A big chunk of February is covered in hearts, cupids, and ooey-gooey mushy love stuff. Since this is a month to declare your love, I want to give a big hug, smooch, and shout-out to the tribe that surrounds me on the crazy train of motherhood.
You’ve heard the phrase “from the outside you can’t understand it, from the inside you can’t explain it,” right? That defines motherhood. You don’t understand it until you’re knee-deep in it, and even when you’re up to your neck and it feels like you can’t stay afloat, it’s your tribe that helps you find a way to tread water and keep your head up.
You see, just when you think you’ve got this mommy thing figured out, something pops up and sends you scrambling for information and advice. Whether you’re a new mom or are about to send your little one to college, there’s always a new challenge. And that’s where your tribe comes in, helping you navigate everything from potty training and daycare to the sex talk (which is happening at a WAY younger age than it was when I was kid!).
So when those things come up and you’re not sure where to turn, you turn to your tribe. And there’s no one you want in your corner more than other moms—we love fiercely and we’ll have your back, no matter what. That’s what we do. We love through tears, snot, any number of random bodily fluids, tantrums, and screaming—and that’s just from us, that doesn’t include what we endure from our children. We love stronger and more deeply every day, even when we’re not sure what we’re doing. We love unconditionally, putting every bit of our heart on the line when it comes to our children and the people we care about. That makes the mom tribe a great place to call home.
Think you don’t have a tribe? Think again. My tribe is bigger than you think, and I bet yours is, too.
My tribe starts close to home: lovely fellow moms who share bonds of geography. We all live close to each other but stay in touch online and meet for play dates or outings when we can, even though our children range in age from infancy to teens. And when one of us needs something, the tribe never fails to step in, even if that simply means a caring Facebook message.
But my tribe isn’t just moms. It’s family, people I’ve known so long and who know so much about me they might as well be family, old friends, and new ones. It’s single friends who understand that my schedule may not match theirs, but who get together when our schedules allow and gossip and laugh, reminding me of my pre-mommy “me.” It’s younger friends who share stories of their escapades so I can shake my head and be grateful that I’ve seen so many calendars come and go, and older friends who share their experience and wisdom. It’s people who never fail to make me laugh or inspire me. It’s people who remind me of the days behind me and urge me on to the days ahead.
My tribe includes friends I rarely see in person, but with whom I connect through social media or text, erasing our physical distance. It’s military spouses around the world, the crew I’m forever bonded to thanks to my husband’s military service, and one of the toughest, fiercest, and most amazing groups of women you’ll ever meet. And they never fail to protect their own.
And of course, my crew includes my fellow bloggers, the women who share their insights and perspectives daily, giving us all a peek into their worlds and challenges. Each of these strong, beautiful, wise souls are willing to open their lives to the scrutiny of the online world, baring their hearts to help us all as we walk the mommy walk.
And my tribe includes you. By reading what we put out there, commenting and sharing, adding your perspective, and sharing information with us, you play a role in helping me tackle the challenges and celebrate the successes of motherhood. And for that, you each deserve smooches, too.
So in this month of hearts and mush, flowers and romance, I unashamedly declare my love for the tribe who never fails to love me, warts and all. While you can’t see it, I’m doing my best “Say Anything” Lloyd Dobler impression, boombox high in the sky as “In Your Eyes” plays. (And if you’re too young to get that reference, I love you anyway because you’re part of my tribe!)