Finding A Mum Tribe: Adoption Stories

      14 Comments on Finding A Mum Tribe: Adoption Stories
I’m going to admit something here straight off! Although I’m very much in love with my kids, and wouldn’t change how they came to be part of the family, I’m really jealous! I’m hugely, painfully, annoyingly jealous of anyone who has had a birth child!  Not because you gave birth to them, not because of them being babies when my two were preschoolers, not because of all the first moments you have with babies! Nope! I’m jealous because of your Mum Tribe! Finding a Mum Tribe when you adopt is hard! Lots of my friends have babies and I absolutely adore them! I never once have had a twinge of regret or envy when one of them has phoned me up to let me know they are pregnant.  I am so incredibly happy for them each and every time.  BUT….I really really really feel jealous about their parenting friends. Most new mums have this Mum Tribe! The ones who they bond with at the antenatal groups, the ones who they meet up with to compare notes and to celebrate milestones.  The ones who are at the baby massage or baby music or baby signing or mum’s and tots groups. In fact I’m pretty sure all new mum’s have a group that have children of the same age that they can compare notes with. When you adopt, you don’t have a Mum Tribe. In fact, you don’t really have any Tribe!  You meet a handful of couples at Preparation Groups (where the Social Workers do their best to terrify you about adopting, persuade you that you do absolutely want to adopt older children, and generally make you feel more incompetent than you know you already are about parenting!). If you are lucky, and I mean really lucky, you might meet one or two people who are on the same wavelength as you which is lovely.  However, at this point you don’t have any idea whether you will be adopting children of the same age, and that really is key! So, there you are, having spent a year preparing for your children, barely knowing what age they will be until 3 months before they come home. They come home. And then it’s just you!  No Mum Tribe. In fact, in all possibility, no one who understands what you are going through with children of the age of yours. Yes, you might have friends who have children of the same age, BUT adopting is very different from having birth children.  The challenges are different, the expectations are different, and your feelings are different. I so wish that I had had a Mum Tribe when my kids came home.  A group of people who understood exactly what I was going through.  Don’t get me wrong, I have some really lovely friends, all of whom are super supportive and I wouldn’t change them for the world…but…I am really jealous of your Mum Tribes. Thankfully, a year and a half in, I have been lucky enough to find my own little Tribe. My little Tribe of friends who have adopted similar aged children or who just get it, my own little support group.  But oh I wish I had had this Tribe a year and a half ago – it would have made this whole parenting journey just that little bit less daunting!
Diary of an imperfect mum
Dear Bear and Beany

14 thoughts on “Finding A Mum Tribe: Adoption Stories

  1. Catie

    I totally know where you are coming from. I was lucky to have a mum tribe that I met at baby and toddler group but being an EXPAT practically all of them have moved away now and it can be very lonely! I loved the honesty of this post! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉
    Catie recently posted…#a blogging good time #23My Profile

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    1. cherrynewby Post author

      I can imagine that can be really lonely! It’s so hard when we find ourselves on our own on this parenting journey – think that’s one of the reasons I got into blogging – to be able to share with people who just get it!! xx

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  2. Ali P

    I was so lucky to have a network of adopting friends and a sister who had been there before me. Still daunting but an invaluable support. Adopting is different for so many reasons, school bought me great friends, none walking in my shoes, but over time they have “”got me”. Always happy to help others along their journey.

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    1. cherrynewby Post author

      I really wish I had been told, before I adopted, how important a tribe would be. We looked at the support network but it’s not the same thing at all (albeit incredibly invaluable as well!). I’m just delighted I found my friends who ‘get me’ along my journey!! xx

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  3. Jane

    Love reading your blog, Cherry. Good to hear that you now have your very own mum tribe. Mine has morphed over the years and yours probably will do too. But it is so important for everyone to feel supported and as the children get older this will still be as important as it is now.
    Lots of love
    Jane

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    1. cherrynewby Post author

      Aww thanks Jane – it’s taken a while but I’m finally feeling like I’m getting there 🙂 xxx

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  4. Jo (Mother of Teenagers)

    Yes the mum tribe is a precious commodity. I found my greatest mum tribe in the primary school playground so I think we all click with different groups and in different environments. Glad you have like-minded people as we all need someone on this mum journey. #ablogginggoodtime

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  5. Topfivemum

    I’m not going to pretend I know where you’re coming from, as I firmly believe you can’t fully appreciate someone’s POV until you’ve lived in their shoes. But what I can relate to is the idea that Mum Tribes do exist and it can feel quite isolating when you feel you have little in common (or more like they have lots of stuff in common with each other and less with you). The journey to adoption (and beyond) is pretty tough from what I’ve heard from friends (I know 3 couples who have adopted and one who has done a surrogate mother route) and you’re likely to have very different experiences compared to new mums.

