I recently had a baby. The first two times I gave birth, my husband and I had a strict No Visitors at the Hospital rule. This time around, my third birth, my best friend and her husband joined us in the DELIVERY ROOM. Slightly unconventional? Yes. However, since the child I was delivering was actually theirs, we obviously wanted them to be present for the birth.
Not everyone is going to be a gestational carrier or surrogate, and I wouldn’t recommend having your friends (and especially their husbands) present for every delivery. However, for us, there was something really magical about our time together at the hospital. We played cards while waiting for the Pitocin to kick in, I had two really good labor coaches instead of one, and during recovery we got to spend a lot of time together bonding over the new baby.
Even after coming home from the hospital, we kept looking out for each other. If I was out running errands, I would call and see if she needed anything. She and her family provided a week’s worth of meals for us while I recovered from delivery. We have taken turns offering advice or encouragement over the past couple weeks of recovery. After one particularly long and hilarious group text string among the four of us, I realized exactly what had made this experience so wonderful: we were truly part of a tribe.
Tribe-finding is not an overnight process, and requires some hard work. Just like in any relationship, you have to be willing to put yourself out there, ignore small flaws (even though you may roll your eyes!), and show up.
“Finding your mom tribe” is a hot topic in the blogosphere these days, but I think it is just as important to find your “couple tribe” – that other couple (or couples!) that understands you and your husband both. Friends you can have fun with together, where everyone actually likes each other. My husband and I can relax with them, share our real selves with them…and even agreed to have their baby!
Tips for Finding Your “Couple Tribe”
Put yourself out there.
You’ll never have the intimate relationship of a tribe without being vulnerable, willing to laugh at yourself, and being honest. It’s a little bit like dating at first – getting to know the other couple and seeing if you really, really like them.
The only way you’ll get to the level of ease and comfort in a relationship that we all crave is by spending time with the other person or people.
Ignore small flaws.
This is just all around good relationship advice. Does your husband do things that annoy you? Of course he does. Do you ignore them because he is otherwise so wonderful? Of course you do. And he is likely doing the same for you. The same holds true in a tribe.