The very first article I wrote for this site was focused on learning not to be "that parent". You know, the judgy kind that make you feel terrible for letting your baby cry longer than forty-two seconds. Or for drinking a beer while you're breastfeeding (which I'm doing right now). Part of being a great parent that is on "Team-You-Got-This-Fellow-Mom" is letting go: that is, letting go of judgment. But it goes way beyond that. It also means that you help other moms keep up the good work. Help them keep up their "mom-entum".
You know that feeling when you get in the groove and you're jiving to some great music, working on your hobby or maybe dancing with your toddler? Where life feels like a breeze and you don't have a care in the world in that moment? That's what life can feel like, when you've got a great support team lifting you up. Many hands make light work, as they say. This isn't necessarily about delegating your parenting workload - this is more about providing emotional support in the trenches that are these early years of parenting.
There's a concept about the circle of support around a grieving person. Basically, you center whoever is closest to the trauma. For example, if my husband died, I and my kids would be at the center of the circle of support. But Stephen's friends would be in a layer close to the center, and would need support from their other friends and family. In this concept, the healing pours inward to the people most deeply impacted.
And while this concept stemmed from bereavement studies, it applies to any struggle or turmoil a person might be going through. And if you're in the thick of it - knee deep in the poop and puke of these years of early childhood. It's also the same motivation that drives me personally as someone who studies birth work. Laboring women are at the center of the event, with the energy and attention and care of everyone in the room focusing on them.
Truth be told, I'm probably writing this because right now, I need my mom tribe. In the past week or two, I've sort of taken a step back from many of my friends and loved ones. My days seem to be endlessly busy and I find reasons I can't come up with the time. And I'm trying really hard to keep up my momentum. To get articles written earlier in the day, to get more of a routine set up for Shep's bedtime, to get Rory and Shep napping on the same schedule. The list goes on. I think the endlessness of it - maybe the monotony - is hard for me to break on my own.
Lots of people would assume that I'm an extrovert. I'm great in social settings and I feed off of the energy of others. But at the same time, I have pretty intense social anxiety. That anxiety keeps me from reaching out, from getting involved. At a certain point, I need one of my mom friends to drive to my house, bust down the door, and shove an extra large coffee into my hands. Because I am with you, mama. I understand exactly how hard it can be to drag your butt out of bed and face the day. When you feel like that's too much, just give me a shout. I'll be there with bells on, focusing my energy on you and how I can be a better mom myself - by helping you be the best mom you can be today.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Like you need your own mom tribe? Reach out to me on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 - don't struggle through this parenting thing alone.