Mama Tribe: Fact or Mean Girl Fiction

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Let me first set the scene by explaining that as I type this I’m nursing a cocktail that is one part gatorade and one part ice water, while simultaneously eating a bag of those tiny chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs. Why? Because everyone in our house, including yours truly, has fallen prey to the Norovirus. And for some deranged reason this is the only food I’ve been able to stomach for two days. So you know what, Mama’s gonna have her mocktail and eat her chocolate, too. And let me just say the Norovirus is as horrific as you’ve heard. My darling husband was the longest hold out but last night around 2 a.m. even his valiant defenses failed.

Now, let’s talk Mama Tribe. Is it a cliche or clutch life decision?

When we moved to Boston in 2014 we were only supposed to be here for two years. The first to complete an internship, and the second to complete a post doc for my husband’s PhD program. Then it was going to be smooth sailing/triumphant return back home to San Diego. Yet, when a job opportunity arose that was a once in a lifetime shot, we took it. And now here we are, 4.5 years and 2 beautiful boys later.

As a result of making the decision to stay, which was made when I was roughly 7 months pregnant with out first son, the deal was that I had to make friends. Literally, my husband, who knows me better than anyone, said “You know this means you have to make friends, right?” I’m a HUGE introvert by nature. Sure, I can “flip the switch” and put many an extrovert to shame at a party but when it comes to making friends I more or less have the attitude of “Thanks, but no thanks… I have my friends.” Problem was, none of them were in Boston (except for my friend, Sabrina, who basically buoyed my spirits through our first year here, which was also coincidentally the worst winter Boston has ever had on record; I will forever be grateful to her for that). She also introduced me to Katherine who has made me laugh even in the worst Mom moments of my life.

So what was a new mom to do? At the suggestion of a neighbor, I joined a New Mom’s group, which in hindsight is HILARIOUS because I showed up to the first meeting with the mentality that I still didn’t need friends. And certainly not strangers with babies who also signed up for a New Mom’s Group (because, who does that? hmmmm….). But in actuality, they were exactly the type of friends I needed and to this day deeply cherish. And so there I was, diving head first into the deep end of the Mama Tribe formation world.

Before meeting the women I lovingly refer to today as my Mama Tribe, I thought the term “Mama Tribe” was SO ridiculous. Somewhere between a sappy hippy hashtag or, worse, an adult mean girl clique. The idea of both repulsed me. I vowed I’d never have a “Mama Tribe” and furthermore I’d never refer to them as such. But yet again, as life would have it, the unexpected happened and here I am with a Mama Tribe. And you know what, they’re AMAZING.

In the past 48 hours I’ve showed up unannounced with a diarrhea covered baby at Maggie’s house and was welcomed with open arms, a pair of Peppa Pig leggings, and a good laugh. I’ve had homemade tea, lysol disinfectant wipes, and a coke dropped at my front door by Aubree. And Diana has insisted on driving from over an hour away (with two kids in tow!) just to do an errand run if I need anything.

These are some of the women I can’t live without. They represent what has become an embraced cliche in my life. To me now, a “Mama Tribe” is a group of supporters who rally for you, fight for you, laugh with you, and by all means cry with you. So call it whatever you want, but if you’re a Mom, I recommend you find one, build one, make one…even if it’s just you and one other person. Aubree and I met on the STREET! It’s a hilarious story that warrants further telling but the point is you gotta put yourself out there. Life wasn’t meant to be done alone, and raising children SURE wasn’t intended to be a solo mission. So take it from this introvert, the felt risk and nervousness are worth it.

Now, I’m off to disinfect my entire house and eat the rest of this strangely satisfying Easter Candy.

You Got This.