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Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Guest Post by Sherry Parnell}

I am not one kind of mom. I fit into the working mom group, because I work at home. I fit into the stay-at-home mom group, because I am at home with my kids, but I can't find my group. Where is my mom tribe? Where do I fit?

It was late morning by the time my little boys and I clambered into the hot car headed for the pool. I started the car, turned up the air conditioning and pulled out of the driveway, ready to rest in my own thoughts when it started. “Guess how many Titan characters I have now?” followed by “Mommy, why don’t women potties have urinals?” Sighing, I mumbled “5?” and “Women don’t stand to pee.”

The drive to the pool is thirty minutes. After fifteen minutes…well, after all morning and fifteen minutes of constant character acquisition updates and a relentless inquisition regarding my potty preferences, I was starved for adult conversation. Tuning into a radio talk show, I listened apathetically to a discussion about the Kardashians. It was far from intellectually stimulating, but it was grown up talk—sort of.

Climbing out of the car I stumbled, feeling mentally dulled from the heat and a prolonged debate about whether the word “poop” is actually funny when used gratuitously and far too often (it’s not). I scooped loads of pool paraphernalia into my arms as I herded my boys into the gated area where they would spend their day, swimming, eating lunch and having an inevitable fit or two.

As the gate snapped shut, I navigated around lounge chairs and running toddlers to stake our claim at a table. With towels tucked under my arm, a lunch cooler slung over my shoulder, and one big purple pool noodle dangling down my leg, I wobbled to the nearest chair. After dropping everything onto the table, I looked around to assess the crowd and that’s when I saw them.

They’re easy to spot. There is usually four to six of them standing, leaning or sitting together in packs randomly situated around the pool. I watched as they smeared sunscreen on small squirming bodies, pulled up swim diapers, and wiped dripping ice cream from sticky little lips. Inside each circle formed from twirling toddlers and overloaded pool bags; sat enormous Tupperware bowls stuffed with sliced fruit and snack bags of every conceivable type of crackers and pretzels.

Who are they? They’re moms. Moms like me, but not like me. Why?

Well, I am not a Stay at Home Mom even though I am at the pool on a Wednesday afternoon. The problem is that I’m also not a “working” mom (oxymoron since moms are always working).

I am a fiction writer. I work from home, as does my self-employed husband. We’ve created a schedule in which we work on alternating days, leaving the other days for one of us to be with our boys. It is wonderful, and although I’m blessed that it works out, I am also left out.

Left out of the mom groups and left out of the 9-5 corporate set, I live in the limbo of being, at the same time, both and neither. I’ve tried to join various moms’ groups only to have potentially meaningful relationships reduced to casual flirtation as my work schedule never allows for consistent participation in park dates and Chuck-E-Cheese excursions.

I have also tried joining writers’ groups only to have the opportunity of spouting the virtues of Dickens while sipping lattes swiftly taken away by one child’s anxiety separation or the spontaneous outbreak of sickness in the other. These situations and others like them always result in wiping tears, mopping up a mess and making a call to cancel…again.

Because both areas of my life demand my attention at unpredictable times, I don’t have a group or a pack. Instead, I am left alone to determine the best indoor play area and where to find the tastiest ice cream. So my need for the camaraderie necessary in motherhood as well as my need for adult conversation goes unmet except for the occasional casual comment made to a mother sitting next to me.

After several hours of chasing two sun-soaked little boys, I finally sat for a few moments. As I watched them splash and swim, my attention was drawn to an abandoned toy floating slowly to the edge of the pool. Another mom scooped it up and handed to her friend as they giggled over diaper explosion stories. Sighing, I looked around and, once again, quietly wondered, “Where is my mom tribe?”

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.

I am not one kind of mom. I fit into the working mom group, because I work at home. I fit into the stay-at-home mom group, because I am at home with my kids, but I can't find my group. Where is my mom tribe? Where do I fit?

How to Find Your Mom Tribe:

Join our private Facebook group for moms at home, Stay-at-Home Moms Share Together.

How to Find Your Mom Tribe

I Need Mom Friends

My Mom Tribe


Sherry picSherry Parnell is a mother, writer and a runner just not always in that order. She lives in the country with two rambunctious little boys, one very supportive husband, and one sleepy Chihuahua. In addition to being a nose wiper, lunch packer and wrestling referee, Sherry is also the author of the book, Let The Willows Weep. She is currently completing her second novel due to be released next year if she can survive another winter of colds, complaints and disrupted sleep. You can find more posts about her experiences as a mother and a writer on her personal blog at Connect with Sherry on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook.


Purchase Sherry’s Book Let the Willows Weep