Building Community in the Mundane Moments
There are a lot of beautiful moments in motherhood and there are a lot of mundane ones, too. Countless diaper changes. Afternoons where baby doesn’t want to be put down and your partner isn’t home from work for at least another two hours. Washing bottles. (So many bottles! So many parts and pieces!) Middle-of-the-night feedings. Monotony doesn’t have to mean loneliness, though. Although it can be easy to feel isolated as a new mom—even with a tiny human attached to you 24/7—conscious choices in everyday moments can help you find community and build your village.
Go get ’em at the grocery.
Say hello to the clerk restocking the tomatoes. Wish the grandmotherly-type in the scooter a wonderful day. Ask the middle-aged employee ringing up your groceries if he has any fun plans for the weekend instead of just awkwardly lingering in silence. These little bursts of connection can have a bigger impact on our day that we might give them credit for.
Wash the day away.
Bottles. Pump parts. The dishes are almost as relentless as the laundry. (Almost.) If your schedules permit, plan for you and your partner to be in the kitchen at the same time to tackle the chores. One washing dishes, the other packing lunches, unloading the dishwasher, making a grocery list. Use the time to chat about your day, the show you’re watching, the neighborhood gossip. Making it a fun—even flirty, if the mood strikes—hangout will make the tasks pass in no time and leave you feeling more connected with your partner, too.
Just say hi.
This may seem nuts, but do not be shy about chatting up another mom literally anywhere. The sidewalk, Target, the pediatrician’s. Odds are good her grown-up interactions are as limited as yours, so she’s equally keen on a mini conversation. Ask how old her adorable baby is. Comment on her cool Solly Wrap (kidding! but also not kidding, lol). See if she recommends the brand of diapers in her cart (maybe you’ve been wanting to try them?). It’s possible the exchange will be super brief. Or perhaps you’ll chat for 10 minutes. Maybe you’ll exchange numbers and end up becoming mama BFFs! No matter what happens, it’ll feel good to connect with someone who relates on some level and to know you’re offering her the same.
Feed your soul.
When you’re up in the middle of the night to feed baby, go ahead and feed your need for connection to. Find a few accounts on IG (or your social media platform of choice) that resonate with your motherhood journey and slow your scroll long enough to genuinely engage with the content. (Like, don’t just be a lurker but comment to share your own story or to encourage another mama. You can even send a DM if you’re comment shy.) You might be surprised how your relationship with social media changes when you spend more time intentionally connecting with the content you enjoy and less time mindlessly scrolling. Instead of leaving you feeling jealous or empty, it can become a place of true community, leaving your feeling validated, empowered and supported.