Me: (Sends picture of weird rash on my kid’s arm) “Does anyone know what this might be?”
Mom Friends: “Hmmm… looks like molluscum. My kids both had it really bad. Have you tried to put a bunch of Aquaphor on it? Do you need some? I can run it down!”
Me: “Ok cool. I have some. I was trying to decide whether this was worth a weekend run to the doctor or if it can wait. It’s not bothering her, so I will try that and take her if it isn’t better by Monday.”
Who will willingly get a gross picture of a weird rash and not immediately respond with “Ewww” or “Disgusting”? Mom friends. That’s who. This is a real-life example of just one of the hundreds of texts I’ve sent to mom friends since having kids. I actually have a couple different group text chains that are ongoing, including one with neighbors, one with friends I used to work with and one with friends with older kids. These text chains are extremely valuable to me and really keep me going through difficult times. My mom text chains have helped me with everything from navigating stressful sleep issues, laughing about peeing your pants in public, borrowing an extra ingredient so you don’t have to make another run to the grocery store, and just generally venting when husbands get annoying.
Me: “I think Mia just ran over to your house?”
Neighbor: “Yes, she’s hanging out with JJ.”
Me: “Ok. Apparently she invited herself over. Send her back whenever.”
I live on one of the best streets ever, in my opinion. A text chain like the one above has happened multiple times when our kids suddenly disappear. It’s usually a wider group involved, because the kids could have conspired to be at any number of homes. And wherever they land, the parents undoubtedly give them all the snacks and treat them as their own. It’s incredible.
Me: “Is an InstaPot really worth it?”
Moms: (tons of responses weighing in on whether they are great or not worth it, along with tips about where to get it for the cheapest price, along with offers to borrow one to see if I like it…)
My Mom text chains are my own personal Amazon reviewers. I love it. I trust their judgment and opinions. They’ve helped me purchase a new vacuum cleaner, dishwasher and are always alerting the group about great sales on kids’ clothes.
Me: (Sends picture of messy, unorganized kid’s bedroom) “How do I organize this? Ugh!”
Neighbor: “Want me to come over and we’ll figure it out?”
Not only did that friend come over, but she helped me organize that bedroom, my other kid’s bedroom, and my pantry! What?! Oh, and she also decorated most of my house.
Mom friend: “WHY DIDN’T YOU PEOPLE TELL ME SWIM DIAPERS DON’T HOLD POOP IN?”
I have so many examples of how my mom text chains have made me laugh, made me cry, and made me feel like I am sane even when I’m not.
Mom friend: “We’ve all transitioned jobs and had major life changes in the past few years. How do you feel about being in your job? Do you miss the newsroom? Do you like the work?”
Who else cares enough to check in on each other like this? Frankly, I wish more people did. That text chain is comprised of former local television news producers. As outlined in the text, we HAVE all had major life moves in the past couple years. It is nice to have someone who will take 30 seconds with you, stop, and really want to hear the answer to questions like that.
So, while people may think mom text chains are nothing more than diaper brand comparisons and complaining about never using the bathroom alone, they are so much more. For me, they represent a large part of the incredible tribe of women I am honored to share space with. I am a firm believer that strong women lift each other up. Frankly, I think it is our responsibility. And if that support, encouragement and love happens through a text chain, just make sure you have an unlimited data plan.