‘I don’t want a tribe because tribes have leaders. There I said it.’: Mom explains why she’d rather have ‘damn good friends’ than a ‘tribe’

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“I don’t want a tribe because tribes have leaders.

There I said it.

I might be the only female millennial in her 30s not presently seeking, building, praying for, manifesting a very carefully and purposefully curated (don’t forget the hashtag and Instagram-worthy photo and caption) tribe.

I’m a stay-at-home but sometimes freelancing, mother of 3 who isn’t in search of living her best life with her best pals just footsteps behind her, ready to drape her in well-meaning, but overgenerous compliments and praise.

And, here’s why:

I don’t want a tribe because tribes have leaders.

It bears repeating, and that’s why I repeated it.

And I sure as hell don’t want to be a leader to anyone except for my kids.

I don’t want to follow one, either, because, without a doubt, I lead myself.

Do you know what I want?

I want friends because friends don’t have leaders — at least the good and easy friendships don’t.

Not a single thing about a female adult camaraderie should revolve around control, and commitment.

We’ve all got enough responsibility at home and work and enough humans (ourselves included) in our nuclear families to keep under control.

I don’t want a tribe.

I don’t want people that I have to report to or who feel they must report to me.

I don’t want a tribe

I just want to bump into you at my kids’ school and vibe.

I don’t want a tribe.

I just want someone who won’t judge me for regularly spending $4+ on store-bought coffee, but also buy my sneakers from Walmart for $9.

I don’t want a tribe.

I just want you to text me and be totally fine with waiting a week for a response.

I don’t want a tribe.

I just want for you to feel comfortable in my home, eating my food, drinking my wine, and not judging my mess.

I don’t want a tribe.

I just want people in my life who are cool with not playing a needy role in it.

I’ll be there for you when the time comes, and as often as it arises, there’s no doubt about that, but not because you are a member of my tribe, but because we are friends.

Really damn good friends.

And, who needs a tribe when you’ve got those?

Surely not this girl.”

Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme, where the post originally appeared. You can follow her on Facebook, her website or podcastDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from this mama:

‘To all the men with daughters, you need to love your WIFE as you want your DAUGHTER to be loved.’

‘The last thing I wanted to do was hug her.’: Overwhelmed mom ‘swallows her pride’ to embrace daughter during meltdown

‘You’re too young to get married,’ they said. I was 22, fresh out of college. This man was 8 years my senior. ‘What do you see in him? It will never work.’

‘My 7-year-old daughter asked me to snuggle. ‘I can’t. Someone has to clean up dinner, and APPARENTLY that someone is me,’ I told her, quite matter of factly.’

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