What does it seem so difficult and awkward to make friends as adults?!
Finding a group of moms or a community that you connect with doesn’t have to be.
The value of community in motherhood is so precious and shouldn’t be put off because you feel awkward trying to start a conversation with someone new.
That’s why I’ve got my guest, Lori Beth. She shows us how easy it is to find your tribe. It doesn’t have to be scary and YOU can be the one to create it!
In this episode we talk about:
- Why moms struggle to find their tribe
- How we build intentional and deep connections in motherhood
- How we encourage others to build deep connections with other moms
- What fears hold us back from building relationships with other moms
- Steps to take to create your own in-person community
About Lori Beth
Lori Beth Auldridge, M.A., M.F.A. is a blogger, podcaster, author, speaker, and work from home mom who manages multiple businesses, which includes a renovation business with her husband Chris and an online boutique all while she homeschools her three children on their small farm on the island of Maui.
She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication for the Child and Masters Degrees in both Children’s Literature and Creative Writing for Children.
Her unique homeschool journey leaves her with over 10 years of experience which she uses to support families via her blog, online community, (The Yaya Collective), and podcast.
She teaches online and in-person homeschool workshops and is a contributor for the international homeschool community Wild + Free.
She’s passionate about life-long learning, the importance of soft perspective, and helping mamas find their confidence as they make time for and learn about their true selves.
Connect with Lori Beth
- Blog/Website URL: https://www.elevatingmotherhood.com
- Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/elevatingmotherhood
- Instagram URL: https://www.instagram.com/loribethauldridge
- Yaya – www.yayamamas.com
- My episode on Lori’s Podcast – Sunday Prep: 5 Simple Steps for an Easier Week
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/loribethauldridge
- Elevating Motherhood Podcast
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Transcript of this episode
Real Happy Mom 0:02
Hey there, I’m Ton-Ann I have an overwhelming passion to help moms navigate motherhood without the overwhelm. I went from struggling with motherhood and losing my identity, to be productive and living out my version of being a happy mom. On the Real Happy Mom podcast, I interview real moms and experts to help you navigate raising children self care, time management, and so much more. So if you’re ready to get rid of the overwhelm, and start being a Real Happy Mom, join me inside the Real Happy Mom podcast. Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of the Real Happy Mom Podcast. I am so happy that you have decided to come on and just listen to what we have to share here today on the podcast. I’m so grateful for you. And so grateful that you’re listening in today you are in for a special treat I have Miss Lori Beth on she is going to be sharing with us how we can get started with developing a community of moms. Because let’s be honest, doing this motherhood thing on our own is one, not the way to do it. And two is extremely difficult. So having that community of other moms will really help to make motherhood a lot more enjoyable and make it a little bit easier for us. So today in this episode, she is going to be sharing why it’s so important to have a community of mothers, and also why we struggle as moms to find that tribe. And then she also gives us some tips on getting a community started if we are wanting to have some in person meet up with other moms. So you give us up some simple tips that we can go ahead and get started. And moms Guess what, it is a lot easier than you think. I know, I was always under the impression that starting an in person mom group would be super challenging take up a lot of time, but she shared how easy it is and how you can really get started right now we’re doing that and it won’t eat up all of your time. So if you are wanting to learn more about this, go ahead and and stay tuned for this episode. Because I promise you this is a good one and you’re gonna love everything she has to share. So let’s go ahead and jump on into this week’s episode with the Lori Beth. All right, welcome to the podcast. I’m happy to have you. Oh, I’m
Lori Beth 2:17
so stoked to be talking with you. Thank you so much. Yes,
Real Happy Mom 2:20
I am been looking forward to this all week. You are so much fun to talk to. And I am just happy that I get to have you on the podcast today. So yeah, welcome. And yeah, we’re gonna have some good conversations here today.
Lori Beth 2:34
Yeah, I am super stoked to and I’m so grateful you are on my show. Because I learned so much from you from the interview. I’ve already implemented some of the tips changed my week in a really good way. And I am super stoked to hit publish and share with my listeners too, because you have already changed my life. Thank you.
