With Hello My Tribe, Alex Winkelman Zeplain is creating a safe space for mothers to share their struggles and challenges, all while leading happy and healthy lives.
By Alex Winkelman Zeplain, Photo by Angela Doran
I always wanted to be a mom. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was going to love motherhood; there was no other option. It was going to be a breeze because I love babies and had dreamed about this day my entire life. Most of this didn’t happen. Quickly, I became lonely, anxious, angry, confused, exhausted and felt misunderstood as a new mother.
And then came the frustration that this was my motherhood experience. Motherhood was not what I expected and I was drowning. How could this be?
I set out to answer that very question. I spent hours and hours reading about motherhood, learning about postpartum mood disorders, coming up empty-handed when it came to resources and tools for women and being totally shocked at the state of maternal health in our country. I talked with every new mom I could find to learn about their experiences. Was I crazy? Was I the only one who felt this way?
Three big lessons I learned:
- No, I was not alone in my feelings and experiences with motherhood.
- There was so much out there about taking care of babies, but there was a total lack of attention and resources for mothers.
- The issues facing women in this country in regards to maternal health are huge and a lot bigger than I personally experienced.
What was I going to do? I had to come up with a solution not only for myself, but for other women and their families as well.
Thankfully, my OB-GYN prescribed postpartum self-care tips to me. This is not the story you often hear when a frazzled mom goes to see her doctor. It’s often an experience met with total disregard and a response like, “This is normal. You’re a new mom, so deal with it,” or, “This prescription for an antidepressant will do the trick.” I’m a lucky one.
The postpartum self-care tips had a positive impact on my life. I still practice them. And I knew they would help other women too, so I started inviting others to practice with me. This is when Hello My Tribe was born, in 2016. Some 800 women came to practice self-care with me at studios throughout Austin. It was a magical experience for so many of us. Personally, I made new friends, I gained a support system and I learned so much.
Most importantly, I learned that we mothers need and deserve more—more community, information, tools, opportunities and understanding. And if we don’t get this care and support, not only will we suffer, but our children, families and communities can be negatively impacted.
As fun as the studio classes were, they were not sustainable. I then experienced a new set of stresses, all of which seeped into my life as a mother and wife. I wasn’t fully living out the very mission I proclaimed— to be a healthy and happy mother—so change needed to happen. I also knew I wanted to have an impact on as many women and mothers as possible.
This year, Hello My Tribe pivoted into a digital platform and community for women and mothers, encouraging all to practice self-love and self-care for the benefit of self, family and society.
Our partners, members, contributors and ambassadors play such an important role for our platform and community. Together, we continue to learn what mothers want and need.
Together, we are creating a safe space for mothers to share their struggles and challenges. Together, we are making it possible for women to be inspired to live healthy and happy lives as mothers.
I am going to make a bold statement: I think together, we lit a fire and it’s the beginning of a movement. I’m not the one who did this. We did this.
Our community is coming together this month in two big ways: The Healthy Lady, Happy Baby challenge and campaign is an invitation for women to share their honest motherhood stories and self-care tips. We are also launching our Motherhood Wellness Guide, an in-depth resource covering topics from fertility to postpartum. More details can be found on hellomytribe.com.