My internet mom friends are real

They make me a better mother. They live in my phone. They live in my heart.

My internet mom friends are real

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?

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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.

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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