Having a group of mom friends that can support you and relate to every challenge you’re going through makes all the difference when you’re new to motherhood. One group of moms who met online just celebrated ten years of friendship and are proving why mom tribes are so important.

These days, online mom groups are cropping up everywhere, but just a decade ago making new friends online was still a relative novelty. One group of moms paved the way when they started a group ten years ago and they are all still friends to this day.

photo: Simon Maage via Pixabay 

During her first pregnancy, Briean Vandeventer, now a Texas mom of four, felt lonely as many first-time moms do. As the only one of her close friends to become pregnant, her doctor suggested she make some new friends through an online group. That’s when she turned to JustMommies.

The group had 50 members at the time and Vandeveter quickly made new connections. One of the new friends she made was expectant mom Chelsea Arledge from California who went on to deliver her baby at just 23 weeks after nearly a month on bed rest. Her baby survived and she explained to Today that her online mom friends helped her through the process.

“They never once questioned my decision to continue with a pregnancy that was, by all medical statistics, surely not going to end well,” Arledge told Today. “I never lost hope and they never left my side.” She just celebrated her son’s 10th birthday and six of her JustMommies friends flew out to California with their own kids to join in the celebration.

“Last weekend, I flew halfway across the United States to attend a child’s tenth birthday party with a group of women that I met on the internet. Yes—you read that right. And yes, I’m aware of how crazy it sounds,” Vandeventer shared in a recent Love What Matters post.

Photo: Bewakoof Official via Unsplash 

Over the last decade the group has experienced everything from divorce and marriage, to severe illness and losing a child to cancer. Through it all they have supported one another despite their distance and having simply met online.

“We actually coined the term ‘imaginary friends’ because at first, people did have a hard time accepting that I had an online mommy group,” explained Destiney Robb, another JustMommies member from Louisiana. “I don’t think anyone questions it now. The age of online friends has come a long way in the last 10 years—who doesn’t have an online relationship nowadays?”

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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