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  • Writer's pictureToni

A village, a tribe, a person

Updated: Mar 31, 2019

Find those people who you can lean on for comfort and questions.


 

Before having an infant, I always heard that old saying "It takes a village," but never fully understood it. Having a colic, curious baby, full of FOMO and refusing sleep, made me realize how true that statement really is. When you become a parent, you need your family and friends to lean on. If you don't have them close, then create it.


The hardest time of my life was her first year. There was sleep deprivation, a screaming child, and a husband who travels. Isolation and exhaustion can happen very fast and you need your people or person. Don't make my mistake and have a head full of pride and a heart full of pain.


Eventually, though I began to build my tribe. It's come organically and I treasure all of the mothers who have and still support me. Here are some clear examples of great moms that you need to find for your village:


 

sketch of a motivator, 2019

I had unknowingly fallen into a depression. Loneliness and sleep deprivation will do that to a person. This woman helped to bring me out of it by pushing me to go on walks with her and her children. I did it because I was desperate for friendship but also because my husband had begged me to do something for me. We would meet in the mornings and we would talk about everything. We would laugh and vent. I didn't realize how much I needed that.


By the third lap around the lake, my tiny human would screech and scream and I would wince at every sound. She never blinked an eye. She would even switch with me and take my stroller as we walked and she would happily attempt to amuse my frustrated infant as I walked in total embarrassment. She taught me how important it was to NOT CARE about others judging me. In fact, she made me realize that the people looking at me were just other moms grateful that today it wasn't their turn.


She would laugh every time my toddler would begin to cry and it made me realize that I shouldn't be ashamed of a crying baby. A crying baby is no reflection of you as a parent. Babies cry and some cry more than others. Mine certainly did.


 


sketch of my forever friend, 2019

This one is a very special mom. She was my friend for years, a bridesmaid, and eventually my child's godmother. She has the kindest spirit and is now going through the same stages as I am with not just one but two of her own. Going through college and marriage, and then parenthood with someone I can lean on is one of the best gifts I could hope for. It is so important to be able to have an authentic relationship with someone, especially when you're a first time parent. Having a long distance friendship can be sad at times but knowing shes only a phone call away and available to video chat, means the world to me. She knows my past, she's in my present and my forever friend.


 

sketch of playdate/momdate, 2019

Call it serendipitous. It was a gift from the universe to have a mom friend like this one. When you find a mom friend who has GOOD kids for yours to play with but you can also take a momcation with, you've hit the jackpot. It's one thing to enjoy play dates with kids and let your toddlers have a good time but it's another to be able to plan a mom date to grab a drink or just dance. Having a friend like this one has been a game changer for me. Sometimes it's important to let your "mom bun" down and hang out with someone who can relate to your crazy days.


 


sketch of mommy and me friend, 2019

It's strange when I was going through the infant stage, I sheltered my baby (and me) because I was a nervous wreck. I wasn't allowing myself any social time for either of us which might have contributed to both of our frustration. After 6 months of hiding in my house, I attempted a "Mommy and me" session. It can be extremely overwhelming being in a room filled with mothers and babies wondering if yours is the only "crier". Here she came, out of the side of vision, a mother with a child like mine. She wore similar leggings and hair tossed up because she too was in a rush. We clicked instantly. In a group filled with estrogen and babies, I compared myself to all of them. It was nice to find someone I could relate to. It's also a relief to not feel like I am the only one with a challenging child.


 

So basically what I am saying is, it's not easy. It takes time. It takes the confidence to just get yourself out there. But it's important. Find your tribe or find a way to create it. We all need support because we are all human. At the end of the day, we're all just trying to keep these tiny people happy and healthy and maybe once in a while do a little something for ourselves. I'm lucky to finally be building my own and hope it continues to grow with more incredible mothers.



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