Finding my tribe

My heart is so full this week. It’s been a good one and a good note to end on, as you may recall last week felt tough.

However, today I can only smile as my baby stands beside me, pulling tissues out of a box and then eating them. Yum!

You see, I had dates with three lovely women this week (one I even got to see twice as we met at her house and later the park!). Twice I was at a fellow mom’s house over lunch, and both fed me and my baby. I feel like this is bad etiquette on my part to be there at that time, but nap times are so hard to coordinate…today I at least showed up with coffee and Timbits. For the third date, I showed up with lunch in exchange for one of her delicious coffees. Win!

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Great friends who let us use their slide AND feed us on a moment's notice.

As I walked or drove home in the sunshine from these dates (this week it has been SO nice out, I’ve said it so many times, I’m a broken record), I reflected on how I’ve been so focused on finding my tribe that I’ve lost sight of the fact it’s right in front of my nose.

You see, almost a year ago we moved to a bedroom community. While not far from Saskatoon, it’s just far enough to make me want to make all my appointments and do all my shopping out here (plus I’d rather support local business anyway). The move, combined with changing nap time and baby getting older, brought an end to me going to the breastfeeding café. I still keep in touch with some of those moms, some of whom are definitely part of my tribe, but how I looked forward to Thursdays where I would see other moms who faced the same joys and struggles I did. That day was often the highlight of my week and I was sad when it ended.

I thought by moving I needed to meet new moms out here so I joined Facebook groups and plugged group outings into my phone planner, even though I’ve yet to make any. I started going to La Leche League meetings, thinking I’d meet moms there (and to some extent I have, but I wasn’t as alone as I maybe felt).

(If you live in Warman, have babies or young children, and are reading this, don’t get me wrong: I’d still love to meet for a walk or a play date at Cj’s. Message me!)

However, if I would have stopped and taken stock, I’d have realized I’ve had my tribe since before my baby was born, and it has continued to grow and change.

I have my two doulas who are also moms: especially in the early days, I texted them ALL the time for help (How do I get rid of thrush? How do I get rid of mastitis? Is _____ normal?). I have many facebook friends who are now moms who have offered support this past year. In particular, when we suffered through thrush early on in our breastfeeding relationship, at the advice of my doula, I posted that I was struggling. I received many beautiful messages from fellow mamas, some I hadn’t talked to in ages. It meant so much and gave me strength to persevere through the pain and tears.

I have a mommy friend I message every day even if we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. I have friends I can text and say, I’m nearby, want company? And we meet at the park or their house. I have a neighbour I can go for walks with.

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Fed us and hauled up an extra high chair. Friends rock.

I also have friends whose children are either grown or who don’t have children, and they are there to help me in a heartbeat or just hang out. I know if I called in a panic, they would help me any way they could.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my mom, quite possibly the most important member of my tribe. Every week, she drives nearly three hours total so she can spend time with her grandson but also help around the house and walk the dogs so I can work my other job. We are so lucky to have her.

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One of my favourite photos of two of my favourite people.

Perhaps my struggles last week gave me perspective. I have so much for which to be grateful, including the fact that what I’ve been searching for all along is already there: I have my tribe. Thank you, ladies. I love you all so much. Thank you for sharing in the good, not-so-good, the great, and for sharing your booze, food, and coffee. In return, I’m here any time you need me (or any of the above).

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