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To the Lonely Mom: Form a Virtual Tribe to Get You Through

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Being a mom can be lonely.  Have you ever considered yourself a lonely mom? I’m sure some will wonder how I could make such a statement when moms are rarely even alone in the restroom, but it’s true! 

When I became a mom I dropped a lot of the habits that weren’t serving me well. I also quit my career as a die-hard teacher and became a SAHM.  In addition, I battled postpartum depression and questioned every parenting decision I made.  I lived with so much fear.  We relocated to a new town when my firstborn was 2 months old, only to relocate again 2 years later after we had a second child.  I felt like I was constantly starting from scratch with my identity. Back then, I didn’t know what most of the issue was, but I know now.  I was a lonely mom.

This isn’t a pity party.  It’s a celebration.  It was a good thing.  Before kids, I had one foot on each side of the line.  Now, I needed to be intentional about being the person I wanted my kids to be. But I found myself feeling like an introverted, older, lonely mom hoping a new bestie would miraculously appear and ring my doorbell. 

Sometimes we have to be in the dark for a while to truly appreciate the light.

Maybe you miss the woman you were before you had kids.  That’s really hard too.  There are tons of valid reasons moms are lonely!

I had 2 family members I was close with that I could talk mom stuff with. I counted on their texts and our sporadic phone calls. Every once in a while I heard from one of my ex-teacher friends.  I coveted those who tried to stay in touch and jabbered until their eyes glazed over! 

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Law of Averages

I yearned for a mom tribe.  I had heard of groups of girlfriends who got together.  They laughed together.  Cried together. Shared almost everything without worrying about being judged.  I wondered what was wrong with me that I didn’t have this.

At the time, I was following Sacha Sterling online.  She often repeated Jim Rohn’s famous suggestion on the law of averages.  We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.  We are greatly influenced by our environment including the people in it.  They impact our thinking, our self-esteem, our beliefs, behavior, and decisions more than we probably realize.

As a personal development fanatic, this got my attention!  I want to be the best mom I can be, and I want to be around a group of people who bring out the best in me and vice versa.  My outings included church, HEB, the library, the park, and milestone pediatrician visits.  Kids in tow.  Meeting time limited.

In Search of My People

I began to pray that God would put the right people in my life.  Practically begging, I asked him to put people in my life that he wanted me to be the average of.    I prayed and I waited.  Again, I prayed some more and I waited some more.  Crickets.

I never was the type to hang in large crowds or felt the need to have a long list of friends.  I prefer depth over breadth.  Loyalty, vulnerability, and realness are 3 characteristics I look for in a friend, so each time I would meet someone I would wonder if she was going to be part of my new tribe.  Nope! Nada! None that I met seemed like keeper material.

My own little motto became:  Sisterseeker looking for a keeper!

In the meantime, while I was waiting for God to automagically drop these people into my life, I took some advice my husband had been offering up for years.  I began listening to books and podcasts.  Now, I do this every chance I get.  I listen while I get ready in the morning, while I drive, cook, bathe, take walks, and any other free time. 

One day it dawned on me.  I had my new tribe.  No, they were not face-to-face friends, but they were the people I was spending the most time with.  Just like in real life, I know right away if these people are bestie quality from the first listen I give them.  I even noticed that the same people kept showing up in the same cyberspaces as me, so it felt meant to be.

It didn’t take me long to realize this was a smarter way to be online than on the social platforms.  It’s really hard not to fall into the comparison trap there!

As a result, many characteristics about me began to transform.  To the best of my memory, I have had more personal growth than any other period in my life.

Brene Brown

While listening to the book, Daring Greatly, my friend, Brene Brown taught me perfectionism is self-destructive simply because perfection doesn’t exist.  This was such an aha moment for me, and it has changed my life. 

Before meeting Brene, I was really proud of being a perfectionist. Not long after meeting her, I realized how much perfection hindered me, and I needed to say, “So long perfectionism.  You’ve been an exhausting friend to keep. I’m WORN OUT!” 

Sean Croxton

The first podcast friend I hit it off with was Sean Croxton host of Quote of the Day.  We have coffee together every weekday morning while I apply my makeup.  He always brings an inspirational guest that gets me pumped and ready to face the day.  They consistently remind me to have a positive mindset, make space for what I ask for, and I appreciate that they make such a huge impact on my life in only 5-10 minutes a morning. Now I follow some of his friend’s podcasts too.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah starred on Sean Croxton’s Quote of the Day Podcast, and she invited me over to her podcast, Super Soul Sunday.  I had known Oprah in college, but for whatever reason, we lost touch.  Now in her backyard instead of on the stage, I reunited with some of our old friends and was introduced to others. I get inspiration, wisdom, and motivation from her interviews with people such as Brene Brown, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Shefali Tsabary.

These meetings inspired personal growth, perseverance, and a renewed awareness that the dreams I had weren’t going to come true overnight.  They are going to come true alright, but it’s going to be because of consistency and drive. Not luck.  The meetings are no more than 30 minutes.  Again, I appreciate the amount of knowledge I gain in such a short amount of time.  I don’t have a lot to give.

