My husband and I are not native to the Raleigh area.
Four months after driving cross country from Montana to settle into our small Raleigh apartment, we found out we were expecting. It was a wonderfully happy revelation for us. We spent the next nine months preparing, as all expectant parents do, and I joined several “moms groups” in an attempt to make some fellow mom friends or even a local friend in general. I had no such luck. My husband works from home and I was studying for my national boards so we also lacked the ability to make friends at work. While I was beyond excited to be expecting, I was also feeling very isolated and a bit lonely. These feelings only intensified following the birth of our daughter. At times the loneliness felt so heavy it was oppressive.
When I heard about TAPS via social media I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to participate. While I had been extremely excited leading up to the first group meeting, on the day of I became nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, and I worried that I would be judged by the other moms for my self-perceived flaws as a new parent. Moments after the group started I knew my fears were unfounded and that I had made an incredible decision that was going to benefit my mental health immensely. I was surrounded by other moms who were struggling with, surviving, and thriving through the same challenges that I was facing. I LOVED meeting with my group every week. The support without judgement was absolutely invaluable! No matter what challenges any of us were going through at time, we all knew we were not alone. We had each other. I came away from TAPS knowing that as moms we were all strong, resilient, tough, smart, and capable. Meeting with those incredible women each week got me through the hard times in those early months of parenting. Looking back on it now, I don’t know how I would have survived without my TAPS group.
You hear ten weeks and you think, “my goodness that is a long time” but when that last meeting rolls around your heart is heavy. I did NOT want TAPS to end. While we don’t get together every week anymore, we have continued to meet monthly. It continues to be something I thoroughly look forward to and immensely enjoy. We still support each other, we still work through parenting issues together, it’s still awesome, and I still love my mom tribe.