I’m so excited to welcome Amy Rasdal of Billable with Baby as my very first guest poster! Amy is a mom of two kids and a successful business consultant. She started Billable with Baby to help other moms take control of their careers and still be a wonderful mom and wife.
Amy’s post is all about finding your mom tribe as an introvert. I totally relate to everything Amy mentions and hope it resonates with you as well.
The Power of Like-Minded People Even for Introvert Moms
In my early years of being a mom, I had a hard time figuring out where I belonged. When my daughter was about a year old, I joined a play group. We loved playing with other moms and same-age babies, but I was the only mom in the group who worked. We could talk about pureed peas and potty-training for days but what about that crazy client or missed project deadline? And let me tell you I was green with envy as they skipped off to the beach while I trudged back home to work while the baby napped.
I left the corporate world and started my own consulting business before the babies came. Most of my clients are corporate so the work is the same, but I have complete control over when and where I work. I can relate to the moms working 9-to-5, but it’s not the same as packing the babies off to day care and heading to the office all day.
I work full time and I mom full time, so I felt stranded between these two worlds. The first few years with a new baby can be lonely and I was struggling to find my tribe.Looking for your working mama tribe? Check out these helpful tips via Amy from @BillableBaby #workingmom #momlife Click To Tweet
Motherhood Can be a Lonely Path
Isn’t bringing home that first baby one of the scariest things you’ve ever done? You can’t quite believe they are going to let you walk out that hospital door with this brand new, tiny, precious human. You avoid the freeway and take side streets all the way home. You barely use the brakes because you never get out of first gear.
Our daughter was born in the Fall of one of those terrible flu season years. We were afraid to take her anywhere. I thought my friend was crazy when she told me we would buy Purell by the gallon, but we went through that stuff like water the first year. We didn’t have any family around and most of our friends had their kids several years earlier. It was isolating.
Working Motherhood Can be Even More Challenging
We’re expected to show up at work in our full professional persona, whether-or-not the baby was up all-night teething. We’re too busy downplaying our family life to find a mama tribe at work. If we’re lucky, we find one or two other women with small children, but odds are we don’t say much for fear of negatively impacting our career trajectory. It would be great to connect with other working mothers outside the office, but it’s so hard to carve out the time and how would you find them anyhow?
Like-Minded People Give Us Advice and Support
They are our cheerleaders.
They keep us honest.
They lift us up and themselves too in the process.
As an introvert, I tend to think I can do it all on my own. But sharing the burdens, fears and joys of motherhood makes the experience so much richer. You need that reassurance that your struggles are normal. The people who understand what you’re going through because they are going through it too.
The Health Benefits of Female Friends
Research has long shown that friendship is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Having a social network can lengthen your lifespan, help you stay slim, and keep your brain healthy as you get older.
It Takes a Village
It Takes a Village is a book written by Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was First Lady. She focuses on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have on children. Our modern lives are often disconnected so our children benefit from the villages we create for them.
Even Introverts Can Find Their Mama Tribe
I lean toward the introvert side. I need time alone to recharge. Luckily, it’s hip right now to identify as an introvert. In truth, I’m not comfortable when thrown into a large group social setting. It takes a lot of energy for me to build relationships in this way. I’m better one-on-one or in small groups. It was a challenge for me to find like-minded moms.
When my daughter was two or three, I came across a mom who started a professional parents group. Dads were welcome, but it ended up being all moms. All of us had children under five and either were or had been professional corporate employees. Finally, I found some moms who seemed more like me. It was so interesting to hear from the corporate moms who were working and wished they could stay home. And the stay-at-home moms who would rather be working. The grass is always greener syndrome was alive and well. This was the first time in my life that I was mature enough to appreciate the power of like-minded people. The group lasted a few years and then faded away. I’m still friends with many of the moms I met in that group. Most of us have kids heading into high school by now.
You too can find your Mama Tribe both in person and online. If a group seems overwhelming, start by trying to find one or two mommy friends. Your child can be a wonderful ice-breaker. Luckily it is now okay to admit you are an introvert. Sometimes saying it can break the ice and a nice extrovert will swoop in and take you under their wing. Here are some ideas:
Look for local parent groups. Start by searching online for “Your Town Parent Groups” and “Your Town Mom Groups” or “You Town Working Mom Groups”. You should come up with a wide range of options depending on the size of your town. Choose a couple that sound good and give them a try.
Facebook is another good place to look. Some Facebook groups are strictly online but local groups sometimes have in person gatherings as well. Meetup.com is also good to look for local groups.
Fitness classes such as Stroller Strides or Mommy & Me Yoga or other Mommy & Me activities are also good places to meet like-minded moms.
If you’re feeling more ambitious you can start your own group either in the community or at work. This gives you maximum opportunity to attract moms who are most like you but will take more time and effort.
Never underestimate the power of like-minded people. Working with a new baby is easier when you’re surrounded by other mothers doing the same thing.
Founder at Billable with Baby®
I am a working Mom of two kids, ages 14 and 4. I have been a successful consultant for 15 years and I love it! Now I want to help you be Billable with Baby®. Join our free Billable with Baby® Community! We are a group of ambitious mothers starting and running successful consulting businesses. We empower working mothers to have meaningful careers with the flexibility to raise their children the way they wish.