This is a sponsored post for merci chocolates, a thoughtful collection of fine, European chocolates. All experiences and opinions are my own.
A Celebration of My Mom Tribe & How to Find Yours
Without my Mom Tribe, life would lose much of its color, laughter and fun. I’m blessed with the most beautiful, real women that challenge me, support me and pray for me. It’s time to say, “merci,” to my Mom Tribe who I love dearly.
When merci chocolates reached out to me and asked me to host a celebration of my Mom Tribe, there was an immediate and resounding, “Yes!” Now is the perfect time to say merci and give a gift of gratitude to the women who truly make my life as a mother a little bit easier.
Because my friends brighten my life, I decided to host a colorful brunch full of flowers, food and of course, delicious merci Chocolates as a token of unwavering appreciation. What good Mom Tribe celebration doesn’t have chocolate? Am I right?
The women I chose to celebrate stand out to me for their genuine natures, servant’s hearts, gracious spirits and strong convictions. While this group isn’t one that is getting together consistently to meet, these are the women who I rely on as I navigate life and motherhood.
To say the least, this gathering was much needed. We supported a a friend who recently lost her mother. There were heartfelt messages of gratitude for all the empowering moms at the table. We laughed at things that we swore would never leave the table and promised ourselves that we would do this again…sooner rather than later.
While I hosted a fancy brunch, our text thread included this sentiment, “I loved today more than I can express. I vote we do this once a month. We can rotate hosting. I volunteer to host next, and it will be a ‘IRL’ (in real life) theme. Dirty house, sweatpants, no homemade anything.” That really reflects us as mothers rather most days – imperfectly real! That’s just what I love about these women. We are real! I need to be around people when my house, my hair and my kids aren’t perfect because guess what, they are not. IRL it is!
The table scape for this particular party was a garden theme inspired by the beautiful tulips I’ve been seeing in the stores. The colors were bright and fun with galvanized steel containers to hold the colorful arrangements. Each pink scalloped plate was adorned with a beautiful flower napkin and a galvanized steel napkin holder. Alongside was a collection of pieces of delicious merci Chocolates.
We had a bacon and swiss quiche alongside a tasty broccoli and cheddar quiche. The blueberry muffins and coffee cake muffins were also a huge hit. I served banana bread, orange juice and fruit to complete the spread. Pair all of this with merciChocolate, and you have brunch goals!
If you love a smooth, European chocolate, look no farther than merci Chocolate. Living in England for a year, I did come to appreciate the quality and uniqueness of European chocolates. merci delivers by offering a fine collection of eight unique, individually wrapped flavors, including Milk Chocolate, Coffee and Cream, Hazelnut-Almond, Hazelnut-Crème, Marzipan, Dark Cream, Dark Mousse and Praline-Crème.
The name “merci” literally means thank you, and that is exactly what they are encouraging you to express. Whether thanking your own Mom Tribe, teachers, the mail man, your parents or someone else who has come alongside you, I encourage you to take the time to say, “merci!”
To understand more about the company, merci was born in Germany in 1965. The brand is most recognized as Europe’s famous gift giving chocolate. Today, people in more than 100 countries around the world — from Poland to Singapore, Sweden to Slovenia — share merci as a thoughtful token of appreciation. These chocolates are available in grocery stores and retailers nationwide in 7-ounce boxes at a standard retail price of $5-7. I found mine at Target.
Without a Mom Tribe Where Would I Be?
Without a mom tribe, life would look too different – unimaginable really. Motherhood has been the most refining journey for me, there have surely been ups and downs along the way, but I truly believe love is more deeply understood when you become a mother – so is anger and frustration. The pure joy that can be found in the smiles, discoveries and meaningful moments with a child can be the highlight of any day. For me, there have also been times of deep mourning – a grieving for my own shortcomings, unmet motherhood expectations and daily challenges that I didn’t know would derail me. It’s a roller coaster, but it’s worth the ride. However, I can’t imagine taking this ride without my core group of people that I turn to for emotional and practical support – my Mom Tribe.
Without my Mom Tribe, I would feel like I am failing at this whole mom thing. There would be the misconception that I am the only one who struggles with their kids. Many assumptions are made when you are watching someone else’s life from the outside looking in. When engaging with other women in real, honest and vulnerable way, you quickly learn that we all have our own worries and struggles when it comes to motherhood. It’s not just me! It’s not just you! While one mom is worried about their child’s inability to focus, another is concerned about intense behavioral issues that manifest daily. A member of a mom tribe might see a moral issue that plagues their child, while another can’t seem to figure out how to get their picky eater to consume anything. One mom might have a child who seems to be hyperactive while another child is so disorganized that they can’t seem to bring home their homework, get it done or turn it in once completed. When you have a Mom Tribe, you realize more and more that you are not alone in the hopes or concerns you have for your child.
Without my Mom Tribe, I wouldn’t have had the back-up and support I have needed to survive. Having another mom who can pick up my child at school when I wasn’t available has been crucial. Knowing that I have someone to watch my kids, so I can go on a much-needed date or even on a vacation has been such a blessing. To know my children will be cared for, loved and directed well in my absence has brought so much peace and serenity to my life. When I threw my back out last summer and could barely move, it was my village of amazing moms that saved the day. Parenting takes a lot of effort and work, but a Mom Tribe lightens that load tremendously.
Without my Mom Tribe, I would feel alone. Who would lend that listening ear when I need to vent? Who would be the shoulder when I need to cry? With whom would I share my laughter? To have someone to bounce ideas off of, express myself with and just to do life alongside has been the biggest blessing. Of course, I have my husband who is wonderful and supportive. He can do all these things with me and for me, but there is something unique about other women who are walking along a similar journey with me. There are some things only other moms can truly understand.
How to Find Your Mom Tribe
Women crave to have a Mom Tribe. Their special core group of women to be there through all of the tremendous joys and everyday struggles of motherhood. Even though there is a deep longing to find a Mom Tribe, sometimes it can be difficult. Below I am sharing how I found mine!
My biggest suggestion is to reach out. It is easy to sit back and hope that someone or a particular group of women will reach out to you, but that is often ineffective. It’s time to take initiative. Invite! Invite! Invite! Invite a woman or a group of women over into your mess. It will make her feel more comfortable about her own. Invite her to coffee. Go out for dinner. Take a trip to the park or the zoo. Do something to initiate community.
Get involved in the things that are important to you, your family and your children. You will find like-minded women out there. I promise! Whether it’s church, the PTA, a mom work-out group, MOPS, online groups, mom-child classes, volunteering for an organization that means something to you or even starting a conversation at local parks, it takes involvement. Being actively engaged in my church has been essential for finding my tribe.
Being vulnerable isn’t always easy, but authenticity is important. No, you don’t want to unload all of your problems on a new friend but sharing some of your struggles while also celebrating some of the joys will help you to connect in a real, authentic way. Be yourself. That is how you will best find your tribe.
Sometimes it takes persistence to find friends. It may take trial and error to find your kindred spirit friends. It normally doesn’t just happen in the first meeting, so be willing to reach out and reconnect. It’s hard when we have busy lives – especially when the kids are super young. But it is OK to take time for YOU – to take some time to develop friendships. It is a healthy process so stay with it!
Initially, be friendly, smile and greet. While getting to know someone, be genuinely interested in their own experiences and journey. Listen. Relate. Care. We make friends when we are a good friend. If someone had a new baby or is sick, take them a meal. Offer to watch their child or even clean their house. When we generally serve and love others well, friendship often follows.
Without a mom tribe, motherhood isn’t nearly so sweet. Celebrate yours or find yours! You will be truly blessed because of it.