When you think about it, we’re so young when we first join (or even create) a tribe. At the moment, I’m sitting in Starbucks, drinking a skinny cappuccino and opposite me are three twelve-year-old girls. They’re all wearing skinny jeans (two are proper stonewash denim, one is black), jumpers, chunky trainers and girly ankle socks with a frill. All of them have their long hair clipped up at the front in a twist and they’re all drinking frappuccinos and holding iPhones with sparkly cases as they chat. They’re totally in their own little tribe – and we all did it when we were young. We morphed into a version of our friends and it felt like we belonged.
As we get older, we’re drawn to people we identify with – whether it’s at uni or at work, we quickly suss out who shares our sense of humour or values. Or even those who share our love of a glass of cheap white wine and a packet of Mini Cheddars in a Soho pub after work.
But things get a bit tricky when you become a mum. For a start, the rest of society suddenly lumps you into the all encompassing MUM TRIBE. Which is kind of weird, because, yes you’ve pushed a human being out of your nether regions (or had one cut out of you) and yes, you probably do have more compassion and look at life a little differently now, but really, that aside, you’re still the same person you were before. Well, bar the inability to drop everything for a night on the tiles *dials the babysitter’s number*.
And within this new MUM TRIBE we find ourselves sectioned off into, there are a gazillion subdivisions that you’re either put in or select. They include (but are not limited to)…
The earth mothers – they wear their babies in wraps, puree organic veg for them to eat, take baby along to yoga class, and just have this incredible sense of calm to them.
The ‘I was born to do this’ mums – they seem to find motherhood a breeze and give you the impression that everything in life up until now was just leading up to them becoming a mum.
The cool mamas – they’re hanging out in trendy cafes wearing cool trainers, with their kids running around while they sip coffee and chat.
The Pinterest perfect mums – this lot are always creating some kind of art project with their kids or just doing some casual upcycling with some furniture while the kids are at school.
Now it might sound like I’m putting other women into these categories, but I look around me, and I genuinely see women in these tribes. The problem is, I don’t feel like I belong in any of them. I’m not ‘earthy’ enough (I love processed meat and can’t get on with yoga or baby wraps), I’m not a natural mum (give me a wine bar any day over a soft play centre), I’m not cool enough (Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs is one of my favourite things in life) and I’m not Pinteresting enough (you should SEE my crappy craft attempts).
Can I just create a ‘run of the mill mum’ tribe? Would anyone else be up for joining?