Connections in Motherhood
Motherhood can be a pretty lonely journey. I mean, most of us are unified in the fact we struggle with the same issues but the real, true and lasting connections in motherhood seem to wane with having children.
Before kids I remember having a fairly active social life. It was easy. We could come and go as we please, sleep in, stay out late and really not have much to worry about.
Then came kids…
And life did feel like it came to a grinding halt. It wasn’t made easier by the fact that we were fairly new in the town we had settled in.
I had moved around a fair bit before we had kids – Having studied in a town far from my home town and then travelled to the UK for 2 years. I then returned to my home town for 1 year after which I completed my Masters Degree in a different town. My hubby and I then moved to the seaside dream just 2 years before we decided to have kids.
It’s funny how your childless friends tend to disappear when your baby arrives. I don’t think they mean to but life just becomes so different, doesn’t it?
And then you don’t leave home that often so it’s pretty difficult to keep the social activity thriving. Other than the mom groups and coffee groups you attend with the other mamas you met in your ante-natal class – friendships aren’t in abundance.
Well at least they weren’t for me. I didn’t realise how important connections in motherhood were.
Having Real Mom Friends Kept Me Sane
I did, however, land up making some amazing connections a little later on and I wanted to share my “how” with you.
Maybe you have relocated to a new town and don’t know many people.
Maybe you have just started on the parenting journey and don’t know where to start with finding those lasting Mom-friends.
One thing is certain – we all need those let-it-all-hang-out, be-totally-real connections where we can laugh so hard we burst into tears and then realise that we were real sad all along and it just took one awesome person to be safe with.
So let me tell you about my MOB group
How It All Started
In my endeavour to meet more Mama’s I decided to attend a Mom’s on a Mission function. The aim was for moms to come and meet each other with a motivational speaker leading the evening. I managed to convince a then acquaintance to join me. (I wasn’t quite brave enough to venture forth alone). And thank goodness I did. The moms at this mission were all in a clique (which was in keeping with the general manner for the ladies of this town) and my acquaintance and I sat on the outskirts waiting for an appropriate time to make our escape.
I got home to my hubby and just burst into tears. My final hope for establishing a tribe had dissolved. My connections in motherhood were non existent. This man of mine is a treasure, though. He suggested I simply create my own Facebook group and start a “Moms on a Mission” type movement for myself.
So the very next morning I did just that.
I called it My Own Ballito Thing (MOB thing) and invited the handful of people I knew in town. Then I suggested we go on a ladies night out and each person invite one of their friends not currently in the group (and unknown to me).
So the first ladies night had about 7 of us (yes! I only knew 3 ladies and they each brought a friend).
It was a hit. We planned some “ice breaker” activities to get to know each other and really had a laugh!
Of course the 3 new ladies were added to the private Facebook group and the following month we did it again. This time 7 of us invited 7 more people, who were then added to the Facebook group. And the next month 14 ladies invited 14 “newbies” and so we went.
The group really took off and I met some of my dearest, best mom friends this way. Before long I had my collection of connections and was feeling like I finally, truly belonged.
[As an aside, the group became so well known in our little town that many ladies were hanging out for an invite. Many of the restaurants had heard about our antics. Antics which had evolved with each month to include things like a “MOBster of the night” award and other crazy ideas.]
As I write this blog I can’t help smiling as I think back to those crazy evenings.
Connections require Vulnerability
The main lesson I learnt from this endeavour was that only good things can come from us putting ourselves out there.
We need to be real, and raw and brave. It is important to speak up when we need support. We must take action to mobilise those supports around us.
Real friendships, the kind that keep us sane, are forged in the moments of being real and vulnerable
And sometimes that means getting out of your comfort zone.
I miss those crazy women as I sit on the other side of the world.
Perhaps it is time for me to get vulnerable again.
If you want to do the same – grab the step by step instructions for creating your own collection of connections here