Where is my tribe? I am wandering lost through a barren landscape, a nomad with no place to call home. Where is my tribe? I always assumed I would be your run of the mill mainstream mom (although that was back when I was foolish enough to think any part of parenting was “run of the mill”). I actually used to mock attachment parenting. When that Life Magazine issue came out with the woman breastfeeding the kid on a ladder that phrase became synonymous with weirdo. I proclaimed to anyone that would listen that when I became a mom I would have a baby that only ever slept in their room. If we even decided to breastfeed it would be for no more than three months. We weren’t going to be weirdos. Then I got pregnant and it turned out that I was a little less mainstream than I thought. We bed share. I am still breastfeeding my (gasp) toddler. I baby wear and cloth diaper. I did the whole baby led weaning thing. I became an attachment parent, a weirdo. I looked to the crunchy moms.
Maternity photograph by Maria Kalitina
Where is my tribe? It wasn’t the crunchy moms. I used Tylenol, not an amber necklace, to deal with teething pain. I gladly produce my photo ID whenever I need to buy Sudafed instead of snorting rosemary oil. We are following the CDC’s vaccination schedule. Definitely not crunchy.
Where is my tribe? Where are my outliers? My in-betweeners? I feel like we are an under represented group. Maybe that’s because there are too few of us to be a tribe. We are the parenting nomads. Roaming the parenting landscape not really settling on one strict parenting style over the other. Taking what we can, what we like, what works for us, from the landscape as we go.
Where is my tribe? High school wasn’t so long ago that I have forgotten about trying to find a lunch table that would have me. In the school cafeteria of life, I am still fifteen, with a yellow plastic tray of mashed potatoes and chocolate milk in my hands. Once again I feel like nobody will have me. Back then I was the weirdo in neon colors and stripped thigh-high stockings. Now I am the weirdo with the toddler that needs a boob break in the middle of the birthday party. The weirdo who has to be home early because I need to get my daughter to sleep and that means I have to nurse her down next to me in our bed. The weirdo that said yes to DTAP and gives children’s Tylenol for a fever. The weirdo with no friends.
Where is my tribe? Why do I need a tribe? I’m an outcast again. All striped tights and florescent colors, hoping that someone will offer me a seat at their table. Why do I need so badly to be accepted and to spend my time with like minded mothers? Why can’t I be contented to smile and wave at the other nomads who cross my path? My tribe less brethren.
I don’t need a tribe, I need a friend. Just one person to offer me a seat at their table. To smile and wave as we cross paths. If you are out there, and you’re like me and just looking for a friend, please know that I’m looking for you too. I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me. I will be happy to talk about your amber necklace if you’ll listen without judgement when I explain how I cried when my daughter received her most recent shots. We can be in-betweeners together. I’ll try your rosemary oil, but know that I reserve the right to use my Sudafed as a fall back. We can agree that we both chose the sleep situation that works for us.
I am looking for you and I hope that I find you soon. Until then, I’ll be saving you a seat.