed peer support, but more than likely it was me taking the female and male aspects out of the equation that made me accept Mommy Tribes. After all, there is an importance to having women in your life. And I do not mean just for the leaky boob discussions, though those days do happen, but more for the emotional support which only true tribes (men or women) understand.
So I put my trust out there, stopped pretending to be a mommy I wasn’t (my hair is a mess, my child doesn’t always say please and thank you, I scream, I cry and I’m tired) and I found a group of women who have different opinions on most topics. A group who do not hold back. Women who start one discussion and end up having five others whilst sending the best memes. The best type of supportive group I could ask for, my Mommy Tribe!
So thank you mommy tribe. Thank you for proving me wrong. Thank you for creating a place to step out of my mommy shoes and into my own.