Real Happy Mom 2:54
Thank you, you. And I want to do just share a little bit with everyone about who you are and what you do.
Lori Beth 3:00
Sure. My name is Lori Beth Aldridge. I live on the island of Maui with my husband and our three daughters. They are currently you know, three kids Let me think seven, five and three. And my husband and I own a renovation business. we flip houses. We do interior renovations. We’re currently working on our house, which I’m super stoked about because the cobblers kids have no shoes. So we make other people’s houses pretty. And I’m like look at this 1980s Palace we live. So we’re finally updating that. And I homeschool my kids I have from the beginning. I’ve actually been homeschooling for over 10 years, which sounds crazy if my oldest is seven. But I worked as a personal assistant to an international Rockstar before I had my own children. And when we traveled on the road I homeschool their kids part time. Gosh, yeah, we homestead small time. But we do. We’ve got miniature goats fancy chickens. And yeah, that’s what that’s what I do. I’ve got a podcast elevating motherhood, I’ve got a blog. Yeah, I got Mama’s I really enjoy promoting sisterhood among moms. Because I think that most of us are actually looking for a lot of the same things just connection and to be seen and heard and understood. And we’re all trying our best with the information that we have in the moment. So I think that’s a really easy thing to support. When we start to tune out a lot of the messages that we hear. I’m known as an opt out or don’t do a lot of things mainstream and I have found so much peace and tuning out a lot of the toxic messages about modern motherhood and that shows and every level of our lives from us working for ourselves, homeschooling our children and then talking about it and helping moms feel resourced and competent on their motherhood journey by sharing stories and resources that are just I feel like left out Mainstream messages. And that would bring a lot of peace to our mama hearts if we heard more of.
Real Happy Mom 5:06
And yes, I love all of that. And one of those messages is about community, especially when it comes to motherhood. And that is one thing that I love hearing you talk about. So I just want you to share with us why community in motherhood is so important.
Lori Beth 5:21
Oh, gosh, when I think of community, I think of the pragmatics of it. To me, that means mom’s group, it started off for me, the importance of communities started off for me as just starting a moms group and realizing that I needed to talk to other mothers. So when my first was three months old, I thought that I had it all figured out, you know, I had always wanted to be a mom and, and I have degrees and you know, child related fields, master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, all this different stuff. Surely I know what’s going on. I love being a mom, then my hormones were wrecked. I was sleep deprived to a point of like, what felt like no return. And there was no one to talk to. I live in a really rural area on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the most isolated island chain in the whole world. And I felt isolated, well, well isolated. And I felt like there were no no other moms around. And so it was like three months in to my motherhood journey, I felt a little bit like I was losing my mind. didn’t know that. That’s what I was feeling because hormones, and sleep deprivation. But one night, I went out to a restaurant saw another mom with a baby, about the same age as mine. And you have to understand there are only two restaurants in my town. So for me to run into another mom with a baby about the same age, I accosted her and was like, Hi, are you hold your baby? Mama. By the end of the dinner, I had handed her my phone number on a used sticky note.
