A lot of people who hear me talk about my supportive and loving friends on the Internet give me this look:
Photo Credit: Matt Deavenport on Flickr
Because let’s be clear here: A lot of the Smarty Mommies - these friends of mine - are people I’ve never met. Although they’ve supported me and laughed with me and cried with me and helped me through all the trials and tribulations of motherhood for three years, I’ve only met a handful of them. And so… the look above. It’s hard to explain how people you don’t actually know can be so important to you. But I’m going to try.
We do know each other. We’ve come to this space with a shared goal. To support each other. And as such, we’ve taken the time to get to know each other. To share about our kids and our lives. To discuss how we feel about motherhood and all the good and bad and hard and wonderful stuff that comes with it. We’re thoughtful about what we’re doing here, and it shows. There is authentic affection for one another. When great things happen, we cheer for each other. When difficult things happen, we listen and we’re there for each other.
It really does take a village. Whether most people are willing to admit this or not, it takes more than one or two people to raise a human. I mean, it can be done completely alone, certainly, but probably not without losing your mind. And most people don’t do it completely alone. They have childcare. They have school. They have activities for their kids. They have playdates. They have family and friends who share in their kids’ lives. It takes people to raise people, and most of us don’t have enough support around us. Raising kids requires support, and when you can’t find it or don’t have time for it in real life, it turns out you can find it on the interwebs.
We have stuff (and people!) in common. The original group is self-selected. We’ve all been invited by a friend in the group, and so we all know each other within a few degrees. Six Degrees of Danica Miller, if you will. Because of this, there’s buy in. There’s a higher likelihood of commitment and seriousness when you have a real-life friend who will call you out on your shit. Nobody wants to look like an asshole in front of their people. On top of that, we have our manifesto. The one you see here. We are all mamas who think, feminist mamas, mamas who value similar things, mamas who are committed to listening to one another and to respectful discourse. And shockingly, it’s possible to maintain. Because it matters to us.
Many of us have found real-life friends because of this group of Internet friends. Many people from the group have met up for playdates or drinks, and have discovered that more often than not, we are EXACTLY who we seem to be on the Internet. Because we have so much in common and because we share about ourselves- about our challenges and successes – we’re pretty much ourselves in our intimate corner of the web. And so, it translates beautifully to friendships out in the real world. I met Danica and Christina in the Internet Smartyverse well before meeting them in person. And now look at us. I guess it’s kind of like Internet dating? Which is probably why I get that look.
The Smarties get me. When I’m losing my mind because it’s been raining for days and school is out? They get it. When I’m ridiculously excited that my four year old is FINALLY interested in writing the first letter of his name? They get it. When I feel super proud of myself for cobbling together a last minute Halloween costume from the dress up bin? They get it. And when I’m in tears after the 75th tantrum of the day, they get it. These are women who are going through the same things. Granted, we all have kids of different ages and we all parent slightly differently… but they still get it. We’re mamas. And knowing I don’t have to explain why I’m hiding in the bathroom with a beer at 4:30 in the afternoon really means a lot to me. They get it. And they’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow.
So how does this translate to this brand spankin’ new website? To you? Well… we’re hoping we can bring you the same comfort we’ve been lucky enough to get from the Smarty Mommies. We’re hoping you can come here and find people who get it. Find blog posts that make you laugh or cry or shake your head because you’ve been there. We’re hoping you’ll see that, although we may not all choose to do this motherhood thing the same way, we’re doing it together. And that, my friends, is huge.
So. Hang out. Poke around. Learn a bit about your resident Smarty Mommies. And hopefully you’ll find that you belong here, too. Welcome to Smarty Mommies. Let’s do this motherhood thing.