CafeMom friends tracies.beans, BoyOHBoy, and tess-n-co (carrie_grace not pictured)
When CafeMom carrie_grace wrote: "Had fun meeting some of my CafeMom friends yesterday!" on her status update, I was dying to know more.
Who says the internet can't help make the world a more meaningful place? Read on for this wonderful story about the joy of friendship.
tracies.beans, tess-n-co, and BoyOHBoy (carrie_grace not pictured)
I couldn't have made it through my life, let alone the birth of my children (thanks, K!) or the first year of motherhood, without the love and support of my girlfriends. That's a fact. Even just one good friend in life can help sustain us. When we have more than one good friend, we also get the gift of different perspectives and varying types of support, which is also lovely. Let's face it. Friendship is one of the biggest gifts we can get in this life.
So check out this story of four moms who met on CafeMom, shared and built friendships online, and then got together in person, only to find that what felt like amazing and real friendships were, indeed, every bit as good IRL.
carrie_grace, a married SAHM of a two-year old girl with a baby on the way, joined CafeMom about two years ago. She runs a small Etsy shop called Lily & LOU (handcrafted baby things and designer maternity hospital gowns) and the Handmade Holidays group.
A brand new mom looking for some local mommy friends, carrie_grace first met CafeMom tess-n-co through a local search on the site. They communicated back and forth for awhile and found they had a lot in common, so they met up for coffee with their babies.
Looking back, tess-n-co says, "It was best friend at first sight. I love carrie_grace and her family. She is stuck with me, and we see one another all the time."
tess-n-co is also a SAHM, and she has two kids. Her daughter's almost three, and her son is almost one. Her husband is the executive chef of one of Cleveland's top catering companies and works long hours, so when her daughter was about a month old, she found herself on CafeMom A LOT.
On CafeMom, just before meeting carrie_grace, tess-n-co met tracies.beans and BoyOHBoy in February 2007, and she introduced the three women to one another.
tracies.beans, a married SAHM to four kids, between one year to six years old, has been on CafeMom a little over three years. "I found CafeMom right after moving from Ohio to New York. It was a godsend. Being 8 hours away from family friends with 4 kids and a husband who worked 12-hour shifts, 5 days a week, the days were long and lonely. BoyOHBoy, was one of my first friends on here."
BoyOHBoy, a recently divorced mom to her 4-year old son has been on CafeMom since January 2007. She's currently a SAHM with plans to begin job hunting soon. "I am not sure who I connected with first on here, but I do know that tracies.beans and tess-n-co were some of my first CafeMommas, and carrie_grace and I connected through tess-n-co," says BoyOHBoy. "We all really just connected and totally hit it off. Our friendships evolved from CafeMom Journals and ChatterBoxes to personal emails to live phone calls."
carrie_grace told us a few weeks ago, "tracies.beans threw a birthday party for two of her girls and invited our little CafeMom crew to get together for the first time all in one spot." And that's how it the CafeMom meetup between four women happened. "It just made it all more real," says carrie_grace. "I felt so at home and comfortable among these ladies, and all of their beautiful children were just as I had imagined.
BoyOHBoy holds tracies.beans birthday girl, all covered in her birthday cake!
"My CafeMom friends were EXACTLY as I pictured them. No real surprises," said tess-n-co. "I think the thing that excited me most was FINALLY watching our children all play together. It was great."
tracies.beans says, "The thing that surprised me the most was how easy it was. It was more like meeting up with old friends than meeting someone for the first time. We've watched each other's kids grow up. We've talked about almost everything going on in our lives. It was wonderful to finally hug them and chat with them face-to-face."
"I drove from NY to Ohio for this meetup... 9 1/2 hours... and it never even crossed my mind that it was 'weird' to do so considering that I had never met any of these ladies in person," boyOHboy adds. "I walked in and instantly recognized the girls, their children, their husbands... It was wonderful finally meeting them in person... giving them a hug, hearing them laugh, seeing our kids all interact and play together, and knowing that these friendships were as solid IRL as they were online."
I asked all four CafeMoms what they say to people who don't believe you can find true friendships online or on CafeMom. And here's what they had to say.
carrie_grace: "It is very possible to make lasting friendships on CafeMom. We have all been there for one another in the best and the worst times of the last two years. They virtually celebrated my wedding with me. These three wonderful women helped me get through a miscarriage I had last year. I feel very lucky that I have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful mommy friends on CafeMom. I haven't had as much luck on other social networking sites, but there is something special about CafeMom."
tess-n-co: "I've never doubted online friendships or online dating, but I do get some looks from people when I tell them that some of the BEST people I have ever met, I met online. We've grown pretty close over the last two and a half years. Lots of ups and downs, excitement, sadness. Sometimes it was easier to talk with someone online than a real live breathing person in front of you. So we opened up a lot to each other. I'm so lucky to have found all my CafeMom gals. They've all been there for me countless times, and I hope I have been there for them just as much. I love all of them. I really truly do."
tracies.beans: "You can find some amazing people on CafeMom. It's harder and easier at the same time. It takes a bit longer to get to know each other, but at the same time, I felt it was easier to just be myself. I am closer to these women than anyone. I consider them my closest friends. I am so thankful for CafeMom. It has brought me a lot of sanity over the past few years and some wonderful friendships."
BoyOHBoy: "When I signed onto CafeMom the first time, I had a 19-month old baby and was a SAHM in the boonies in Connecticut. I signed on looking for other women with small children who I could chat with and exchange stories, advice, and insight. This little squad of ours, they are a special bunch and I am blessed to have found them here. We swap tales, share photos, pass along books, swap baby clothes, and turn to each other when things are tough or when we have things to celebrate. I consider these ladies to be some of my closest friends, and they brighten my life daily. They have been supportive through some difficult times, humorous when I was having a hard time finding the funny... You never know where you will meet someone who just changes your life... and here on CafeMom, I've met several.
The four women have already planned the next meetup, tess-n-co's son's first birthday party at the end of September! And they've invited two more CafeMoms they all know. Plus, there's even talk about spending an October weekend together.
I love this story so much. It just goes to show you that real, meaningful mama friendships can bloom on CafeMom — and even bigger, richer family friendships that have the possibility to last a lifetime.
tracies.beans son with BoyOHBoy.
BoyOHBoy's son and tracies.beans' daughter
tracies.beans' son snuggles with tess-n-co
tracies.beans' and tess-n-co's daughters play together
Have you met any of your CafeMom friends in real life? Tell us about it.