Finding a support network is hard. And I mean a supportive network of people, not a clique! Many new mamas come together purely through their babies being of a similar age, and needing to get out the house/see another adult face. Which is great in the beginning – although lasting friendships can be made this way, it’s often quite difficult if the only thing you have in common is you had unprotected sex at a similar time!
Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of judgement and competitiveness flying around – in which case you can go to groups, meetings and hangouts but come back feeling pretty deflated, misunderstood and like you’re doing everything wrong. Which obviously, is not what you need at a time of rollercoaster hormones, lack of sleep and probably not masses of self-confidence.
You need a likeminded, supportive tribe.
This might not be able to be something that you can find locally. It also might not be limited to one particular group of people. You might also feel like you’re never going to find them!
So, if you’re feeling a bit lost-in-a-group, isolated or just a general feeling of needing to find your tribe, here are a few ideas:
- Online Groups – There are Facebook Groups and online forums for pretty much every interest/demographic going, so try doing a few searches and seeing what comes up (and whilst you’re on Facebook, why not join our Multipassionate Mamas group?!)
- Local groups based on an activity – For me these involve a bit of travelling to larger towns in the surrounding area; but joining something you’re interested in (like a breastfeeding support group, baby massage group or walking group) means you’ve already got something in common other than having kids and you’re actually doing something practical, which takes away a bit of the awkward-small-talk element.
- Women’s circles – there’s various setups for these; some are more spiritual-based, and some may be again more around a shared activity. These can be a great place to connect with women of more differing ages, so can be a wonderful space to find additional wisdom and compassion.
- Business networking – Ok so maybe taking the baby to an 8.30 BNI meeting full of men in suits ain’t gonna fly; but there are plenty of groups popping up which are designed for women in business and are child-friendly. Or you could arrange childcare and just go Adult for a bit.
- Coaching – It may be that you have practical support like childcare for example, but you need more support and accountability in other areas like your business. This could be online or face-to-face, in a group or 1-1. Whichever way works for you and your circumstances, coaching can be a really beneficial (and not necessarily expensive!) way of getting support to move towards your goals and a more objective viewpoint on things.