there might be a ton of reasons we sometimes feel divided as moms, but the truth is that any division that happens within the mom community are truly due to our lack of connection. While we may be a group that shares many things in common, we don’t always feel like a community. You know, a mom community that isn’t based on parenting style or choice.
At a time when not only do people feel divided in their personal choices, but also politically and morally, we need to come together to create our own mom communities more than ever.
They say it takes a village.
Yet we are more isolated than ever.
The internet has created a new way to reach out and connect with others in more ways than ever, and yet it also serves a place of division and loneliness.
I have never seen mom shamed in real life, but it is the norm in many online mom forums and groups.
The internet though, is how I was able to spend my entire day today connected to other moms in real life and virtually.
I began the day with my three little willings and four other moms with their kids. I met these moms through a group that I found online, and we first walked our kids to a coffee shop for treats followed by playtime at a local park. Some of the moms I met for the first time today, and yet within an hour of saying hello we were talking about the nature of aging, birth, and postpartum hair loss.
After naps and lunches, I spent an hour chatting with a mom for the MomUp Show. If I’m being honest, the MomUp Show is not really some sort of business idea. It’s just something I craved.
I needed the ability to really talk with tons of other moms. To find moms to learn from. To pick the brains of moms who have expertise in a myriad of topics. The find how we could connect with each other, and the audience we were serving up our ideas.
The mom I spent that hour chatting with validated so many of my ideas and it felt so easy to talk to her. We could have spent hours talking about everything from birth to western society to sleep training and more.
And after I jumped off that call I had to gather up the kids, throw them in the stroller, and head to the neighborhood soccer field so my 4 year old could kick a ball around with a kid on her team while his mom and I chatted, finding out the same midwives and doctor had helped deliver our children.
Are all of these moms my bff’s who will do anything for me? No of course not. I’m just getting to know a lot of them. But the thing about motherhood and cultivating a community is that you can actually find deep levels of intimacy with other moms very quickly if you are willing to be vulnerable.
Case in point. While at the park I chatted with a random mom whose daughter was playing near my twins. Within 2 minutes we were discussing our postpartum depression experiences. This isn’t small talk. This is real talk.
I have no idea who that moms was, what her name was, what her daughter’s name was, where she lives… and yet we shared something deep for a brief few minutes.
This is how we create our community.
Yes it is partly about the long term relationships we cultivate over months and years. The other moms who are there for us through think and thin.
But some of that community is also knowing that when you’re at the playground, you can over share some personal stories with another mom and it will be ok. She will just turn around and over share back by telling you the degree of tearing her 9lber gave her.
Community and our village are created in these small acts of vulnerability. When we open up just a bit to each other and have conversations. The little smile you give a mom with the screaming toddler, or the assurance you give a mom that yes we are ALL struggling.
Being a human being. Willing to NOT be perfect. To be flawed. To share. This is the basis of the mom community we need. One that embraces all moms, and allows us to know that wherever there’s another mama, we have a friend.
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