By Becky Santoro, Watershed Children's Director

I grew up surrounded by a group of women. My mom has strong friendships with many but I remember a handful of women that were her TRIBE. These ladies got together to laugh, pray for each others' kids, and supported each other in the ups and downs of life. Literally, these women were in my mom’s everyday life and they watched me grow up… awkward phases and all.

When I turned 18 these women all got together in one room to sip on tea, sit around a table, and read out loud a letter they wrote me. It was a letter of encouragement: things they saw in me growing up, ways they prayed for me, what they hope I would experience and learn as I moved forward into adulthood.

I’m a mom of a 4 year old and a 2 year old and I’m picturing who might be at the table when it’s their turn to sip on tea and hear women read them a letter.

I’m preparing the table now.

A tribe isn’t born overnight. It’s 1,000 small memories and conversations. It’s staying in touch when some of them move. It’s laughing at the mom moments and it’s the crying alongside them when hard parts of life happen; when infertility, miscarriages, and unexpected trials enter.

It’s being vulnerable enough to share the deepest fears and failures as a parent or wife and then realizing you’re not alone. It’s the judgement free zone when you need to vent but also those who will tell you the tough truth when you need that too.

It’s showing up in the lives of their children too and loving them like your own; going to the ball games, birthday parties, dance recitals. It’s lending an ear when their kids won’t listen to them but will listen to you. It’s problem solving together through the growing pains.

So pull up a chair around the women you care about. Make sure your calendar, in all its busyness, carves out time for you to be with them and their families. Let your kids bear witness to it too.

It’s too important to not spend time investing in preparing the table by building your tribe.  And the good news is there’s always room for more chairs.

Find your tribe and love them hard.

Happy Mother’s Day,