Finding Comfort and Community in Motherhood

I envy people who have found a home in their church. I envy the community they have around them, the shared experience that brings them together. 

For all intents and purposes, science in my religion. Well, science and feminism. I’m not woo-y in any way, shape or form. While I am perfectly satisfied in my own belief system, sometimes I miss the community and comfort that comes with religion and parenting groups. 

You know what mommy groups I’m talking about: babywearing or essential oil fanatics or vegan eating or whatever. It always feels like the sense of community comes from the thing that binds them. The differences don’t matter so much because they have a common core. I don’t see this in groups that value evidence based parenting. There is no talk about mother’s intuition or homemaking or anything similar.

I don’t know if it’s even possible to create that sense of comfort and community without a faith (vs. science) based system. It kind of sucks, actually. As mothers, we love our children, obviously, but we don’t talk about the grace that keeps us going. We don’t have that warmth that comes with believing in a god or having a spiritual life.

Sometimes I think it would be easier if I lived by a single set of a rules that come with being conservative or belonging to a particular religion. Even living an “all-natural” life, in a way. There’s no room for reason. It’s all faith, and I respect and admire that faith (to an extent). Not having to spend every moment of every day wondering if something is right or wrong because it’s already been decided for me. Obviously science has already given me some of the answers, but not the deep ones. 

So, where do I find this community that I so desperately want? What is that shared connection that creates comfort and warmth? Maybe it’s in making my house a home, or food (always a tie that binds), or raising children while working. I don’t quite know yet, because it always seems like communities based on these things have another layer. Making my house a home in a natural way, eating healthy foods (rather than my favorite comfort foods), or raising children while working in a corporate environment. I suppose I’m just overthinking it – I tend to do that.

But hopefully, someday, I’ll find that space. That community with shared values and experience that I connect with on a visceral level. Wish me luck.

2 Comments

    1. Why do you want the community? Nothing wrong with wanting the community but perhaps several really great individual friendships would be more satisfying in the long run.

      I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t get it. I don’t have kids and I look in on the parenting groups with a fair amount of horror. I understand that early years are crucial for development, but is all of the fighting and the name calling and the judgment towards other parents really necessary? Is the age at which your child first tasted sugar really going to matter in the grand scheme of things when they’re in high school and failing all their classes? Or will their screen time at age 2 make or break the likelihood of them surviving a horrible accident or illness? Hopefully none of this ever happens but we know it happens to SOME kids. I don’t understand why people feel the need to yell and scream at each other over things that are 1) none of their business; 2) maybe not super vital in the grand scheme of things.

      For instance, my mom breastfed both of us, didn’t believe in spanking, limited our time watching TV to 1 hour a day, she grew her own organic vegetables, cooked every night (we ALWAYS ate at the table) and we hardly ever had junk or fast food. My brother is still addicted to heroin. And where’s her community now? It’s the same friend she met when I was in preschool.

      Love other parents. Respect their choices for the things that aren’t causing direct harm to their children or the community. Laugh with them when their kids are jerks. Gush over their pictures and stories. Be there for them in support if/when tragedy hits. That should be the focus.

      Not trying to pick on you. I just don’t understand all of the arguments and shaming these days! Like do you really care if someone’s kid watches TV? I don’t. As long as the child is getting enough love and interaction from their parent. And if that’s what comes with the community…… Meh.

      1. I don’t want to be one of those “you’ll never understand unless you have kids,” but it’s kind of true in this case, especially if you’re a stay at home mom. I’m basically with him the majority of his life, and it’s nice to find things to do with other people. I want that community because there’s a support there, plus Remi is able to interact with other kids and make friends.

        I HATE the mommy wars. Hate it with the passion of a thousand suns. It’s stupid and I don’t want to have anything to do with it – I feel like the mommy wars are *less* in a group that bond around a common thing though. Like, they don’t need to talk about vaccines because they already talk about babywearing – does that make sense? Or, they already have a ton in common because baby wearing moms tend to be crunchy, etc.

        It’s hard, and I actually had a few other moms reach out to me experiencing the same thing. We just don’t want to be stuck inside all day, or spend every waking minute with our kids. Friends are nice, but finding a group that has something in common…I just feel like it makes parenting easier.

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