Tag: Friendships

Finding My Tribe

Finding My Tribe

When you become a mother, your life, your lifestyle, your relationships change. Whether you are a stay at home, work from home, return to the workforce kind of mum it doesn’t matter, things (and people) change. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is 100 percent true, but not only for support of the child, but support of the mama too.

The “mom” world can be full of comparison and judgement. Breast vs bottle, baby led weaning vs puree, cloth vs disposable. There is no right or wrong. Its every parent doing their absolute best and working out what is best both for baby and mummy. That’s why finding your mom tribe Is so important. Your mom tribe of friends support your journey no matter what path you choose. These are the friends you can completely be yourself around. The kind that don’t mind if you are 30 minutes late because you had a kid that refused to get dressed or you had a diaper mishap on your way out the door. They understand, they have been there. These are the ladies that won’t look twice when you end up with paint or half chewed cookies all down your front. Heck they won’t even blink an eyelid if you haven’t brushed your hair. They get it. Your mom tribe may not even include your closest circle of friends, but rather mothers whose paths you’ve crossed along the way.

Growing up I lived with aunt in the USA for a year while her children were still very young. I got to know her “mom tribe”, we called them the “mummy mafia” and I saw first-hand how this group of ladies formed bonds across playparks and school classrooms. Over the past 15 years I’ve watched the move through phases, to different schools and graduations. Divorce, Deaths and changes of career, these women have been there for each other through it all. They are the epitome of a “mom tribe” and each other’s family away from family.


Looking back on my journey of motherhood I would say the first year of Aadams life were very different to the past 4 years. I didn’t have a “tribe”, I didn’t take him to any “moms and tots, In fact, looking back, I isolated him a little too much. I think any first time mum can relate to this, I found it quite difficult to coordinate everything: nursing, nap times. I certainly was not a “natural mother” like some of my other friends who seemed to ease into everything. It was hard! Sure I had playdates with friends of similar ages but I don’t remember every doing anything to actively stimulate him (or me). Lets face it though, from newborn to about 6 months you don’t really actively do “playdates”.

Then came our move to the Western Cape, in a new town all alone. I was 7 months pregnant and so desperately wanted my little adventurer to make some friends. Enter my first mom tribe. Our weekly get togethers were so crucial not only for Aadams’ development, but for mine as a mother too. With you first child everything is new! You don’t know about making playdough or stimulation acvities, messy play was a foreign term that I hadn’t even considered! We shared numerous cups of tea, ideas on things to do with the kids, worries of life. These are the friends with whom we may start a conversation via text on Monday and I may not hear back until Friday, but that’s ok. We understand, and we remain constant. 2 years later and a move back home I was left “tribeless again”. With a 1 year old desperate for some additional stimulation I tried various “moms and tots” classes to no avail. Then I stumbled across Adventure Clubs and met up second “Mom Tribe”. We all found ourselves on similar outings, with children on similar ages. All of us trying to balance working from home, motherhood, side hustles to bring in extra income. We all wanted to expand our children’s minds and tried to find alternatives to having them cooped up in classrooms from such a young age.

I am so grateful in my life to have these women. We have lived through the early years of parenting together, when the days were long, and fatigue was strong. My friends that I can completely be myself around. The kind that don’t mind if you are 30 minutes late because you had a kid that refused to get dressed or you had a diaper mishap on your way out the door. They understand, they have been there. These are the ladies that won’t look twice when you end up with paint or half chewed cookies all down your front. They won’t even blink an eyelid if you haven’t brushed your hair. They get it. Your Mom Tribe is more than just finding a group of women… it’s knowing that you have a group of friends that are there through it all.

I’ve been thinking about every single member of my mama tribe lately and how so very lucky I am to have found them. For all the laughs and conversations around “conventions”. Thank you for loving my babies the way you love your own, thank you for lifting me up and for just stepping in and making things easier without being asked.  This is a letter of gratitude to every single one of you.

Tips on finding your tribe?