Rachel Hollis

After several recommendations to read Girl Wash Your Face and Rachel’s quotes showing up in many of my newsfeeds, I started to notice that we had a ton in common and both had hearts for women and adoption. 

Eventually, I listened to the Girl Wash Your Face audiobook in every single spare moment I had.  I learned not to believe the lies that have held me back. In addition, I found out that Rachel was coming to theaters.  I bought tickets and went to the Rise event. The event surpassed my expectations, and I have been crushing goals since that day.

After I finished the book, it didn’t take but a couple of days, and I really missed Rachel.  Rachel mentioned her podcast at the live Rise event. When I got time, I subscribed to it.

This podcast has made a fabulous impact on my life.  Rachel has taught me to embrace chaos, someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business, and she keeps reminding me that I was made for more.  I appreciate her bluntness more than anything.  She is the real deal!

The most important thing Rachel has done for me is to introduce me to the Founder of the Noonday Collection, Jessica Honegger. I am now a proud Noonday Collection ambassador.  Coincidentally, Rachel recently moved to Texas and is holding her live events a couple of hours from where I live.

Ruth Soukup

The last friend I’m going to mention is Ruth Soukup.  I joined Ruth’s Elite Blog Academy.  Later, Ruth started a podcast, Do It Scared.  I have been with her since day 1. Ruth and those that she has brought on to interview have shared so much knowledge. They share how they beat the odds, and I find them so inspiring.

Above all, Ruth teaches that “courage doesn’t mean we are never afraid. Instead, courage is being scared but taking action anyway, despite our fear. It is putting one foot in front of the other, even when we’re not quite sure where the path will lead us.”

Click to Get Your 25 Positive Mama Mantras to Get You Through

My Appreciation for Podcasts and Audiobooks

Thanks to my new evolving tribe I am more confident than ever.  In forty-plus years of living, I feel like I am just now gaining my stride. I have set clear goals, stepped out of my comfort zone time and time again, overcome obstacles and victimhood and dared to dream big.

The tribe changes as my vision and mission and parenting progress, but there is no shortage of friends in this space. This is one of the parts that I love because I can switch podcasts, and I don’t have any guilt.  I’ve had real-life friendships that lasted way over their expiration date because neither of us wanted to admit things were over.  Not the case with my new tribe!

Being with children all day is a blast, but at times I long to interact with an adult.  For me, podcasts and audiobooks give me what I need and challenge my thinking. Not that my kids don’t!

Why I Suggest Podcasts and Audiobooks

I am continuously reading study after study that confirms more people are more lonely than ever before in history. SADNESS! We are created to be in real face-to-face, skin-to-skin relationships. To go long periods of time without is unhealthy.

But if you find yourself in a season with a lack of friends, if you find yourself in need of a tribe of people who you admire and want to be like, people who are worth your precious time, you find yourself as a lonely mom, then I encourage you to create a virtual tribe that meets your needs until you meet your real life tribe. 

You can find every personality type that you need to include in your tribe in the virtual world.  Any type of coach, religious leader, athlete, entrepreneur, therapist, exercise and health expert, you name, you’ll find it.  The amount of information these experts offer is amazing.  They all have come to the realization that you can only have as much as you give.  They know there is plenty of room at the table, and their generosity is endless.

Dear Lonely Mom:  It Gets Better

Chances are you’re not going to need the same Podcasts in your library as me, but I wanted to share just how much a podcast offers.  There are probably 20 others I have in my library.  I do encourage you to start your own podcasts library and begin your virtual tribe so you can reap whatever benefits are waiting for you.

Meanwhile, I am happy to announce that I now have more than 5 real-life friends as a consequence of stepping out of my comfort zone. All of the above gave me the imperfect courage to do so.  My prayer was answered in a way that was better than my dreams!

When I became a mom and started this blog, This -N- That Parenting, I had no idea where the journey would lead.  In this short time, it has been an awesome ride thanks to my real and virtual tribe.  As you can see, getting the right 5 people in my life has 20x’ed the answer I was looking for in my original prayer.  My conscious effort and intentionality in surrounding myself with people who are what I want to become have put me on the path to my definition of success.

Call to Action

Mom.  You don’t have to be lonely. Find yourself a few virtual friends while you’re waiting on your Mom Tribe to conglomerate.  Get them in your inbox, in your podcasts library, and in your audiobook list.  Make sure they are people who are beneficial to your mental health.

And before I go, I want you to know I’d be glad to call you friend! I bet you don’t hear it often enough, but you are an awesome mom.  There is no one size fits all to this mom gig, and I know you have a lot to offer other moms.  There are moms out there waiting to find you and need exactly what you have to offer. Don’t give up.  With intentionality, you’ll find the tribe that can give you the hugs your virtual friends can’t!

Share your favourite podcasts in the comments.

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