As our lives evolve as women and mothers, our friendships and connections evolve too. It’s inevitable — we gather with different mom tribes through the years. Looking back throughout life this has been happening forever really. We move from group to group, and friend to friend, starting as early as elementary school.
I remember my kindergarten best friend was named Stacy O’Connor. We had matching sparkly flats we wore to school on the same day. The initial connection bonded us and from that day on we were friends.
She moved a year later and I have no idea what became of her! But, that seems to be true of most female friendships over time. We lose track of people once our common bond is broken, unless the effort is made to continue.
Sadly, I can count on my hands the number of friends I have from pre-baby days that I still keep in touch with. But that’s life.
When I first discovered I was pregnant with my son 5 years ago, I had one friend with kids. All of my close girlfriends were ambitious, career driven twenty-somethings. I was one too! A lot of them didn’t know how to keep up our friendship after I became a mom, so they fell to the wayside. I’m not upset with those ladies or blame them at all, it’s just the season of life. The thread that bound us slowly unraveled and I was left feeling a little bare with this new title of mother.
However, as soon as you become pregnant you instantly gain friends you never knew you had. Ladies who are in a similar cycle of life turn into your best text message buddy or play date pal.
With my first child I was so blessed to have a close group of first-time mom friends to help navigate life. The transition to motherhood seemed less scary because we were all in it together. It also helped that we were all friends, in the same professional field, pre-baby and continued to get together for brunch and baby dates once we became mothers. Our husbands even got to be friends and our group had regular outings those few first critical days, months and year. It was a new chapter of life, yet felt so natural and normal with these ladies by my side.
As we entered the preschool years, I gained another new set of friends. Ladies who cared about education as much as I did and conveniently lived in our part of town. Some had multiple children, others just one. But our kids started on their educational journey together and became first friends, so we also became friends. For these mama friends I’m eternally grateful because sometime talking to other moms about schools for your kids is hard. It is for me at least! There are no awkward moments or sideways glances with them when the topic of school comes up.
Most recently I’ve been brought into a small group of neighborhood mom friends. This one has been the toughest to navigate because not only are our children different ages, but we come from all walks of life. Some moms work, some homeschool, some attend church together, some have parties on the lawn during Friday happy hour time and some like me a more lurkers, watching from a distance and joining when it feels right. Neighborhood moms seem too cool to me, so I’m taking my time.
From day one I’ve always had social media mom friends. You know the ones. Facebook groups, Instagram circles and blogger moms. I literally could not live without these ladies and their infinite wisdom. It could be 5:00 PM on a Thursday while I’m counting down the minutes until my husband walks in the door or 5 AM on a Tuesday when my kids randomly wake up before the sun. These ladies are ALWAYS there for you. Someone is ALWAYS willing to offer a suggestion or impart some maternal wisdom. I often wonder how my own mother handled life pre-social media, I rely on this tribe so much!
As my kids have grown older and less dependent on me every second of the day, my health and wellness became a priority once again. Enter the Workout Mom Tribe. These ladies are from all over Austin, but recognize the importance of taking care of our bodies and minds, especially as mothers. I’m the type that enjoys classes versus just working out alone at the gym and because more and more fitness clubs are offering childcare these days, this has been an amazing blessing with tons of options.
Even though I may exercise regularly, I also enjoy the culinary delights and drinks our fair city has to offer. Pre-kiddo I was part of a small Supper Club. These ladies and I visit a new restaurant each month, rotating who chooses the location. In the beginning I was the only one with children and I loved spending time with non-moms. However, it didn’t take very long for another baby to come along, then another and another. We all have children now (some have two or three!) and we still maintain our Grub Club status because, who doesn’t love wine, food and good conversation?
My favorite group of moms these days are the Moms in Business. These are the ladies who are running a business from home or taking entrepreneurship to a whole new level while they balance motherhood. Some of you may think this working-from-home life is a dream and while it has it’s perks, I have to be honest it is a DAILY struggle ladies. Work is always there, we don’t get to leave it at the office and take time “off” unless we physically leave for a different city and oftentimes work comes with us on those journeys. The Moms in Business keep me sane, inspired and motivate me to just keep going. They mean business.
Recently, I became part of the Sister-Mom tribe as both of my Sister-in-Laws now have children. We text each other from time-to-time about anything from food suggestions for the littles, to gift ideas. While neither of them live here, I do look forward to the time when my own sisters have kids and there are cousins around the corner.
The final group of Moms I will be joining soon are the School Moms, or After-School Activity Tribe. My son is entering Kindergarten this fall and I hope to get him involved in some sort of group activity. With this will come new relationships, for him and for me! Just like him I am nervous, in a good way though, because I know that Moms are the best at accepting newbies into the Tribe — no matter what kind of Tribe it is.