Lori Beth 6:56
And said please call me. I’m not a weirdo. I just need to talk with somebody else. Because we live far away from family or even if we live close to family, let’s be honest family has a lot of opinions about family and parenting and raising children. Because quite frankly, most of them raised you you know, so there’s a lot of muddle they’re good metal, you know, and then the annoying metal too. So total honesty, I think even if we live close, we would still be doing things slightly different than a lot of other family too. And that’s okay, that’s okay. So even though I don’t have that, I realized I needed to reach out to other moms and just ask basic questions. How are you feeling? Have you thought this? Have you thought that what do you do about this? What are you doing for this, and not so like a copy that person, but so that I could process stuff and get a variety of input and stories and suggestions and perspective. And you know, that one friend is awesome. But I felt like I needed more than that I needed more than the opinions and stories of my family. I needed more than the opinions and stories of that one mom who is awesome, by the way, but she moved. We live in a transit culture on an island. And I decided I needed a mom’s group. And I put it out there. And basically no one came to the first one. Or maybe one person I don’t remember, it was just like, Oh, I was so pleased to talk to anybody. And it didn’t matter. Next thing you know, it grew and grew and grew and grew and grew until we were this eclectic mix of moms from all different backgrounds. I think at one point, there were seven different languages that were spoke in our mom’s group, which is incredible. And we just wanted to get together again, with that whole notion of like, we’re all doing the best with the information that we have. And we all just crave this sisterhood and this sense of community and people move to you know, or their lives got busy or they started working or whatever and dropped off that way new folks come in. And it just it’s very transient. But there’s still that space of community that we hold and just welcoming and realizing that moms need support wherever they are. So if you’re only in our moms group for one day, great, you know, I’m happy that we could be supportive for you. And that one day, I’m kind of thinking of tourists here, you know, like, we go to the beach and Someone’s here with their kids and their like, their kids start playing with our kids. And it’s just like, Oh, we just get to be in that community and connect and laugh and play together. And you know, we can hear parts of their story. We can hear how their vacations going, we can hear how their motherhood scoring. Some people swim in the deep end of the pool right away. Some people are like, oh, let’s just hang out the shallow end, you know, so there’s this whole different level of connection that can happen. And I really feel like you can only get those different levels of connection and you know, have the people you swim in the deep end with and have people use them in the shower when there’s some people you just don’t even get in the pool. There’s variety there. And with that variety comes perspective and all of those things. And again, if we can just have that community without the intention of copying or being competitive, then everything becomes an inspiration for us and an option, where I feel like most moms don’t feel like they have options and their motherhood journey. So that’s what my community has done for me has helped me realize that there’s more than one way to do things, even if the cultural messages tell us otherwise.
Real Happy Mom 10:27
Yes. I love that. And I love how you said, you know, we’re getting the different input stories and perspective. And we’re not trying to copy anyone or be competitive. And I think that’s the biggest thing. Because honestly, like, I feel like a lot of times there is this kind of like, underlying competitiveness, or even like jealousy, or trying to like one up someone or even keep up with someone else, too, when it comes to motherhood. So I love that you pointed that out? Because I think that’s one of the big reasons why, when one of the reasons why we find it hard to find that community and find that tribe. Another reason why too, is I think, when we become adults, I don’t know, it just gets kind of awkward. And things like that. But I just wanted you to talk a little bit about the struggles with finding that community or finding that tribe. Like why do moms struggle with this so much?
Lori Beth 11:22
I think it has to do with the cultural messages we’re fit. And we’ve been fed this versus message of breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, circumcising versus not circumcising, you know, allopathic medicine versus the crunchy mom’s, you know, and we have all these different labels for everything. Well, what if we just pare that down to just moms and understanding that all moms just need support? So we go into it fed this yucky message? It’s the vs, and you have to pick a side, you have to pick a side, you have to pick a side? Do you? Or can you just do you, you know, and the more we can make space for ourselves to just be us, we set that model for other moms to they will be inspired to just be themselves, if we are ourselves. And in the same breath, we can then invite them to just be themselves, you know, choose you. And if you have questions, you know, ask, I’ll give you my story. You know, what do you want to do home birth, hospital birth, any sort of topic. And the more variety you have, the more you’re going to have stories of hospital birth and home birth of breastfeeding, struggles with breastfeeding, you know, you’re gonna have people who are like, I have no problems, you know, and other people who are like, who I have lots of problems in this one area, you know, but we’re all just doing us and the more you can step into that, and just try to figure out who you are as a person. all that other stuff just falls to the wayside. I don’t know, there’s just because I’m old. Like I’m an older mom, quote, unquote, you know, or what, but the second, I stopped trying to fit into those categories, and started looking inward and figuring out what was important to me, figuring out what my values were, what my family’s values were, and then started aligning my actions. With those values. My kids were more even, I was more even we were happier, we had more patience, because there is so much freedom and figuring out who you are identifying your values, and then holding on to them, and aligning your actions with them. So for me, that looks like I might, one of my values is, you know, I believe that every person should do what is best for them and their family. And so then I align my actions with that. And my words with that, too. So when I’m talking with other moms, it’s not like, oh, man, why did you do that? You know, I’m not questioning their decision so much as just questioning their reasons behind it, you know, asking questions as a way to help them get to know themselves. Maybe not forcing them to, you know, not sitting down and like drilling them up, like, Oh, you chose that? Well, let me ask you some pointed questions that will help you identify your Whys behind that choice is not like that. is not like that. It’s curiosity. You know, and curiosity can be a healthy expression of love. And so the more you are curious about other people and ask them questions out of that genuine curiosity, the more they’re going to open up, the more that they then discover more about themselves to you. I can’t tell you how many moms groups I’ve sat in, and people have started talking and then all of a sudden, they have this epiphany right there in front of you love like, Oh, ah, I just talked it out and I found the missing piece. And so then they get to know themselves. So it’s much more organic than sitting down and asking really pointed questions. It has more to do with curiosity, aligning your actions and values, and just being true to yourself and tuning out that mainstream comparative view. says, junk.
