With how transient most families are these days, finding a community as a mother is more important than ever. What’s been especially helpful for me is to think about community in three categories: one, my lifelong girlfriends from all different stages of life, two, my local, neighborhood community, and three, my online community that is brought together by common interests or life experience.
The lifelong friends are so important because they keep me in check, I can talk about the deep stuff and the little stuff and we don’t have to have the logistics of life get in the way.
My local community makes life happen. The carpools, meals when you have a new baby, park days, and the life experience of all different kinds of people that may live around you. It’s so important in the development of children and actually gives us as adults a huge sense of belonging as well, whether we recognize that or not.
The last category of community, the online community, can be the most enriching for what can be a sometimes isolating experience as a mom. When blogs were really in the spotlight ten years ago when I had my first, it was like a whole new world opened up to me. Solly Baby never would have happened had I not felt the energy behind the internet.
Now that we have so many platforms for connection for moms, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. As an entrepreneur, I am especially grateful for more segmented groups (heymama is my favorite!) that can really help me feel connected with other moms in the creative and business space. Especially since, with four kids, I don’t go out as much as I used to.”
“Community is so important, especially the mama one. To me, motherhood is the ultimate club, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. In Boston, there are a number of local groups (by neighborhood) and a lot of places to engage with your little one, from Baby Wiggle to the Little Lovage Club to the Boston Public Library. These have been great ways to meet other moms, and to really get out and about – especially in the winter. But by far, the local blogging community has been the most incredible, introducing me to some of my closest friends, many of whom are also moms. Having a tight-knit network of likeminded women who understand what it is like to be pregnant, what it is like to raise a new, precious babe, what it is like to worry about the color of breastfed poop… it’s a wonderful thing.” –Lauren
“More recently I have found real, authentic community from my church family. It’s more than seeing familiar faces on a Sunday morning, it’s sharing meals, investing in each other and just doing life together. We weren’t meant to walk this journey alone, we need one another, and it’s beautiful.” –Ro
“Now that I have a family and am raising children away from my own extended family, the value of community seems to be a recurrent theme on my journey. It is not always easy to ask for help, and it often feels too late to ask once the feeling of absolutely needing it has set in. Often times, the need to be supported by a community goes unnoticed until one does not seem to even realize that that is the unmet need. I often find myself feeling negative and then it dawns on me that I am lonely and need support. In my early days of motherhood, I found community at the local library story times and at La Lmeetupsgue breastfeeding support meetups. I found a dance class where I’d wear my baby and dance to Jack Johnson while wearing my baby with other women, some who were moms and grandmas. I found a yoga studio that came to be a solace to my overstimulated mind, where I made friends who made me meals after I gave birth to my daughter. There were times that I wanted to talk myself out of attending those community places but forced myself to make it happen because each time I did, each time I do show up, it fills me in ways I didn’t even know I was missing.” –Nico
“Motherhood is inherently lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easy to isolate ourselves to our duties at home, or at work, and then come home and simply focus on our families; but is that thriving? Motherhood is one of the most amazing gifts a woman can experience, but it’s often a lot richer when we surround ourselves with others who “get it.” Other mamas who get the mess, get the postpartum baby hairs; and who “get” padsicles. Because let’s face it, as wonderful as our partners are, the mom across the aisle from you at Target probably understands you juuust a bit more.
I’ve actually met quite a few real-life friends through Instagram. Actually most of my closest friends currently I’ve met through Instagram- chatting and then realizing we live in the same area. Or just shooting a message asking to grab coffee and go on a walk with our kiddos to the park. Or at church! Or googling local weekly toddler/kids groups at the Library. It’s all about taking that first seemingly intimidating step and just putting yourself out there, or saying yes. Will you connect with every person you meet? Maybe not, but it’s absolutely worth trying for. Humans need community; mamas need community. We’re all so different and unique bring so much wisdom and chaos and beauty to the table, so let’s all sit together. In quiet. And then laugh about how ridiculous and wonderful and absolutely crazy this motherhood journey is, together.” –Mary