I know I talk a lot about it, but being a mom is a part of my identity now. That’s not a bad thing, it can have bad connotations, but it’s honestly a part of who I am and always will be from now on [you just sounded like our mom]. The people I think of first are my two little ones, and they are the things I am most proud of.
I’ve been and (think) I’ll always be career driven, it’s also a part of my identity. I enjoy the work I do along with the responsibility and stress that comes with it. I got the promotion I had been waiting for, a real milestone in my career, the same month I found out I was pregnant with my oldest. Fast forward a year and a half, I found out I was pregnant with my second and accepted a new job that same week… telling them that I was going to need to be out on maternity leave soon after starting. [Maybe you should get pregnant again and you’ll get a raise!]
At that moment I was nervous – I felt guilty – doesn’t that sound nuts? [yes.] I felt guilty for having to tell them I’d take time off to be with my child once she was born. Little did I know that the call to tell them I was accepting and expecting was one of the most supportive moments I’ve experienced in life. I was greeted with enthusiasm and what I could tell was honest happiness. She was another young mother who also had accepted her role at the company while expecting her first, and she was nothing but supportive and happy that I would be joining the team.
It was a moment of motherhood solidarity, us looking out for one another when frankly we didn’t know anything about each other. Something pretty cool I didn’t know would turn into something I can’t live without today, the concept of mom friends and allies.
Finding the Right match
On any form of social media you’ll find hundreds of mom groups, all with niches. This is because those who can relate to one another on levels other than motherhood tend to feel more safe in sharing. It’s a real thing.
I’ve been really lucky to have some exceptional girlfriends in life, and as we all became and are becoming mothers, conversations changed and our text groups were the safe space we needed. Texting at 3am was no longer because we were out too late eating a slice of 99 cent pizza [still my phase of life], but it was because we were feeding little humans and dealing with poopy diapers. They become your cheerleaders, your Google when you’re too afraid to actually Google, or just a place to vent. They’ve known me through all walks of life and can help me navigate tough times keeping in mind how I am as a human. These groups are family, they are like sisters. [hey now…]
For me, finding a group of working mothers was also important. Being able to hear how others manage going back to work, dealing with kids and meetings, and juggling all the things… and I mean ALL the things. It is important to find a group of moms, ideally with kids similar ages to yours, that you can relate to. You can find these groups through Facebook or honestly just at the park. Take your kid to a park and you’ll find other mothers with their kids, strike up a conversation and before you know it you’ve made friends for your kids, and for you. [does this strategy work for adults? find me at the park this weekend] These groups are local lifelines, as the relationships grow they become the people you spend a lot of your time with in the neighborhood and can lean on for help in a pinch.
It may seem silly but following certain accounts on social media can provide guidance for me. I like a mix of education, mom support, and a good meme from time to time. [my whole feed is memes] Here are some of my picks:
Modern Mom Probs: it gives me a little of everything, a laugh plus a sprinkle of empowerment.
Scary Mommy: if you want a relatable joke and a good laugh, follow.
Parents: a good parent guide and more focused topic source.
Mombrain Therapist: strategies on how to manage ourselves as we parent.
Positive energy is a vital one, you are a product of what you surround yourself with. And that includes energy. You want positive, happy, supportive energy around you. People who will lift you up, listen to you complain, and tell you that you’re doing a great job. Sometimes we just need a little pat on the back. [PREACH!!]
You’re doing great mama 🙂