Real Happy Mom 15:01
Yes, I am all about that. Because you know how I am big on being true to yourself. That is like my big message. So I love that. But you brought up something really good about how curiosity can lead to people opening up. And I think this can also lead to us having better connections with people. So how can we encourage others to build these deeper connections with moms in particular? How can we do it for ourselves? How can we do better about building those connections?
Unknown Speaker 15:30
Lori Beth 15:32
Curiosity is as simple as reminding yourself that you’re trying to be curious, if you walk into a new moms group, you don’t know what to say, you don’t know what to do. You know, you, I’m sure you know what it’s like, someone shows up on the first day, and they’re wearing their tickety boo outfit and trying to be pulled together. And you know, their kid hits somebody else, and they’re like, Oh, my God, I feel socially obligated to be mortified. Like to show that I don’t agree with that behavior, or they just get really, you know, big with their, with their reactions to things where they try to impress their all of that, if we could just let go of the impression part of it and to show up as ourselves. I think that would be key. But what do you do? What are the pragmatics of curiosity look like? It looks like you showing up to mom’s group being your authentic nervous self. I’m a little bit nervous. This is obviously my first day. No, and I’m not sure what people’s names are. So you ask the curiosity, part of that is like I’m sorry, what’s your name? And mom brain, you’re not going to remember everybody’s name, you might have to ask them on four times. Over five different meetups, you know what their name is? And that’s not rude. It’s just mom brain, you know? But ask people questions, ask them about themselves. Where did you grow up? You know, Oh, do you live nearby? How long have you lived here? Just be curious about them. And so if you ever feel stuck, like deer in a headlight stuck, and you’re not sure what to ask, be curious about them. And that looks like you asking yourself, what can I ask them to find out more about what they believe what they value? And slowly the questions will turn from? What’s your name?
Unknown Speaker 17:10
Where do you live? Where
Lori Beth 17:11
did you grow up? What’s your favorite color to the deeper questions? And if controversial, stuff comes up, and you’re not sure what to do get curious. It’s a time for listening and getting to know the other person. So sometimes if tension arises, I often like to ask questions to the other person. I’m like, Oh, well, why do you feel that way? You know, if it’s something that I don’t agree with, because that’s okay, they’re entitled to their opinion. And being curious, is me aligning my actions and values as much as I can’t. There is a boundary component to that too, though, you know, I think that that’s one of the tricky parts is that this sounds all dreamy Rainbows, magic, like, Oh, is this like the secret formula? Just ask questions show up, you know, be open to different perspectives and stories, you’re going to come across some people who do not bring that same energy to the table. So what do you do, you know, you know, your personal boundaries, you know, what your values are, you know, you know, what you’re comfortable with what you’re not comfortable with, and a curiosity isn’t working out, they’re trying to force something down your throat, even something as simple as like bringing dogs to mom’s group, you know, and you’re like, actually, we’ve got a lot of babies eating snacks. And most of us don’t feel comfortable with this, like small detail, you have people who aren’t going to be flexible on that at all, you know, you have people who are coming into the group, and they have some work to do. And you might not be the person to help them, you know, they might be there for the drama. And you’re like, actually, this is a drama free group. And it’s okay to hold those kind of boundaries too, and know what your basic boundaries are. And it looks like pragmatics of like the dog stuff, and no drama, not coming to mom’s group when you’re sick. You’re just like, you know, boundaries you can hold lovingly hold in a space, but I also don’t want people to feel obligated that every single person who shows up is a person that they have to accept wholeheartedly, no matter what, zero exceptions, because there is a vibe, you know, does that make sense?
