Finding A Mum Tribe

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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?

 

 

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25 Comments

  1. December 10, 2014 / 8:04 pm

    I don’t think I fit into any of those ‘tribes’ either. Can we have a ‘just about surviving parenthood’ one?

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:05 am

      That sounds like a good tribe! I know a fair few who would join 😉

  2. December 10, 2014 / 8:16 pm

    Oh please please can I join I am NONE of those tribes and yet I keep meeting all those tribes while I am out and about. I would love to have more mommy friends that I can relate to but I don’t have them. I don’t meet them. I am not crafty at all I had mess in my house so bad mom of the year award to me. I am not trendy or fashion mommy what so ever. definitely not earth mother either though. Run of the mill sounds brilliant. Love this post Alison.

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:06 am

      You are in a glamorous mommy tribe Jenny! 😉

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:06 am

      *makes way for Sarah*

  3. December 10, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    I’m in! I’m in! I’m in! Tribe Perry *fist bumps* We Should SO make up a silly handshake thingy (too much?!) 🙂 x

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:07 am

      Haha how about instead of a handshake we do a nonchalant shrug – like hey, we’re just normal.

  4. December 10, 2014 / 9:00 pm

    I am so in (if you’ll have me!) gotta love a bit of Steve Wright, I even got my mention read out in the run up to my wedding… How cool am I?! Xx

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:08 am

      That. Is. So. Brilliant.

  5. December 10, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    you know i’m there – waiting with gin (always) x

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:08 am

      Love it.

  6. Vicki
    December 11, 2014 / 9:28 am

    Totally I’d rather stand by myself In the playground at the end of the day than join the karadashian-a-likes or the “herby” mams… Read the hive it sums it all up nicely x

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:09 am

      To be honest, I’m not against any of these tribes, each to their own, and actually as I say in the post, it’s rather nice to find a tribe you belong in 🙂

  7. Aileen
    December 11, 2014 / 9:31 am

    I would join that tribe!

  8. December 11, 2014 / 9:42 am

    Ah now you see I’m all of those things, in tiny aspects, and none of them in many huge others. Plus a whole lot of random crap around the edges. I can’t craft to save my life, but I might get a lucky photograph of a biscuit I once made, so I’m totally adding that baby to Pinterest. But the rest of the time it’s chicken Kiev, or chorizo in a casserole.
    I don’t know about you, but I get a bit suspicious of anyone who looks like they fit one of those tribes perfectly – there’s got to be something bubbling away under the surface I think!
    Will happily join you in the Muddling Through Mums tribe :O)

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:09 am

      You can be in the “a bit of everything” tribe Helen 😉

  9. December 11, 2014 / 10:05 am

    Count me in – definitely think the Muddling Through Mums tribe is my natural home. Especially if there’s wine…

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 10:09 am

      Always wine.

  10. December 11, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    I definitely think I’m a fairly ‘run-of’the-mill’ Mum! I too can see bits of me in all these tribes, but feel I’ve never actually fitted in anywhere as a mother. I’m not posh or rich, not ‘chavvy’ (sorry, I usually hate that word but you know what I mean), not super-cool shoreditch Mum, nor frumpy ‘burbs’ mum. Not considered a really ‘young’ Mum, but I’m definitely younger than most mums at F’s preschool. I like crafts etc but probably not enough to be an ‘earth mothery’ ‘teachery’ sort. I bottle fed, yet we used a sling and co-sleep on occasion (more for sanity than anything). I am a lone mothering wolf, haha! I’ll definitely be in your tribe A! x

  11. December 11, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    I’m SO in! *High five*

  12. Remade in Britain
    December 11, 2014 / 2:24 pm

    I understand what you mean completely, society stops being interested in you when you’ve got a child because in their eyes, your job is done now, you are a mother, you have achieved. It’s truly bizarre.

  13. December 11, 2014 / 4:06 pm

    I’m totally up for joining your tribe. I’m as run of the mill as they come. Great post!

  14. December 11, 2014 / 6:34 pm

    Me Me! Can I join. I fall into a tribe I quite like called a bit haphazard Mum. I am generally a bit away with the fairies and just a bit crap. But this is OK. Well it’s got to be as I have stopped changing now! I am always going to just be a little bit crap x

  15. December 11, 2014 / 7:01 pm

    I love this post so much, because I know exactly what you mean.
    I spoke about this with my mum over lunch the other week expressing my feelings about not fitting in the ‘mum’ categories. It’s bad that we’re kind of divided, even though we’re all striving for the same thing..
    But I was a young mum, I had my first when I was only 18 and therefore, never got far at Uni and I drifted a lot from my school friends to actually only having 3 friends I really speak to. I found it worse when none of my friends had kids; they don’t understand about not being able to drop everything for “a night on the tiles” as you put it 😉 But as I’ve got older 1 of them have a girl now and they constantly tell me about how many friends you lose etc – feels a little old news to me though haha
    I also think there’s sub-categories in each category too (yep to make life that much harder).. It’s really odd how it all works!

    X

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