Mother's Day is this weekend. Maybe you are a mama, or perhaps you have a mama, or maybe you just have some kick ass ladies in your world.
I have several women in my life that have helped shaped my world as a child and into adulthood...starting with my mother, my Nana (my grandmother), my Mema (my other grandmother), my stepmom, my aunts, church ladies, neighbors, friends, and various other family members. The truth is we are always being influenced and growing as we age...I learn things about being a better mom, wife, friend, and just being a better human every day from all sorts of people...especially some amazing women.
Mother's Day (and Father's Day) can be hard for people because maybe they had some pretty crappy mothers (or fathers) or their mom (or dad) is dead or gone for some reason. I get it. I did not grow up in a world that it was all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. My mom is one of my besties...I talk to her all day every day on the phone...we live 8 minutes away from each other...she means the world to me. However, our life has been hard. It doesn't take away from how I feel about her or what a great mom she is, but when I get to see her with my kids without all the drama we had when I was young it makes my heart sing for them.
Before my son was born I thought we were going to call my mom "Yogi" and my little sister "Boo Boo"...we thought it was funny. I even made my mom an embroidred bag with "Yogi" on it. Well, Boo Boo stuck and our boy decided to call my mom "Nana." I wasn't having it. I had a Nana that helped raise me and as far as I am concerned was one of the most perfect people to ever grace this world. My mom is great and all, but she is no Nana. Well, she is their Nana. And while I didn't want her to have the name, our boy knew what he was doing.
I think it is so interesting what we call people. In the South our grandparents are not "normal" names (mine are Nana, Papaw, Mema, and Popaw). For my husband's family everyone is just "Grandma" and "Grandpa." Also in my husband's family I couldn't even tell who was "real" aunts and uncles and who were family friends...they were all named "Aunt" or "Uncle." But turns out we now do the same, all of my besties are my kids aunts and uncles and my kids don't bat an eye. Well, my daughter does refer to her godfather as "her other dad" so that can get confusing. The bottom line is all of these people are a part of our tribe.
Let's talk a little about language and using the word "tribe." It is a word that is used a lot right now...especially in the parenting circles. But let's look at Merriam-Webster's definition of Tribe...
Definition of Tribe
a: a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations together with slaves, dependents, or adopted strangers b: a political division of the Roman people originally representing one of the three original tribes of ancient a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest
I think those definitions are pretty spot on. For me, my tribe is a mix...a mix of my family, friends, and neighbors...in that mix there are parents-some with young kids and some with kids that have grown and left the home; some have never had kids; there are men and women, old and young; gay and straight; conservative and liberal (but c'mon let's be honest...mainly liberal); married and single...they all are a part of our world. Think about your own tribes. You need those tribes.
Why You Need Your Tribe
- It takes us all. It a million percent takes a village to raise children. I have eyes and ears on my kids from the people in my hood and I am doing the same for them. We pick up each other's kids from school or sports and when needed we pick each other up from the lows of parenthood.
- You aren't alone. Your tribe reminds you that you are not solo in this world. If you are a parent, and especially if you are a stay-at-home parent you can feel very isolated. You have people. You aren't alone.
- You learn from others. Listen, none of us have this mess figured out and if you think you have...you either are lying or are delusional...you are something...but it ain't perfect. I love to hear (and watch) what other people are doing with their kids. Why reinvent the wheel? And also there is so much I would never think about...you need a different perspective some times to help you out.
How to Celebrate Your Tribe
- Where your girls at? Give your tribe a call, a text, an email...whatever you can do to say that you are thinking of them. Even better if you can see them in person.
- Share the love. Once you have located them, make sure you tell them how much they mean to you. Sometimes we take that for granted...we don't say that we love our people.
- Do something nice. Your tribe loves you and chances are they have done something nice for you (probably time and time again). So this time practice some good ol' fashion random act of kindness for them. Check this out to get some ideas on how you can shower them with love unexpectedly.
Love your tribe, tend to those relationships to help them flourish and grow, and celebrate each other...for Mother's Day and every day.
Here are some examples of my Mother's Days of years past. My favorite? The year that my son said that I like to "eat poop and drink pee." Hope your Mother's Day is beautiful just like that sentiment. Word to your mamas.