Real Happy Mom 19:12
Yeah, no, definitely, totally getting all that and making notes here too. Because I love how you brought up boundaries in particular, because I think that’s one big thing is moms we could do a lot better on in general. So I think that that’s something I haven’t thought about is having those boundaries, but I can just see how having those boundaries will make just my life a lot better of course, but it will make things go a lot smoother too as well. So I’m glad that you brought up that one. And I love how you said you know, to stop trying to impress others that we naturally just do that. Try to do that at least and it’s just a waste of time. In so I love how you say that and being yourself but I was just wondering if there is someone that is listening and They want to get involved in some type of moms group or some type of community for mothers, where would you suggest they start looking? or How could they start their own if they can’t find something locally?
Lori Beth 20:11
Mm hmm. In person is my jam. That is like, to me, I love the online communities big time, I think there’s a lot of sisterhood there. I think there’s obviously a lot of perspective and ideas sharing. There could be more curiosity, a little more listening, and some of the online forums, a little more manners. But there’s still the good there, too. So I like the in person stuff. And I started something on Facebook, Facebook is not my favorite platform, but it was a vehicle for connection. So I use that we did in person meetups, I know that it’s kind of a crazy time right now. But I’m hoping that this episode ages Well, in the future, that we will be able to get together more in person or you know, in our bubbles, or whatever it is. If you’re curious, I would highly recommend going on Facebook, looking up local moms groups to your area, asking if there’s any meetups that are happening, asking if there are other moms with kids, your kids age who’d like to get together or kids with different interests, you know, it can be everything, from homeschool to four year olds, to my kids really into sports. Are there any other sports moms out there, just something that you could connect over, and then try to meet up. And if it goes great, great. You know, that’s one way to start your own moms group. Or you might find and putting out that post that, yeah, there’s actually a sports mom club over here, you know, maybe you should look into joining that something might already exist. If it doesn’t, I highly, highly, highly recommend people start one. And one of the main reasons is, as the organizer, if you will, it doesn’t take nearly as much as people think. And one of the main benefits is, especially if you’re a working mom, like myself and have this different schedule that I have to work around with interviews, and writing and renovating and all this, I set the schedule, so at a time that I can show up. And that is one of the best, best, best best things. And let’s say nobody shows up, then you and your kids have gotten out of the house for a day of adventure together. So it really is a win win situation of just motivating you to get out the door. But it really is as simple as choosing a date and time and a location and then sharing that. And then you can choose a focus, like I was mentioning, like sports moms or toddler moms or anything like that, then you can just advertise it either through word of mouth, or through Facebook or casual texts or just advertising as you meet moms at the park. So advertising sounds like a big word. But really what I mean is you got to tell people about it. So you’ve picked your date and time and location, you kind of have a focus in mind. You’ve told people about it. And then you can establish some guidelines within that group. And I wish I had thought of a few guidelines before I got started. But they just naturally work themselves out. So even if issues come up, and they will, you can still gracefully work through them. Because not every moms group is going to be picture perfect and awesome. There’s going to be kids that pull hair or moms that disagree about something. But there’s going to be things that show up there just are so having a couple of guidelines as the organizer. And clearly communicating those rules at the beginning can really help keep your group peaceful and private and fun. So I also try to focus on the do’s rather than the don’ts when I’m thinking about my list. So I have things like please do attend only if you’re you and your child are healthy. Please do keep dogs at home for the safety and comfort of all please be aware of food allergies. That’s not saying like, Oh, you know, this is a peanut free zone or something like that. Unless, of course, that’s something that you need in your group or want just you know, make it clear from the beginning. You know, please ask permission before taking or sharing photos. Just please understand that we all have different parenting styles, and that’s okay. You know, please understand we’re here to have fun and keep this light and then I definitely have two big no no’s, which is like no drama and no bashing. So I also feel like you can go deep rather than wide. So in a world of how many followers do you have? How many legs do you have? How many moms in your mom’s group Do you have it doesn’t matter. Go deep, not wide. Is my is my recommendation for that. And then my last tip for starting a mom’s group is let go of expectations. Let go, the expectation that everyone’s going to show up every single time, let go of the expectation that moms who said they were going to be they’re going to show up because diaper explosions,
