I really never thought past being pregnant. I wanted to be pregnant and give birth since I was a ‘tween. Thankfully, I waited until I found a loving partner and had a reasonable head on my shoulders before it actually happened.
Around 7 months pregnant, I started to realize that I was going to be a mother. I wasn’t going to carry around this adorable fetus that I loved to feel move around and talk to forever. He was going to come out and need things.
It’s subtle at first, the mama bond. I remember going to my first group and thinking, “That was okay.” I was already in love with Kim Durdin, and the rest of the group experience felt…fine. I went back again. And again. It became the big outing of the week for me and newborn Ian. I remember a seminal moment when a new mom I hadn’t met before found the group (she had not birthed with The Sanctuary-which is totally not required, by the by). She and her son had experienced a traumatic birth, and the whole room was crying as she shared her story. The mama-baby-birth glue had dried and sealed. We are friends to this day.
After new mom’s group was over for me (you kind of get gently kicked out once your babe starts crawling-I was in denial for quite some time), I was super blessed to find out that another Sanctuary mama had taken it upon herself to begin a toddler’s group in her home. Ian was by far the youngest, and at first we were both overwhelmed, but there was that mama glue again. I loved these women right away. We talked poop and tantrums and recipes and complained about partners and dreamed about our futures. Recently, I got the honor of being a doula for one of the mamas, and in the last month, we’ve welcomed four new babies into our circle (and another is on his way!).
Because of all the new additions, our weekly group is not currently happening, but we do meet quite often in one of the mama’s lovely backyard. Everyone brings a dish, sometimes cocktails (!), and every once in a while, we make the kids stay home so we can have an unbroken conversation. It’s magical.
Motherhood has introduced me to a whole new kind of friendship. I don’t talk to these women much on the phone. We don’t go to the movies or go away for girl’s weekends (although-HELLO that would be crazy amazing). But I know they’re there. I know they will show up for me as a mother who needs mothers. I never would have known this existed had I not had a baby. What an amazing bonus.
My wish for every new mom is to find your tribe. I promise they are out there waiting to greet you with open arms, some Kleenex, and a gluten-free cookie.