Tips to Help You Find a Supportive Community and Connect With Other Moms
Question: I am a first-time mom to a beautiful 8-month-old girl and I am feeling really disconnected and lonely. How can I find some support right now and build a mommy tribe?
This special, fleeting time in your life highlights the dichotomy between wanting to continue to hibernate with Baby and the longing for connection. It’s important to honor both feelings in your own time. Simply knowing that other moms are out there going through similar triumphs and challenges can be reassuring in and of itself, but the time will present itself when you are ready to expand your tribe. This—new friends who understand the struggles and joys of parenthood—can be a nourishing and valuable perk of your new life stage. You endured the extra challenge of having a baby during a global pandemic! Hopefully, after this year of isolation your immediate circle feels safe to expand because as we know, it takes a village!
The Importance of Connection
Many moms with young babies spend their days alone and on their own. This in itself is not a problem—in your time alone with Baby you are establishing a rhythm and creating lasting bonds. Yet there is a point where being alone can turn into Feeling alone, which can easily turn into loneliness. Feeling left out, disconnected, and isolated can easily turn into feeling resentful, full of blame, and even depressed. All of this is common, especially during the early years of motherhood, though it requires care and attention to keep these complex feelings from hindering this joyful and exciting time of life. Confide in a close friend or even seek help from a professional if these feelings become unmanageable, especially if feelings of loneliness still come up often regardless of how much support is available. Here are some ways you can build your mommy tribe.
4 Ways to Build Your Mommy Tribe
- Consider trying moms groups like mommy-and-me yoga, walking groups, and stroller fitness classes. This way you can combine many self-care needs, like getting out of the house, exercising, and meeting like-minded moms. Be aware of energy drains or negative attitudes.
- Your time and emotional energy are very precious, so be sure to invest only in relationships and activities that edify you and help you feel like your best self.
- Beware of F.O.M.O (Fear of missing out). More is NOT always better. Choose one or two activities or groups and be sure they are aligned with your parenting approach and values. This keeps too many unhelpful opinions at bay that may cause “mommy guilt”, or overwhelm you.
- Other mommy support groups include La Leche League International, M.O.P.S, La Madres, or check with your local community center, hospital, or church. Many are still offering online options as well!
Common Mommy Pitfalls
Comparison and Loneliness. These are two pitfalls many moms must watch out for! They are often felt most in the early years of motherhood, and they have the potential to cloud the beauty of this time and bring further disconnection down the road. Practicing balance and compassion when comparison and loneliness creep in is a gentle ebb and flow. By journaling, you can work through these feelings, with all the complexities that come with them, to help you live this beautiful time in a whole, authentic way.
Our Healthy Motherhood Journal can be a beautiful way to guide yourself through this precious season. Here is a “Mommy Mantra” to use when those feeling of loneliness creep in
“I know I am not alone, even if it may feel that way at this moment. My feelings are not facts. As I allow myself to feel, I allow myself to heal. I connect with mamas all over the world who feel lonely at times. I see them, and they see me. I honor my feelings by stepping out of my
comfort zone and getting support. I draw near to women and family who will lift me up. I honor the growing pains and welcome new connections.”
Martha, Hayden, and Erin Sears