Lori Beth 25:13
doctor’s appointments, life with kids, everything is kind of topsy turvy. So the more I could let go of that expectation that everyone was going to show up, the more at peace I was with that, because that’s me aligning my actions and values, making space for other moms to meet the needs of their family, because that’s the most important thing. And you’re going to have moms who are nervous, they’re nervous to show up or they’re hesitant to show up for whatever reason, that’s their thing, you know, and to not not take that on as as your thing and it’s not going to go perfectly and every mom who joins isn’t going to stay forever and ever and ever. And that’s okay, you know, let go of the expectation that the group is going to form overnight, and it’s going to be an instant success. Or that every meetup is going to be perfect, or that every mom is going to be a good fit. And I also recommend letting go of the notion that all moms groups are negative on in person stuff is not like online stuff. It’s not. So everyone’s like, Oh, I can’t join a moms group. They’re so catty, they’re so rude. They’re so disrespectful, man. There’s just some online groups. And that’s only some moms, you’re actually going to find some really awesome moms out there. But when I’ve asked people in the past, why they haven’t joined a moms group, they said because moms groups are terrible. They’re super negative. And I was like, wow, mine is my lifeline. So you can be part of that Lifeline system for other people, too. And it’s just awesome. That’s all I have to say about moms group is that it’s just awesome. It creates that community, it creates that diversity. And it’s just something to look forward to. One of the best things I did was to start moms group on a Monday morning, Mondays are my favorite day of the week, then. And so you’ve checked that off the list of things to do for the week, get together with friends and have fun, and it just really started everything out on a super positive note. If you have a Monday through Friday schedule, Saturday morning, wake up and just go off that energy of the week and go out and join your friends, hang out, let your kids play with other kids. You sit around and talk with other moms. It’s just so so so so so life giving, so life giving.
Real Happy Mom 27:30
Yes, yes. And I have been making notes because I love all the tips you gave on starting a moms group. Because that is something I’ll be honest, I did not think about doing something in person. Of course, I have my online version, but in person that definitely be helpful. So I’m just wondering if there’s any moms that are listening, that either want to connect with you or get in your mom’s group? Where can we find you online so that we can learn more about you and what you’re doing?
Lori Beth 27:55
Oh, you’re so awesome. Thanks. My favorite website as my podcast website, elevating motherhood.com. And my favorite social media platform and account is my Instagram account. Lori Beth Aldridge. I also have at elevating motherhood, for stuff about the podcast, but really, truly I love to show up as me at Lori Beth Aldridge. And there’s also elevating motherhood and Yaga mamas over on Facebook as well. But again, the real action, Instagram.
Real Happy Mom 28:25
Yes, and I will be sure to include all of those links in the show notes. So Lori, Beth, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of this with us. This has been awesome. And I really, really appreciate it.
Lori Beth 28:36
Thanks, Tony. And you’re so great. I really appreciate you to
Real Happy Mom 28:40
this episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast. If you want to get the links and show notes mentioned in this episode, make sure you head over to Real Happy Mom calm. And do me a favor if you found this podcast helpful. rate and review in Apple podcast. Because let’s be honest, if we are going to go look for something on Amazon, we check the reviews and the ratings before we go and buy something and the same thing applies to podcasts. So your rating and review and Apple podcasts will help me out so much more than you know. And we’ll get the message out that this is a great podcast to listen to. Now that is it for this episode. Make sure to catch me on next week for another full episode. Take care and with lots of love
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