The Importance of Connection in Motherhood

Parenthood

Brought to you by Peanut
Images courtesy of Erika Loeks Photography

I was dropping my son off at school earlier this month for his first day of class. His preschool was hosting a meet and greet spread with cookies and coffee—an opportunity for new parents to get to know one another.

Scoping out the room, I was determined to make a connection with both the teachers and the parents, mostly because my face time with them would be so limited. I wasn’t going to be the point of contact from here on out, day-to-day. I locked eyes with a woman mingling over some shortbread cookies and introduced myself. She quickly noted that she wouldn’t be around as often as other parents—her husband had a more flexible schedule. I felt relief wash over me, and she too visibly relaxed.

There we were. Two moms who felt like the odd ones out, finding a little comfort knowing we wouldn’t be the only ones who would be missing morning drop-offs. 

We connected because we felt less alone when it mattered.

Humans look to peers we love, respect, and admire to validate our choices. We look for evidence that our opinions about ourselves are fact. However, the flaw in this approach is there will always be someone out there bringing our insecurities into focus. When we have access to a 24/7 highlight reel of “perfect parenting,” it’s hard to avoid feeling a twinge of doubt when comparing your own parenting decisions. 

Humans look to peers we love, respect, and admire to validate our choices. We look for evidence that our opinions about ourselves are fact. However, the flaw in this approach is there will always be someone out there bringing our insecurities into focus.

I can’t think of a time where I felt less confident than when I became a mother. I didn’t feel like the moms I saw on TV, or at the park. I felt like my role came with a disclaimer: working mom, a mom who could only be there part-time. Logically and emotionally, I felt at peace with this choice; in fact, I think it makes me a better mom.

In reality, I’d find myself feeling jealous of the moms who met up for coffee with their kids, connecting while they played happily on the floor. I was comparing their highlight reel to my worst fears and making it mean I was less than.

The good news? Community and connection can help mothers find themselves when they’re most vulnerable. We can discover a bit of confidence in the times our self-confidence is in short supply.

I recently hosted a dinner to celebrate the launch of the Peanut app in Minneapolis. Peanut is a (FREE!) social networking app for moms (and moms to be) to meet, chat, and learn from one another. The event was a chance to bring moms together IRL. Much like my connection with the mom from preschool, most of these women I knew from online interactions. I was a little hesitant reaching out at first, but was immediately reassured this was a “thing” by the reaction our team heard from all attendees. Almost all expressed how much they craved connection, no matter what stage or age their children were in.

That night, I had the pleasure of speaking with some new moms I’ve only met via social. And after months (or years) of only seeing the highlight reel, I was reassured they had the same anxieties, challenges, and WTF moments as me. At the end of the day, no matter the situation (SAHM, working full-time, etc.), we all want what’s best for our children, and for ourselves.

If you’re a mother looking for your squad, pod, girl gang, or BFF, I highly recommend giving Peanut a try. The app introduces you to women who share similar interests and have similarly aged children.  It works a little bit like Tinder, where you can wave to other moms and start a conversation. You can arrange meetups, share experiences, ask questions, and get answers from real women who relate to your experiences.

Me? I’ve found the app helpful as a mother with kids dealing with allergies. I can connect with others that are experiencing the same challenges. I also see it valuable for connecting with other mothers of children with learning challenges, disabilities, and even for women going through fertility challenges or adoption.


Ed. note: This post was sponsored by Peanut. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.

While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!

BY Kate Arends - October 29, 2019

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