    The only other thing I can say is that I find mum friends quite transient. When I was off with my first, I met a lovely group through a local midwife-led class. We spent pretty much 9 months meeting up for coffees and meet ups in the park. But then slowly, some moved away, people went back to work and I can say I’m only in touch with 2 out of 8 of them regularly. I did another class when I was due my second baby, in the hope of meeting 2nd+ time around mums who would also be having a baby with a toddler in tow. I have since met with them maybe twice in 6 months. The reality was that their eldest kids (who had a much bigger age gap than my 18 months) were in nursery so they could meet up toddler free. I, on the other hand, couldn’t do half the things they were doing with a then 18 month old and a newborn. I am also jealous of their mum tribe. I should have been part of it, but I’m excluded really. While they were meeting for their coffee mornings and baby sensory classes, I was trying to feed a newborn in one arm while trying to catch my toddler from hurtling herself off a 6ft slide.

    Despite all this, what I do know is that we’ll all be going back to work again (or not) by April and the dynamics will shift once again. My priorities will have shifted too and weekends will become precious family time. I’m so pleased you’ve found your tribe and I hope the relationships endure the test of time. But if they don’t, there’ll be another phase and another group. Ultimately, my friends from back home – all now at completely different life stages with their families – will always remain my true tribe I can count on in my hours of need.

    p.s. apologies for the long comment! You obviously struck a chord somewhere LOL #sharingthebloglove

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  6. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    I can imagine how much more difficult this is if you’re adopting – it’s difficult enough to find a mum tribe as it is! I don’t think I ever really found one – I did the NCT classes, but our group was a bit odd and didn’t really gel, and ended up splitting off into two different sets once our babies were born. And then once everyone goes back to work we’ve all naturally drifted apart more. Where I have found support is through blogging and reading other people’s blogs, and realising that other people are going through exactly the same thing, and feeling the same. I’m so pleased that you feel you’ve found your tribe now! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…Embracing being a ‘Mummy Blogger’My Profile

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    1. cherrynewby Post author

      I have definitely found more people who get me since blogging than I had in my life before which I find is wonderful! 🙂 x

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  7. Lucy At Home

    I’m so pleased you’ve finally found a group of friends that “get you”. I have a friend who adopted a few year back and i know she has found it harder than she ever imagined.

    I know it’s a completely different situation, but I also wish I had a mum tribe. I had my kids in my early twenties (so later than the teenage mum scene, but earlier than the average person who has them at 30 these days) so I’ve always been a bit out of sync with everyone around me. I don’t like to admit it, but as a stay at home mum, it’s been a lonely 5 years, despite trying baby groups, etc. However, since my eldest started school, I’ve gotten to know other parents with kids the same age and I am just generally much happier.

    I think you’re doing an amazing job by adopting. In many ways it is a very selfless thing to do because those kids need you, and yet they can also behave very negatively towards you, because of all they’ve been through in their young lives. I’m glad it’s starting to work out. Keep going – it sounds like you’re doing a great job!
    Lucy At Home recently posted…You Might Be Different But That’s OKMy Profile

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    1. cherrynewby Post author

      Thanks so much Lucy! I can imagine that being in a different age bracket must also be really difficult! I found that it was much easier to make friends with parents on the school drop off than I had thought, despite dreading it! x

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  8. Laura - dear bear and beany

    This must have been so difficult for you. It’s hard finding a mum tribe and I found that when I had my second daughter I didn’t have one and it was a very different experience to having my first child. My eldest started school in September and now I feel like I am starting all over again with having to find my school mum tribe. It is never ending! I am pleased you have found your tribe now. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

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