[A big thank you to the sweet bloggers that took a moment and shared their thoughts. Your input meant so much in writing this post! Mamalode, Naptime Nation, Beyond Your Blog, Heartskeeper Community Writers]
The need for community is strong for most people, even us self-proclaimed introverts. And though I cherish the few hours of solitude I can get (hey, I am a mom) I still find myself longing for meaningful conversation and comradery in this thing called life and blogging. I especially find the need for community since I am a full-time SAHM and blogger. In other words, I don’t get out much.
The need for community in both my elements reminded me of the first few months of being home with my children full-time. I jumped head-first into every SAHM play group that I could find in the area I lived. If anyone even smiled my way, I vowed to be their BFF (not the best plan I learned.)
Instead of finding some great, meaningful friendships being built, I discovered how truly taxing it was to be around folks I did not really even like- all for the sake of being in community.
Where I often times loved diversity, I found myself loathing all the opinions and personalities. It was mama drama 24/7.
I felt like I was drowning in what appeared to be community but truly wasn’t, and no one even realized how miserable I was because no one truly knew me- Sarah, the mom, the coffee addict, travel enthusiast, daydreamer…..
I slowly started stepping away and began reevaluating my needs and wants from the SAHM community. It took some time to weed out those incompatible relationships, but I am now in a city where I have other SAHM mamas but no drama. It has been a great year, actually.
A few weeks back I asked a few of the blogging groups I am active in to help me navigate the true needs and wants of fellow bloggers when it came to community. I discovered, to no surprise, that bloggers are seeking very similar things in their working communities as they are in their personal relationships.
Four different blogger groups shared what they sought in community:
And though there were slight differences in each group’s style, personalities and purpose, the overall desire to feel belonging and support were key in each one. It does not seem much different from our personal relationships.
Would you agree?
In life and blogging, we don’t always have to be with people who always share our beliefs, our gifts or ideas in the exact same way we operate, but there can be a common ground. We all want to be supported, to share our passions, to have a place to communicate and find encouragement.
Where one group will fit the needs of some bloggers, it won’t be a good fit for others. The great thing is there are groups everywhere and with some time and effort, you can find ones that fit you. And when you do, you can begin to grow and reciprocate that same support and encouragement.
When you feel like you belong, you will begin to blossom and become a support for someone else.
If you are at a spot where it seems like an impasse, rather in mom-hood or in the blogger-sphere, let me encourage you to push on. I find that when you have not experienced support, communication and encouragement in your own personal community, it tends to make you better at them because you know first-hand what it feels like when they lack.
Keep searching for your posse. They are there and they need you to be a part of their crew.
And in case you are still searching, you are always welcome in mine!