By Sarah Evans
And they are amazing.
In early November 2013 I nervously logged in to a popular parenting website, navigated my way to my birth month board and made my first post. I introduced myself, created a signature and hoped for the best.
I did not expect to make sixty of my closest friends. It sounds a little strange doesn’t it? Some of my closest friends live in my computer screen and in my phone. How can that friendship possibly be real?
Almost three years later, and I’m here to tell you, they are real.
They are so very real. We’ve seen each other through some hard times. It’s not just the deep down in your bones hard times either. We see each other through this crazy hard everyday thing called motherhood.
Picture this—it’s Thursday evening. My husband’s return flight to Memphis has been delayed over five hours. Again. I’ve been stuck by myself all day with super talkative five-year-old who has decided that rules no longer apply to her and a dictatorial two-year-old who could give Mussolini a run for his money. I’m close to tears when I pick up my phone, open the Facebook app, navigate to our group and type out a quick SOS.
“I feel like the worst parent ever today. So much yelling. And Chris’ plane is delayed five hours. Emma is being awful, and I don’t know how much longer I can take it without a breakdown.”
It’s a minor whine really. No one is hurt. No one is sick. No one needs to be rushed to the ER—we are all just sick of each other. Within seconds my phone is pinging and dinging with support. Soon, they’ve got me laughing with solidarity, virtual fist bumps and stories of their own mom fails that day. They got me through. I made it to bedtime without losing my mind thanks to that reprieve.
I need these women.
They are my soul sisters and my best friends. I simply could not do this mom thing without them. I hear over and over again about how parenting takes a village. I have many villages and these women make up one of the most important ones.
We come from different backgrounds, we have different parenting beliefs, we are different races, we are different religions and our families all look a little different. Despite all of our differences, or maybe because of them, we are a tight knit village.
It’s true that they live in my phone most of the time, but for a few brief moments I’ve been lucky to have them live in my arms, to share early morning coffee and giggle over wine and Cards Against Humanity with them. Our babies have had the chance to meet and play.
Both in person and online they are my safe space.
They are the place where I can confess my worst parenting moments, the people I run to when I feel like no one understands me. They come through for me again and again.
We’ve come together to celebrate new babies, weddings, graduations, new careers and big moves. We’ve stood in support over sick spouses, sick children, deployment, divorce and lost jobs. We’ve collectively mourned the loss of pregnancies. A few times we’ve fought. There have been hard words, but ultimately we come back together. We come back together because no matter our differences we truly love one another. Our bond is special and possibly once in a lifetime.
They make me a better mother.
They live in my phone.
They live in my heart.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Moms Blog.