There was a moment in my life, not that long ago, when I realized who I really was. Not in the soul-discovering existential sense, but a quite literal one. I was strolling down the cobble-lined streets of Park Avenue with Infant Ben tucked neatly beneath a powder blue blanket. I had brushed my hair, dressed in a real bra (nursing moms feel my pain) and gotten out of the house. My best friend of 25 years was in town and we found ourselves window shopping, eating ice cream cones, and leisurely basking in the crisp weather of a Florida fall. I was also sleep-deprived and incredibly grouchy despite my surroundings. Lunch was taking forever, the sidewalks were crowded, and women with children were bustling in and out of stores with armfuls of shopping sacks. It was like somebody had kicked a human baby anthill in the heart of Winter Park.
“Ugh,” I huffed with disgust. “Look at all those stay-at-home-moms with nothing better to do than eat lunch and stroll their babies around.” Lauren had the grace to smile instead of laugh in my face. Two weeks prior I had quit my job. I WAS a SAHM with “nothing else” to do (*nothing else* being the topic of another post entirely. Oh, how wrong I was…)
Those women–with smiles on their faces and babies on their hips–were my people. My tribe. And I was in full-out denial. Why? I have pondered that a while and like most life questions, there are various answers. As an adult I had always resented those women. The ones with ponytails and bubbly laughter and the seemingly carefree life of strolling and lunching and yoga and baby-raising. Yet there I stood in the midst of it, blending in completely and yet, feeling like an island.
Correction: I had made myself an island. Those creatures in mom-jeans that read mom-blogs and did mom-things were aliens to me. But so were (most) my non-parenting friends. I couldn’t blame them for the distance–Who wants to listen to their formerly-cool pal ramble about sleep-deprivation, poopy diapers or leaky boobs? I sorely needed a community that I didn’t realize existed.
Then, in a fit of desperation, I sent out a parenting SOS via Facebook. Something about teething or sleeping or I dunno. Something about mom-life. Next thing I knew, my phone and inbox was flooded with sincere messages of support. Messages of “I’ve been there” and “I’m still there” and “don’t worry it gets better.” My people. The mom-jeans wearing, mommy-blog reading, mommy-wars fighting MOMS. My tribe.
Have you ever driven a Jeep? It’s a cool experience. Other Jeep drivers always wave with a smile, like there is some sort of Jeepy secret that is shared between them. That’s how I feel about the Mom Tribe. This blog is where I want to share those secretive smiles. Those stories of successes and failures and—occasionally—a mommy war.
Just kidding. No wars. Just pajamas and sunshine, I promise.