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Working Moms Need Mom Friends Too

4 tips for working moms to build their mom tribe.

Working Moms Need Mom Friends Too

“Join a mom group!,” they said. “It will keep you sane!,” they said. Forget about the unsolicited delivery horror stories and the constant inquiry into the kind of birth you’ll have. Once you have a baby, “joining a mom group” becomes the number-one piece of mom advice you get. But putting yourself out there can be intimidating, and finding a mom tribe can be difficult for every first-time mom. Then add in the fact that you work 40+ hours a week (on top of mommying), and it becomes a pretty overwhelming feat.

It was certainly a big challenge for me. I didn’t have any mom friends and couldn’t attend most of the mommy-and-me yoga classes and park playdates happening around me. I was stuck behind my desk, at work. Eventually, I was so fed up with my feelings of isolation that I went on Meetup.com. I originally went on there to try and find this elusive mom group everyone was talking about, but ended up creating a group for “Working Moms of Los Angeles,” fully expecting to cancel my subscription the following month. Fast forward to 6 months later, and we have over 100 members who meet on a monthly basis.

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The moms who joined showed so much enthusiasm to finally be part of a group. They shared my struggle to make mom friends and told me their work didn’t allow them to attend any of the daytime activities that were such a big part of the bonding experience among mothers. So if, like us, you are a working mom and have had a hard time building relationships with other moms, I’d like to share my tips to help you find the support you need after having a baby.

Here are 4 tips to build your mommy tribe when you are a working mom.

1. Don’t be a flake.

I have yet to plan an event I didn’t have the urge to bail on. When I put it on the calendar, it seems like a great idea. But life and responsibilities get the best of me every, single, time. I urge you to do what you need to do to make attending possible, even if you are “not in the mood” when the day arrives. It is easy to hide behind the excuse that you are “too busy” to make friends. I leave every meetup feeling loved, positive, inspired and energized. You will too.

2. Band together with moms you work with.

As working moms, we often feel like we need to suppress that side of our lives in the workplace in order to appear more “dedicated” to our job. I am here to tell you, this idea is total nonsense. We need to own the reality that we are awesome employees AND awesome moms, if we want others to do so too. Talk with your HR representative about starting a committee of mothers at your workplace. Come prepared with a well thought-out objective for your committee and how you will achieve it. For example, your objective could be to promote bonding and build morale among the mothers at your office. If a committee sounds like too much of an undertaking right now, invite a mom you work with but don’t know very well to coffee this week.

3. Start your own group.

I promise you, you are not the only working mom in your area who wishes there were a group that fits her schedule -- even if you do feel like you are alone on an island most of the time. Meetup.com is a great place to do this. Create the group you wish existed, and like-minded mamas will come.

4. Keep it virtual to start

If meeting strangers in person is not your jam, take baby steps and connect with other moms online. A quick way to do this is by joining a Facebook mom group in your area. You can search by city or neighborhood. But if you’d rather have a group that focuses on your parenting style of choice, you can search by that too! (If your parenting style of choice is to give them lollipops to keep them quiet and yourself red wine most nights to keep it together, I will not judge you -- I will join you). Join the group of your choice, get engaged in the conversations, add your fave moms as “friends.” You may just work up the trust overtime to become offline friends too.

Danielle lives in Santa Monica California with her husband and daughter. She manages a business development team for a prominent tech company in Silicon Beach and works diligently to grow her own small business, Olivia + Ocean, a boutique child swimwear line that gives back.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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