When our oldest son (who is now 6) was a baby, I had little-to-no “tribe.” We had just moved two hours south of our parents to live near Minneapolis. I was a young newlywed to a man who traveled frequently for work, as well as a first-time mom. I also had severe postpartum depression that left me lying on the kitchen floor, crying almost daily.
Sounds great, right?
Never in my life had I felt more lonely or vulnerable. Thankfully, one of the few friends I had nearby suggested I start attending MOPs – Mothers of Preschoolers.
I sat down at my table during that first meeting, feeling very much like a child myself. I was the youngest mother in the room by at least a few years, and everyone else seemed to have it together. I could barely put pants on that day, yet here I was surrounded by mamas who clearly had it all figured out. Even the ones in yoga pants looked like they were SUPPOSED to be in yoga pants, you know? As if they were actual yoga instructors, as opposed to someone who just wants to be comfortable while picking smashed banana out of their hair.
As I sat there in a sea of yoga pants and hairspray, I realized something. A lot of those yoga pants mirrored my own spit up-stained pants. And hold on, that isn’t hairspray – It’s dry shampoo! The illusion had been shattered! I realized in that moment that these were my people.
From there, I realized that I’m not cut out to stay at home full-time. Those moms convinced me to take care of myself, and they made themselves available to support me along the way. I was able to join a gym that I eventually got a job at, and built a community.
My original intention with this post was to discuss my current tribe, which has since evolved into something entirely new and beautiful. I realize now, though, that my original mama tribe saved me and pointed me in the direction of where I needed to be. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
So mamas, whether you’re brand new to this or you’ve had six kids in the past fifteen years – please make sure you’ve got your people. Our relationships are allowed to change through the years, especially upon entering parenthood. Join MOPs. Actually talk to your neighbors (*gasp*)! Open yourself to the possibility that there are people willing to love you through all this craziness, and give them some love along the way as well.