Hello Inter-web friends! I am so excited to be coming to you from a newly repaired (and upgraded), computer. This has nothing to do with the following blog post, but I can’t contain myself long enough not to mention it. One word; RELIEF. Any-hoo, let’s get to the real reason we are gathered here today–to discuss the importance of ‘The Mama Wolfpack’! (I felt this was exclamation-point-worthy, and if you choose to read on, you will see why.)
What is this ‘Mama Wolfpack’ I speak of, you ask? Aside from my hubby, it is quite possibly the most important facet to my sanity, as it pertains to parenting. My Mama Wolfpack is pretty much a third-party co-parent. Let me break it down for you:
1. A group of women who have children, and spend valuable time together
2. A group of moms who frequent the park (or other recreational places) together, while simultaneously discussing important life-matters.
3. A group of mothers who support and encourage one another, never passing judgment and only seeking to lift each other up. (Same ideals and opinions regarding ‘hot-button’ topics, are not necessary due to lack of judgment.)
4. A group of women who gather together with their children, and discuss how to be better wives and partners, through sharing their personal experiences with each other.
5. A group of mothers who speak candidly and without censorship with each other, about their struggles with motherhood and marriage. A group therapy session, for all intensive purposes.
6. A group or gathering of moms who act as a network of support, (near and far), to help one another navigate through motherhood and marriage.
7. A group of mothers who will respond to text messages in the middle of the night, or wee hours of the morning.
8. A group of mothers who love each others children as if they were their own; a ‘village’ of moms.
Now that I have clarified what a Mama Wolfpack is, let’s discuss the importance of it, (as if we even needed to at this point).
The Mama Wolfpack is (in my opinion), vital to the sanity of a new mama. My belief is that once a woman chooses to house a tiny human in her belly for 9, (let’s be honest, 10) months, she is a mother. Granted when the baby arrives, things change and things get ‘real’, for lack of better word. But regardless, I believe that it is important to start looking for your wolfpack during pregnancy.
- As a human, but more importantly in this scenario as a mother, having people to relate to is a literal life-saver. From the onset of pregnancy, your body and mind change almost immediately. Hormones are real. Long stretches of sleep are a distant memory. Sneezing without peeing is nearly impossible, (see; ‘sniss’). You will want to have people to relate to; trust me. And this is a theme that will carry you all the way through motherhood (or at least until your child is 3 and 1/2 years old and counting).
- All moms and parents deserve a safe-haven. With all of the finite opinions out there regarding vaccination, breastfeeding, sleep-training, diapering methods, organic vs. non organic, co-sleeping and so on, you need a safe-place. Let’s take vaccinating for example, since it is the current Facebook-war topic. In my Mama Wolfpack, we have moms who choose to not vaccinate at all, moms who go ‘by the book’ and everything in between. We all respect each others choices, and I have yet to hear an argument over the subject-matter. Sounds nice, right?
- Still not sold? Let’s talk marriage and relationships. Most people put their best foot forward in public, and especially on social media. Marriages, relationships and families can often come off as looking ‘perfect’ via little square photos. On a rough day for a new mama surfing Instagram during nap time, this can create a downward spiral of unrealistic expectations. Having a network of other mamas who are willing to be open and honest about their marital and parenting struggles, (trust me everyone has them), not only softens the blow, but helps to make you realize that you are completely normal.
So how do you find your Mama Wolfpack?
After I became pregnant, I thought I had to be friends with every other pregnant person or new mom. This wasn’t a conscious thought, but it didn’t occur to me that I could be selective. What happened was, I found myself surrounded by ‘default’ mama-friends. This wasn’t completely a bad thing, but I also didn’t feel empowered because I hadn’t given myself a choice in the matter. I found myself surrounded by some personalities that didn’t necessarily ‘work’ for me. So I made a conscious decision to surround myself only with those that felt loving and uplifting, and in turn began working on being that same kind of friend.
What I am saying is, find people that feel good to be around. To me this is much more important than having the exact same parenting style as someone. Your Mama Wolfpack may only include one or two other mamas, or it may be like mine, extending to other states, internet friends and support groups, family and so on.
I hope this post has been helpful or at the very least, relatable. I would love to know about your Mama Wolfpack, why you think having one is so very important or anything else you would like to share on the topic matter. Join the party, in the comments below.