Finding My Mom Tribe

I’ve had many tribes throughout my adult life. Women need tribes to feel comfort, love, a safe place to bitch and moan over wine, and someone to capture your dumbest moments on camera. Some women maintain the exact same tribe their whole lives if they never move away from home. Others, like me, have different tribes for different stages of life. Each tribe adds deep value to those stages of life and a lot of times tribes overlap. Right now I’m searching for my expecting mama/new mom tribe for this next phase of my life.

Since I’ve moved several times in my life, I’ve had many tribes. I still value all of them to this day and keep in touch with a few members from each. First I moved to Boston and found my college girl power tribe.

They were the first ladies who really got me outside of my best friend back home. We partyed all night and even volunteered for great causes during our days. We could talk for hours on end about spirituality and the worlds problems. We were empowered, ambitious women ready to change the world’s greatest problems with a red solo cup in one hand and a raised fist in the other. They were my first true girl group. I couldn’t have survived college without them.

After college, everyone went their separate ways. Some of us met up for a few years in Portland, Oregon then separated again for other life paths. We still chat every once in a while. I’ll forever value their friendship though.

Next came my new Portland tribe. I moved to a teal and purple house off Alberta street owned by an eccentric Reiki Shaman and a housemate who was gorgeous, authentic, and a burlesque dancer. Portland was so wild and free; a place where women proudly shaved their heads, adorned their skin in tattoos, and went by two names. My housemate introduced me to her tribe of empowered and fierce women who performed burlesque, danced with fire, and stripped only because they wanted to. They inspired me to find my true self and live without shame or fear.

I’m still friends with this tribe, but two have moved away and one is about to move next month leaving only one left. I’m sad to lose this tribe in my life. This tribe overlapped with my graduate school tribe in Corvallis that challenged me academically. They also overlapped with my Americorps tribe that helped me stay civically engaged.

From my Americorps tribe came one strong friendship that led me to join her tribe of kind and caring girlfriends local to Oregon. These girls have known each other for years and are loyal to their tribe. They welcomed me with open arms and are one of my closest tribes today.

Now, I’m entering a completely new stage of life and this one is more intimidating than college, moving to a new city, and grad school. It’s motherhood. When you enter this stage of life, you don’t always enter it at the same time as all your friends. I have three friends with kids already, two who are pregnant at the same time as me, some who are married, but not having kids yet or at all and others who aren’t married yet.

In an ideal world you stick with the same tribe your whole life, get married around the same time, and then all start having babies together. That’s not reality though for most women who’ve moved a lot, but also women are having children at their own pace now. Women don’t need to follow a linear timeline, so some get married later in life and don’t have kids. Some have kids then get married. Others get married, travel the world with their husband for a year then have kids (like me!)

My husband and I just moved to a new neighborhood further away from our friends as well. So of course my two girlfriends having babies when I am will still be my closest mommy friends, but I won’t see them as often. That is why I’m on the hunt for a local tribe of mommies-to-be around my neighborhood.

Finding a mommy tribe isn’t just about who lives closest to you and is due around the same time as you though. There’s a lot more that goes into it since there’s many different types of moms and you need to find the moms that match your style. I have to ask myself what kind of mom do I want to be?

There are stay at home moms or SAHM as the women say or working moms. I’m definitely a working mom, but I have nothing against SAHMs. There’s pro-vaccines and anti-vaccine moms. I’m most definitely pro and actually refuse to have my kid around other kids with anti-vaccine moms. There are moms who don’t believe in saying no and strict moms who never say yes. I’m in the middle. There’s crunchy hippie moms and “eat whatever you want” moms. I’m also in the middle, but a little more crunchy. There are helicopter moms and hands-off moms- again I’m in the middle. Or are you a baby boy mom or a baby girl mom?

Then there are hobby moms like running moms, stroller jogging moms, yoga moms, hiking moms, Rose all day moms, and religious moms or PTA moms. Luckily these days there are mom “dating” apps like Peanut that function similar to Tinder, so you judge each other based on a picture and short profile then decide whether or not to meet if you match. There are Meetups for hobby moms or groups to meet moms in your area.

I have met two moms so far and I like them. They don’t live in my area though. It feels like internet dating again except with a bunch of pregnant women, I’m interviewing to be my friends. It’s awkward and slightly thrilling. There’s always the real world too like prenatal fitness classes and pregnancy health groups for meeting moms-to-be. Once you have the baby I’m sure it gets easier, because you can use them as bait to attract women to you. Until then I’ll keep interviewing until I build my tribe.

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