An online mom group has proven (yet again) that true friendship knows no boundaries — or state lines.
It may just be a simple image of a car seat, but a recent post by Abby Murphy is going viral for reminding us all what having “a village” really looks like. Murphy’s post is a beautiful tribute to her online friend, who sent the new mom a much-needed car seat in the mail recently. The new mom later shared it on the Facebook page Love What Matters over the weekend, where it’s since been shared more than 1,400 times and racked up more than 400 comments from other moms who understand exactly what she is talking about.
“To those who say the village is dead,” Murphy writes, “This is a car seat. It arrived on my porch this afternoon. Approximately two days after venting to a dear friend. A friend I have never met in person.”
Yet while the pair have never actually shared a hug or comforted each other face to face, Murphy says they most definitely have a meaningful and rich friendship:
“She listened to me as I listed off how unprepared I was for the imminent arrival of the newest member of our family,” Murphy writes. “How I still needed to get out the baby things, organize and wash clothes, find a babysitter, get a car seat, get a clue in general … This is more than a car seat to me. It will forever be a reminder that there are really good people out there: people who care, people who go above and beyond. My village.”
I know a thing or two about online mom friends myself — I have a whole tribe of them who are there for me whenever I need them. We interact daily by sharing humorous stories, gripes, advice, and regular banter over morning coffee. We’re true friends. And when one of us has surgery or falls ill, the rest of us pool our resources and fundraise to have her house cleaned for a few weeks. When one of us gives birth, the rest of us rush out to the post office to send off goodie packages.
The idea that online friendships are somehow flippant or one-dimensional may have been true a decade ago, but times have changed. Women are turning to the Internet more than ever to create tribes of support out of a need for understanding and acceptance and help. Because motherhood is too damn hard to go it alone.
In her Love What Matters post, Murphy has certainly struck a chord with followers. Women were leaving comments in droves to share pictures and proud descriptions of their “mom villages.”
“My online friends are daily reminders to me that there are people out there that are good, and caring, and helpful in so many ways as we go through hardships together, even though we’ve never met,” wrote Facebook user Libby B. “It’s a worldwide connection.”
Some women, however, are still looking to find their tribe.
“I’m still looking for my mommy village,” wrote Sarah A. “I don’t have many friends due to the fact many moved away or don’t have kids. But I do have such a great support system from my fiancée family. So that’s good. Baby number 3 due in 7 weeks.”
I’m willing to bet good money that if Murphy and her online friend ever do meet in person, it will be an epic and marvelous moment for them to share.
Here’s to mom tribes everywhere — whether they’re formed with neighborhoods down the street, best friends from college, or with strangers halfway across the world.