How many times have you needed help with one of your kids, but felt like you had nobody to turn to? Those are the moments when you realize it really does “take a village” to raise children — and thankfully, an online village can be just as helpful as your local neighbors or friends.
One mom who knows this all too well is Janessa, a member of Grown & Flown’s private parenting support group. In a moving post, she recently described the harrowing night involving her son who was over 3,500 miles away at college in Alaska.
In her post, Janessa wrote that her son called her at 3 AM, crying in pain.
“He had gotten up to go to the bathroom and his leg gave out on him and he fell to the floor and couldn’t walk,” Janessa shared. “He was in excruciating pain and scarred [sic] … and 3,500 miles away from home.”
Shortly after Janessa’s son called her, his RA carried him down three flights of stairs and took him to the emergency room. The mother then tried desperately to book a flight so she could be by his side. And that’s when she got an idea.
“I was frantically checking flights to Alaska (as if that is even financially feasible!) and I remembered I had befriended a Grown and Flown mom that was local to his school,” said Janessa. “I reached out and she offered to help.”
That woman was Benita, who lived very close to her son. Janessa contacted her right away, and Benita didn’t hesitate to help. She went to visit Janessa’s son, made sure he got his prescription filled, brought him some other things to make him more comfortable, like a heating pad, and even included a special lunch.
“She wouldn’t even let me pay her back and just told me to pay the favor forward,” Janessa said. “It was just such a wonderful thing she did.”
After the ordeal was over, Benita gave Janessa the best gift — a picture of her smiling son.
Because she wanted everyone to know how touched and thankful she was, Janessa posted the story to Grown and Flown’s private support group, where it quickly received a flood of positive comments. The story was later shared on the group’s public page, and went viral with over 6K likes.
“It’s a great way to spread awareness to other parents to step up and do similar for kids in other areas,” Janessa tells Babble.
“We need to coordinate parent support,” said one fellow parent.
Another confessed, “This brought me to tears. This is an incredible story and my heart has melted.”
Yet another mom chimed in and said something we’ve all felt before: “Great example of why moms must stick together.”
And stick together we must, whether it’s in person or online. Personally, I don’t know what I’d do without my online tribe. Some of the moms I’ve confided to in the past have been people I’ve never met in person, but who were available to listen and talk things out with me through messaging or texts — and it’s been my saving grace.
These support groups are crucial for many reasons; there’s nothing more powerful than hearing “You’re not alone,” and being able to go to a safe place and get advice from parents who have “been there” too.
But to be able to provide this kind of support to a fellow mom is priceless. True acts of selflessness cannot be replaced.
Sometimes we find our people in real life, and there are times when our angels find us online — and it’s a wonderful gift to receive and give.