Giving Thanks: Gratitude for Finding Our Tribe
Being a new parent can feel especially isolating. Babies are beautiful and wonderful and all, but they’re not big talkers, at least not early on. Thanks to social media, new parents can now connect with one another virtually to help with the isolation. But being social on social media and finding your tribe are not the same. The former is a placebo; the latter is the real medicine.
In 2006 one Indiana gMum named Brighid set out to find her tribe. She started a Yahoo chat group for fans and customers of gDiapers. The group was a magnet for like-minded moms and dads looking to connect. Over 5,000 messages were shared each month, covering topics from “Why do the gPants close around the back?” to “Any tips for increasing my milk supply?” The Yahoo group scratched the social itch that so many new parents were craving, and it set a precedent for finding new ways to connect online and in person.
Meanwhile, back in Portland, we wanted to meet up, face to face, and find our tribe, too. We began hosting gTeas. Local moms and dads would drop in for an hour or two, babies in tow, to have a cup of tea and just hang out. We grew to know our local customers so well that they became our true friends.
Eventually, the Yahoo group gave way to Facebook and the word about gTeas spread. In April of 2011 we set out to host a gTea in Portland, and among the RSVPs were gMums from out of state who decided to fly in to attend! We quickly rallied the team; this could be no ordinary gathering of the tribe. We decided to host a slumber party at gHQ. 36 moms, plus their children, stayed the night! 4 years later, we’re still talking about it!
That slumber party kicked gTeas to a whole new level, inspiring gMums and gDads to host their own gTeas. Shannon, organized a gTea in Colorado, then more gMums organized them in Illinois, South Carolina, Alaska, Southern California, and even London and Germany! Members of the gTeam would attend when we could, but for the most part, these gTeas were 100% organized and assembled by parents who knew each other solely from social media, with a diaper as the unifying center.
Have you found your tribe yet? You’re always welcome in ours. Join us on Facebook and get to know our community. It’s just a short matter of time until you’ll be face to face, too.