My MomTribe: The Friends I Never Knew I Needed

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Guest post by: Dr. Marcy Crouch

When BCB asked me to write about my experiences with making “mom friends” I jumped at the chance. Cuzzzz lemme tell ya, I’m so awkward and socially weird in real life, I NEVER thought I would be welcomed with open arms into my MomTribes. Yes, plural. And if I was able to find these women who are literal Angels walking this earth, who have lifted me up in the lowest times, cried with me, came running to my house to help me in crises, flown across states so we can all be together, and have loved my children as if they are their own, YOU CAN TOO.

Here’s how it started…

In sunny Portland, OR, I birthed my children. We moved there for my husband’s job, in 2014 BC (before children) and I didn’t know one-single-person. After years of IVF and losses and heartache in CA, we started anew once we moved and were settled. So I was in a new city, had a new job, was going through IVF, had no friends or family close by, and my husband travelled A LOT for his job. I was working at a major hospital there, doing pelvic floor PT, and there was a new mom’s group that met in a conference room a few doors down from my office. I spoke there regularly as a professional, discussing all things vagina and post partum recovery to the bleary-eyed new mothers. After I delivered my first son in 2015, my OBGYN, who also worked there, very matter of factly announced at my 2 week check up that I would be going to the group. She basically said “And you’re going to the new mom’s group.” It wasn’t a question. The thought of going there didn’t even cross my mind, despite the fact that I had been in there at least 20 times as a professional.

Sleep deprivation y’all. It’s real.

So in I went at 6 weeks. It was the best thing I ever did as a new mom. Not only did it give me a scheduled outing every Wednesday with the baby, but I met the most wonderful group of women there. And to this day, 4 years later, we still are a family. I needed to find friends that didn’t know me from work, who had kids the same age as me, who didn’t know ANYTHING about babies, and who were going through the same stuff I was. Sleepless nights, bottles and achy boobs, going back to work, traveling partners, etc. There was a group of 6-7 of us that became very close and we ended up continuing after the group to do book club, wine nights, play dates, outings, and weekend trips to the coast. They even flew down to see me for a long weekend in Palm Springs last fall. Our group text messages are hilarious, and we have gone through it all together. New babies, passing of family members, new jobs, medical emergencies, unruly toddlers, partner frustrations, all of the things that happens in life as we move forward through it.

When I was pregnant with my second, I had an emergency around 17 weeks. I needed to rush to the hospital but my husband was working and my toddler was napping, and I was alone, terrified. One of my mom friends dropped everything she was doing (Mom of 2 at the time), came over, scooped my son up and took him to her house until we were out of the hospital, no questions asked, no hesitation. I didn’t have to worry about him, and he was a part of her family for the day, even napping on her husband as they watched TV.

When my husband abruptly got a new job out of state when I had an 8 month old and an almost 2 year old, I had to sell our house, pack, finish up at work, try not to lose my mind, find a living situation back in CA from Portland, and run my household on no sleep with a fussy baby, these ladies came over late at night with pizza and wine and helped me pack my house and the garage. I cried and cried and cried and said I was afraid I’d never find friends like these again. I was so sad to leave them, and I miss being close to them to this day.

Moving back CA was also super nerve wracking for me, even though I grew up in Los Angeles and would be close to family. But meeting adult women friends is HARD, especially when you are working and have 2 kids and also have to have a healthy marriage and business and run a household. I was so afraid I’d be alone again, with no one to cry to or text or grab coffee and a play date with when the kids are being maniacs.

BUT. I was wrong. Enter MamaTribe #2. My Portland moms group was my saving grace the first time around, and this time it was my son’s preschool. I picked a small Montessori school for him, in the neighborhood, and I have met the BEST parents there, and some of those mamas I’ve gotten super close with over the last year. The kids are older now, so we aren’t crying over nursing every 2 hours and bleeding nipples, but what we lean on each other for is just as hard.

Toddlers, teaching our older kids how to grow up, juggling school drop off and pick up with work and schedules,injuries and urgent care visits, sick kids needing to be picked up from school, forgetting snack day at school or pajama day or crazy hair day, and helping pull off last minute birthday celebrations. We do wine night when we can, we share podcasts and laughs, support each other with work and small business growth, text when we are the grocery store to see if anyone needs anything, we do play dates and weekend sleepovers, and supervise big kid play time. Also known as SisterWiving. We SisterWife so hard.

Being a business owner and mama bear has its challenges. For sure. There are nights that I am up late, I feel like I am constantly behind, something is suffering (usually it’s my personal time, and also the house and laundry), and I have all the mom guilt about working and not being with the kids as well as the guilt when I’m with the kids and doing household crap and not working on the business. Enter in MomTribe group #3. These ladies I have met during work functions, as most of them are also working in the same space: helping pregnant and new mamas navigate this time period. These bad-ass women are crushing it at life, motherhood, and running their businesses. They know what it’s like to juggle it all, and we all respect each other both from a collegial standpoint and a mama bear standpoint. We bounce business ideas off of each other, learn from one another, and support one other in the community. As well as text and cry and complain about how hard it is, duh. But there’s something special about a mama who just GETS you, whether you work outside the home or not. One text or GIF is all it takes sometimes to get an immediate and perfect response.

I have been so so fortunate and lucky to have come across these amazing, strong, inspiring, funny, beautiful, and kind women. We’ve got each others backs, and the bond of mothers together is not something that you can break easily. When you find your people, hold on to them. I know mine will be around for a long time, and I can’t wait to show our high schoolers pics of them with their baby-friends at our moms groups, 18 years ago. And of course point out how cool we were back then with our yoga pants, messy buns, eye bags, cold coffee, and filthy cars. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Cheers to your MomTribe, may you find them, love them, hold onto them tight, and love their children like your own. Godspeed through this journey that is Motherhood, and I hope you find your people. These women have saved me and I will love them for a long long time.

 

Marcy Crouch, The Down There Doc, is a PT, DPT, CLT, WCS at Restorative Pelvic Physical Therapy in Los Angeles and is one of our favorite, LA-moms. Marcy is a hilarious mom of 2 boys who has a passion for women’s health and whose first-hand expertise of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period helps shape her ability to relate to other women in similar circumstances.  You can read more about her #momlife story in her BCB Mom IRL feature and you can check out her free webinar replay on Pelvic Floor Recovery After Birth: The Truth About Kegels, Sex, and everything Down There here.

 

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