What Does TRIBE Mean To Me? By Jordan Joanisse
Tribe…. such a trendy word these days it seems. But so profound if you truly understand its purpose and potential. Tribe, the word alone invites a feeling of warmth, security, unity and belonging.
And that is exactly what I have achieved in my life today.
In the past year alone, I have learned how awesome it can be to lean on a group of women and equally want them to lean on me. My tribe, I would describe as strong, fun, and needed. We don’t all hang out together, but they are an exclusive group to me. They are the select few who are invited to view the deepest corners of my life and the brightest. They are the ones who calmly walk me through what to do when I dramatically think my life is a mess or when I think my behaviour as a wife, friend, mother, has been less than ideal. They do not judge, they encourage, there is no blame, they aim to help me take the next step forward to being a better version of myself.
As a doula…in-particular a birth doula, my family and I are dedicated to a life of on-call, so that I can take off when someone else is needing support. There is no way I could be as successful as I am at my job, if my family and tribe did not support my career choice and strive to help see me succeed. Most doulas last about two years…I have been going 7 years strong. I lean on family, I lean on my tribe, I take time off…all of that leads to preserving my energy and keeping that burnout phase at bay. In turn, they lean on me when they need it most as well.
Through inviting this amazing energy of support into my life, I feel a wave of relief whenever I start to face a challenge, because not only do I have a husband to help me through it, I have my team. For more unique situations, such as my kids coming to town on holiday for 3 weeks, and my husband is working 12 hour shifts and I have a long list of clients to see, births to attend and events to plan out and it’s my job to make sure they are cared for and loved during the day, well its hard but the hardest part will actually perhaps surprise you! It’s the buildup…The anticipation of what the intended scenario may present, but actually, in reality, it is so much easier.
Why? Tribe, that’s why.
How does anyone pull off two young kids who are off from school and day care for their age isn’t available and your husband is gone before you wake up and home after dinner hour? Well, I am no super woman, so if that is something you are able to pull off alone, call me…I need to know your secret! For the rest of us regular folk who struggle with the family/work dynamic, what do you do? Who do you call? I call on a select set of women and men who are not only my confidants when I need a listening ear. These are the people who will watch and love my children when I am not there to do so. They shower them with love, offer life lessons and keep them in check as I would. They are the ones I call upon if I am unable to make it to a client and they can go in my stead (doula tribe), or if I need some time off work to dedicate to my loved ones. These are the men and women, who feed my family when I am working late and can’t make it home in time. They love on my kids, they love on my family, they love on me…. always.
These are the chosen few who are the keepers of my heart, my respect and my sanity. They are my tribe.