I became a mom for the first time while living in lower Delaware, which to those of you that don’t know contains very little. It is a great place to vacation with your family, but as a full time resident, it does not offer much to do with your newborn.
We became members of the MOMS Club of Coastal Delaware which was a great concept, but the club had 120 members so every event I attended had a completely different group of women. Nearly impossible to get to know anyone and very awkward for someone that does not meet new people easily.
Two months into my joining the club, we made the decision to move to Maryland. I researched before moving (because I’m a researcher) and found that my new area also had a chapter of the MOMS Club. I inquired, then attended an event in February after we moved but I didn’t feel that it was a good fit for us at the time. The kids in the club were much older than my not yet one year old so it wasn’t going to offer much social interaction for him.
Fast forward to August when a club member reached out to me, sparking my interest again. I had since added our second baby, been living in a completely foreign area, and didn’t know anyone so we needed this to work.
We attended a meeting in September and though we were unsure, we decided to join. There were now more members with kids close in age to mine, so although I was not positive that the women would be accepting – I gave it a shot.
Let me tell you, I am happy everyday that I did. We began attending events immediately and started to make friends.
I was very enthusiastic about the club and couldn’t wait to share things from my previous club with my new club. Shortly after joining, my enthusiasm was noticed and I was invited to be the Administrative Vice President.
I tried to help my chapter come up with events in the community to attend and new ideas for play dates. Living in the new area with no friends for nine months, I had become very good at finding events that you wouldn’t normally think of.
In July, I took over as my chapters President. This gave me a bit more responsibility and I became the organizer of a lot more things with the club. I am able to utilize my graphic design background to create the club newsletter. I locate new play places in our area for us to explore and support. I create a diverse calendar of events each month (with the help of my wonderful board members and members that host).
I have gained some things that are far greater than being able to be creative with a newsletter though.
They say that it takes a village to raise a child and it couldn’t be more true. In this journey with the MOMS Club, I have not only built a village but I have gained some genuine friends. Friends that I can hangout with outside of our play dates, friends that I can text anytime, friends that joke about wine and coffee and running late and all things hectic in life.
I now have reliable friends that I can ask to watch both of my kids for twelve hours straight while I sit by my moms side at the hospital waiting for my dads surgery. Friends that will drop off coffee to me when my kids are being crazy and I cannot wrangle them into the car to go get it myself. Friends that ask where I am when I miss a playdate, then offer to bring food or coffee or babysit when I tell them I am home with a migraine. Friends that I can text while I scramble to look for a pack n play for Cam to sleep in while his new bedroom paint dries. Friends that I still like with and without my kids.
Friends like this are hard to come by. Friends that genuinely care for you and your children. We live in a selfish world and finding such selfless women is a beautiful thing. Building a tribe, a village, a squad, is a beautiful thing.
More than this, I have also found a part of myself I did not really know existed. I opened myself up to new women without worrying that I am going to be judged. I allowed myself to take a leadership role, helping other stay at home moms find their tribe instead of staying home and wondering why motherhood is so lonely. I took on a task that gives me a feeling of having a job, having tasks that need to be completed, a regional coordinator that I answer to, something that gives me a different purpose while still benefiting my children. All of which is so important to me.
If you are reading this, sitting at home after a long day with your child(ren), wondering how to find your village – I urge you to head over to the MOMS Club website and search for a chapter near you. It is so much more than just play dates. It is service projects, moms night outs, family events, volunteering, library classes, coffee dates, craft days, parks, hiking, you name it. They probably do it.
Don’t spend another second at home, feeling alienated by the world, like I did. Wondering how you can be lonely when you are surrounded by your children twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Find your tribe.