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Find Your Mum Tribe
Lifestyle Lifestyle
Find Your Mum Tribe
August 9, 2018
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Lifestyle Lifestyle
Find Your Mum Tribe
August 9, 2018
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Navigating motherhood is hard enough with a new baby, especially your first. Throw in long days of solitary confinement with a mini dictator, born with refined torture skills, and you’ll quickly see the benefit of a strong support network. When we first fell pregnant, my sister-in-law told me that my friends would be my lifeline. I knew that, my friends had gotten me through bad break ups, good break ups, excessive hangovers and the like; there was no better group skilled in the art of sleep deprivation and extreme lows than my friends. But no, apparently these friends would be different, they would be new mums.

Finding your so-called ‘mum tribe’ can be a minefield. A year after my daughter was born, the boom for mothers’ meetings and mums connecting on Instagram was just kicking off. The Valencia filter was rife and we could escape into each other’s digital escapades with a sense of relatability. No judgement. Conversations started in the comments section and maybe, if you were lucky and felt a spark of a connection, moved to direct messages. This was internet dating for new mums and we were living for the opportunities to meet anyone with similar interests, albeit with a kid or two in tow. Digital connections became real-life friendships as meetings were made ‘IRL’ and all of a sudden, this mum thing didn’t seem so daunting. Initially most of my mum meetings were made in groups, whether it was to an exhibition we’d all been wanting to see or a karaoke night, there was safety in numbers, so a plan would be hatched to all meet offline. From that point little offshoots would form, individual friendships would blossom. Or in the case of one of my (now) closest friends, we bonded on Instagram via a shared commentary on our husband’s insults of our outfits. That then moved to DMs and a while later WhatsApp before we met one-to-one with the kids. She’s in Wales, I’m in London but not a day doesn’t go by where we don’t speak.

“Surround yourself with women who only make you feel good about yourself, your choices and your questionable parenting skills in those early days.”

Fast forward many years and my digital pen pals can now be found all across the country, from Glasgow to Brighton via Norwich and Wales. I count these women amongst my closest friends, we’ve collaborated together on work, we’ve holidayed together and most importantly, our families have met and actually appear to like each other.

On the surface, the obvious playground rules still seem to apply online; the ‘popular’ mums only reply to each other, the ‘emo’ mums look effortlessly cool dressed head to toe in black and the sporty mums spend all weekend hiking with their babies strapped to their backs. But the reality is, if you’re prepared to invest the time and effort to go past the distorted reality these little squares project, you’ll find your friendship circle widened and diversified beyond anything you ever thought possible…

If I can give you one piece of advice to building that digital bridge it is this: be yourself. If there’s to be any hope in creating a real life friendship, your comments and ‘DMs’ need to be no different to what you’d say if you were standing in front of that person. Regardless of which route you follow to find your mum crew, make sure you take time to cultivate and curate those friendships; surround yourself with women who only make you feel good about yourself, your choices and your questionable parenting skills in those early days.

Bianca Presto
@heybpresto
PR Director, mother, part-time magician/ ballerina/ shopkeeper/ puppet master
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