When I first became a mom, I wasn’t sure if I fit the mom tribe. As an introvert, I naturally enter most friendships a little guarded until a foundation of trust is built. Yet I see other moms fall into friendships every place they go, from the local playground to the coffee shop. My struggle to build those relationships has led me to moments where I could have used a mom friend to commiserate but had no one to call.
I have plenty of friends who are moms, but very few are in the same stage of parenthood. I am a mom to a 4-year-old who wants her independence just as much as she wants to be dependent on me. She’s just starting preschool. She can just now go into dance class without the comfort of her stuffy. Temper tantrums can be fast and furious. She’s the typical 4-year-old. Every phase has its challenges. Yet sometimes you can feel like you’re the only one going through it.
If it wasn’t for my daughter’s tendency to want to make a friend everywhere (completely opposite from my personality!), I would still be on that island. After dance class, my daughter went on a “coffee date” with two other girls from her class. Though I was apprehensive and felt awkward about it, I knew my daughter really wanted to play with these girls.
What started off as an uncomfortable experience quickly morphed into camaraderie. In talking to these other moms, we connected over being working mothers and the balancing act of career and motherhood. We talked about the challenges of transitioning our daughters to preschool. We shared what worked for us regarding bedtime routines. We talked about the activities our daughters are in (turning us into Uber drivers every weekend).
In that moment, I finally found life on the island. It was comforting to know someone else was having a similar experience to my own and shared similar feelings.
I may still have my introvert mom tendencies, but now I value the power of a mom tribe. I have my daughter to thank for helping me step out of my comfort zone and learn to trust the support of fellow moms. I no longer have to stand on that island alone.