You know having a parenting tribe is awesome.
But that doesn't mean it's always easy. Many caregivers don’t know where to start to find the ideal group of people to support and encourage them in their parenting journey. Friendships can take the back burner when you have kids and a busy calendar.
And with limited time, it can feel too overwhelming to make the effort. But gaining a tribe is worth the work.
Related: Find your parenting tribe
And there's good news. The Quad Cities is full of places that are perfect to meet and cultivate friendships with other caregivers. And meeting and hitting it off is the first step toward developing a parenting tribe you have been hoping to have.
Here's a five places you may find your parenting tribe, if you just take a moment to look around.
With warm weather upon us, we will be spending more time outdoors. Instead of staying in your yard, head to one of the QC's amazing local parks. (There are dozens of them.)
Chances are, there will be other parents there. And in between chasing your kids and serving snacks, you may have a chance to connect. (You just have to be willing to start the conversation.)
The local library
Our local libraries are an amazing resources for all ages. In addition to being a wonderful place to take your kids on any day, there are so many great library programs that can be a great place to connect with other caregivers.
Find a program at your local library that sounds fun. When you get there, you'll be surrounded by other parents who have similar taste. In between storytime and STEM activities, you can make sure to exchange names.
Your child's school
This seems so simple, but so many caregivers are too busy to look around and connect with other parents at their child's school.
But this is the perfect spot to find your tribe. These parents are in the thick of it with you.
Watch for parents in the pickup/dropoff area at school and make sure to connect with the parents you meet in your child's classroom. Many schools have directories - don't be afraid to use it.
And for extra bonus points, attend the next PTA meeting. You will literally be surrounded by other caregivers who care about their kids and their school. That's like a parenting tribe jackpot.
Your child's extracurricular activities
Do you drop your kid off at hockey, dance, baseball or music lessons? Of course you do.
Take that opportunity to make eye contact with another person doing the exact same thing. You may share more than a "Soccer Mom" bumper sticker. And if you have an hour free while your child is practicing, take the chance to have a kid-free conversation.
Many caregivers want to instill the importance of volunteering into their kids. And in the Quad Cities, there are plenty of ways to do that.
And while you do it, you could meet other parents who have the same values as you do. So sign up to plant trees, pick up trash, or help with a local nonprofit organization. And then keep your eyes peeled for other parents who are doing the same.
Guess what? You can really meet your future parenting tribe anywhere you already are.
There's no reason you have to go out of your way to meet other caregivers who will support you along your journey. But you will probably have to break outside your shell to make that first connection.
Related: What you can learn from how kids make friends
Say hi. Exchange names. Ask about the person's child and family. Maybe make plans or connect on social media. It isn't complicated, but it can be scary to put yourself out there.
But if you do it, you'll be giving yourself a gift. And chances are, you'll also be giving the other person a gift. Because you could be talking to someone who wishes he (or she) had a tribe, too.