I couldn’t do motherhood without my village.

And yes, a village, because it takes more than just a tribe.

Tribes, like people come in all different shapes and sizes; there’s no one size fits all. I’ve come to learn that I don’t need a singular group to do motherhood with, because I found I am already surrounded by a much greater support system of love.

So, here’s my thank you to each one of them, for all they continue to be.

Thank you to the old friends, the ones who knew me before kids. You were the ones who watched me flourish and grow up. And despite the fact that our lives may be on a spectrum of activities, ages, and distance, I love the love we still have for each other.

I couldn’t do motherhood without you, my pre-kids friends. You’re always there to remind me of who I was and really, who I still am. Sure, I may have changed and, over time, matured. But you’re there to spark that youthful fire that always used to glow. And on the days I feel burned out, remind me of how much I still shine.

I got to choose you as my friend, a bond we sometimes have to fight to keep. But there’s nothing more warming than seeing that our kids would choose each other as friends, too—despite ourselves and our schedules. It just solidifies that no matter the circumstances, this relationship was made to last and I couldn’t thank you any more for still being a part of my life.

Thank you to the new friends, the friends I met because you had kids the same age as mine. Thank you for coming into my life when I needed you the most. You get it. You understand this very stage of life, because you’re living it every day, too—sometimes right by my side.

You have watched just about every milestone my child has experienced, and I love that because of our children we have become friends. We may not have the comfortable familiarity of an old friendship, but most days it feels like we never did not know each other. We’re in the trenches together and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. You’re leaving your footprint on this chapter of my life, and I couldn’t welcome you with more open arms to grow with this new version of me.

Thank you to the “their” friends, the friends I made through my children because of school, sports or whatever barrage of activities we share. We have the most important thread in common: the well-being of our children. Though we’re still learning through this stage of parenting, when our kids get to make their own friends while we silently watch, I’m really glad they chose yours. I love that your child makes my child happy and is helping to shape who he becomes.

We get to observe our children’s friendship blossom from the sidelines, but through their friendship we are growing one, too. Our interactions may be limited to the occasional school function, sports practice, or text to say hello, but we get it. We share an unspoken pact—that you are keeping a watchful eye on my child when I can’t, and I on yours. You make sure to send me a photo, so I don’t miss a moment or to cheer my child on, to let him know I’m around. And in that, I couldn’t thank you enough for caring for mine like your own.

Thank you to my e-friends, the digital fortress that has become a staple in this modern-day life. These groups are everything from friendships lost and reconnected in the social media age, to a common forum that brought us together. Thank you for being an immediate source of reassurance when I needed it. And at many times, the people giving me a virtual hug for things we couldn’t speak out loud. You are my judgment-free zone, my cheerleaders to celebrate motherhood’s wins, and my safe haven to lift me during my defeats.

We may not be doing “real life” together, but you are giving me heartfelt advice and support to get me through my days. And I couldn’t be more grateful to have a web of friends when I need them the most. You may forget that you are and feel like you don’t serve a purpose, but you’re leaving a bigger impact than you could ever imagine.

If you feel lost trying to find a tribe, may you realize there are so many right around you. You have different people who cross different paths in your life and I hope you can embrace all of them for the balance they’ll bring. Each will serve a purpose that the another can’t, and in them, you couldn’t find a better army to march through the hardest days of motherhood with.

Thank you to my village. I may not say it enough, but you have each left a mark in my life. And in this, I’m forever grateful for you, who have helped shape me into who I’ve become.

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Pri Walker

Pri Walker is based out of Orlando, Florida, where she indulges in all the simple joys that life has to offer. She, her husband, and their two young children are avid world travelers, fun seekers, and always yearning to learn through experience. Her passion to write comes from her love to get lost in a good book. She is proud owner and writer at Adventure Somewhere, where she documents her family's travels and inspires others to take the trip.