I tried the “moms and babes” classes and never really formed deep connections there, same goes for the ante-natal classes. Though I know a lot of mums who did connect there. I had a few “almosts” with moms of the kids playgroups, amazing ladies but we never really found the time (I’m also to blame). My mom tribes funnily enough came through social media, with all its flaws and scares for helping me find my “mom tribe”. Facebook groups and the adventure clubs app all played a huge role in this and I would highly recommend turning to them for support if you can.

Relationships – Valuing those who mean the most

Anais Nin put it beautifully when she said,Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

Though some people are natural loners and are happy without them, most of us depend greatly on the company of true friends. As with any relationship, friendships bring support and joy and occasionally strife 🙂

As we grow, we realize it becomes less important to have MORE friends and more important to have REAL ones.

If you think about it, life is kind of like a party. You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late. But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess. These people are your real friends in life. They are the ones who matter most.

Heres a couple of things I feel true friends do in fact it kind of relates to your relationships too):

  1. They face problems together. – A person who truly knows and loves you, a real friend, is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else still believes the smile on your face. Reality is you don’t need a friend who can solve all your problems; you need a friend you will face your problems WITH you. lo
  2. They GIVE what they can. – Truth be told a lot of us enter relationships to get something out of it. We try to find someone who’s going to make us feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last, and give us happiness in the long-term, is if we see our relationship/ friendship as a place we go to GIVE, not to take. Contrary to popular believe studies show you gain significant happiness and a sense of purpose from GIVING. It can only be a ‘give and take’ if BOTH SIDES are GIVING. That’s the key.
  3. They make time for each other. –  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot in someone’s life. Never force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they truly care about you, they will create one for you.
  4. They offer each other freedom. – A healthy relationship/ friendship keeps the doors and windows wide open.   Relationships thrive in this environment. If this person is meant to be in your life, all the open doors and windows in the world won’t make them leave.
  5. They communicate effectively. –  You NEED to get your thoughts OUT. If you have resentment, you must talk it out rather than let the resentment grow. If you are jealous, you must communicate in an open and honest manner to address your insecurities. The most popular myth is that, in relationships,  since you talk to your partner, you’re automatically communicating. But this is generally surface stuff. 80% of communication actually involves listening!
  6. They accept each other as is. – Trying to change a person NEVER works. A real friend is someone who truly knows you, and loves you just the same. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love THE REAL YOU.
  7. They are genuine. – Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.   
  8. They compromise.  – Real friends meet in the middle. When there’s a disagreement, they work out a solution that works for both parties – a compromise, rather than a need for the other person to change or completely give in. It may even be that one party may decide to walk away, that it’s not worth the investment. That’s ok too, you have people in your life for different reasons and seasons.
  9. Belief in each other. – Studies of people who grew up in dysfunctional homes but who grew up to be happy and successful show that the one thing they had in common was someone who believed in them. Do this for those you care about. Support their dreams and passions and hobbies. Be nothing but encouraging. Whether they actually accomplish these dreams or not, your belief is of infinite importance to them and you made a difference to someones’ life.
  10. Be Realistic. – No one is happy all the time. Friends must keep realistic expectations of each other.  We are not all “Super-men” we have our day-to-day lives and get caught up in them. It may be that you don’t see your friends for months on end. A true friend is someone who you can see after years and you can pick up right from where you left off.
  11. They honor each other in small ways on a regular basis. – Honor your important relationships in some way every chance you get. Every day you have the opportunity to make your relationship sweeter and deeper by making small gestures, remember the giving? Making one person smile could change THEIR whole world. Your kindness and gratitude matters.It’s all too easy to take someone for granted.
  12. They keep their promises. – Your word means everything. This is HUGE to me, If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT! If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE! If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!It doesnt mean you can’t ever cancel or change but your word is your integrity, something that is so crucial to never lose.
  13. They stick around. – The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need. When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave (going back to the seasons). . We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our REAL ones are.

“A Real Friend is one who walks in when others walk out” -Walter Winchell