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The Friends I’ve Never Met

Fat Mum Slim /

I want to tell you a secret.

Well, I guess it’s not so much a secret but something that I don’t really bring up very often with people because it’s hard to explain. And when I do start to explain it gets confusing and weird, and I wish I didn’t start. It’s not something I’m embarrassed of, AT ALL, in fact quite the opposite. Anyway, I going to start to explain here and hopefully it all makes sense.

You know that behind every good woman is a bunch of other amazing women? Well, that’s not really how the quote goes because when I searched the saying goes, ‘Behind every great woman is herself’. But I want to talk about that bunch of amazing women, because I have them. I have beautiful friends in my life. I have amazing family. I have a superb husband. But there is also this small group of women in my corner of the internet that I’ve known since before I had kids.

These are the friends I’ve never met.

We’ve been friends for over 9 years. We’ve planned weddings together, got pregnant together {well not together-together, but at the same time} and we birthed together. We navigated those early months of motherhood together, and now are weathering the storm that is older children together. As a group we’ve celebrated great highs; the weddings, the engagements, the pregnancy announcements, the births of new babies, buying new homes, career highs, smashing personal goals, and so much more. We cheer each other on through all of those great things.

And we’re there for the not-so-good times too, when you need your friends most. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of night or day it is, someone will be there to let you know you’re being heard. They have the best advice, the best virtual hugs, and just the words you need to hear. They’ve helped me navigate my business, when I haven’t known what I’m doing {thank goodness for friends who work in law, HR, and other important jobs!}, and most of all they’ve helped with personal stuff that I just needed someone to listen, because life isn’t always easy.

When I was going through the hardest time of my life, when Lacey wasn’t sleeping and I was trying to juggle being a good employee/mum/wife/person and just survive on pretty much no sleep at all, I felt like I was breaking. It was night after night of the worst battle I’ve ever been through. They were there. I know that if we lived close enough, one of my friends would have turned up on my doorstep and taken over for a day, or two. Instead we do what we can from where we are, and that meant giving me advice, listening to me, and supporting me in every way they could.

They’ve been there for me recently when I’ve been going through some shitty health things, when I needed support most.

We’ve all been there for each other. We’ve supported friends through miscarriages, losing loved ones, health scares, divorces, cheating spouses, and difficult childhood stages. Through everything. Always.

I can’t imagine life without these friends I’ve never met.

I guess I tell a fib, because there are some I have met. I’ve been invited to see my ‘internet’ friend get married, danced on dance floors for hours on nights out, and hung out with some of these friends {that photo above is from one of those nights back when, when we danced all night and I ate cherries from cocktails!}. I’ve traveled halfway across the globe and spent one of my favourite days hanging out with one of those friends from the internet. I have met only a few of these ladies {and there are many}, and they were everything I imagined them to be and more. I know that as life unfolds I’ll meet more and more of the friends I haven’t yet met.

For now though, I’m grateful for my friends I found on the internet. I’m grateful that I found my tribe, and that the internet brought us together. I am grateful for the friends I haven’t met, yet.

  • Bec H

    Love this! My internet friends are the ones who kept me going when my husband was ill. The nights I couldn’t sleep they stayed up with me. They gave me advice, they were the voice of reason. I know if it weren’t for the distance they’d have been on my doorstep to help. Instead they sent care packages and organised practical help. We’ve been through so much and have remained constant friends. When we met last year it wasn’t awkward like I feared it would be. I hope to have them forever.

    • It’s never awkward, it’s like you’ve always been ‘real life’ friends. I’m glad they were there for you through that hard time. xx

  • YES! Like you, I love the online community I have created through my blog. It’s a little smaller than yours, but it’s filled with fabulous mamas who are only too happy to lend an ear, offer insight and listed to my ramblings :-). People are so quick to judge social media but the support in the online world is sometimes more powerful than the “real” world, which sometimes isn’t very real at all….Love your work and consider you a friend xx

    • Same Michaela. I am glad to have found you, and lucky to have met you.

      Most of my online mates are before my blog, but I’ve gathered many friends through blogging too. Man, I love online!

  • Yessss! I once wrote a similar post once about the friends in my computer. The interwebs are full of good people and I’m so pleased that I can call some of them my friends, you included!

  • myinnerpollyanna

    There are moments in your life where it comes together, where everything works and shines as it should. I had that moment and I am just incredibly lucky by the women involved in that. They live to make people shine; they lift up where others would look to tear down; they encourage where others would discourage; they revel in the joy where others would look for something dispiriting. I am blessed and they surprise me every time that they tell me that I bless them. My tribe – I love them; I’m blessed to know them; I love that I am one with them.

    • Aren’t they the best? I love how real we all are, but also how supportive and talented too. I don’t know, I’m just so proud to call them all my friends… and hopefully they will be for life.

  • Jenni from Styling Curvy

    Occasionally the internet brings some nobs my way but mostly it brings me kind hearted, warm, witty and supportive humans…like you x

  • ChrissyT

    This gave me all the feels…I do think for us it’s been almost 11-12 ish years online and never met! (Given Paige is turning 11!!!!).
    The friends I’ve never met are the ones who’ve kept me going, inspired a second career and are there anytime.
    Love to you xo

  • Kate O’Brien

    I was a part of the internet forum that you were in before this blog, I remember reading the thread where you said you had started a blog. I loved that forum, so much support and yes there was always someone online. It seems to not be used anymore, I knew there was talk of another starting but I never knew where to find it. I have one friend from that forum on FB and one on Instagram. I wish there were more!

    • I think there’s Facebook groups, that’s where everyone is hanging out. I’m not part of the offshoot one but hopefully it’s easy to find.

  • Shirley McCoy

    I was there on that forum too Chantelle, so much amazing there back then prior to you starting blogging. The outpouring of support when any of us needed it and the wedding reporters and baby announcers, the unfolding dramas and devasting sadness with the things that life delivers at times was remarkable.

    A few of us met at local meet ups and you and I have gals in common, (we must have almost meet I am sure!) so I’ve met a few and it was so nice. Still internet friends now and in touch on FB and messages. Love these friendships, part of my tribe really. Am amazed how much time has passed; my eldest turns 10 tomorrow and I was I married 12 years ago!! Time flies. So nice to see you doing all the things and staying real. Thanks for doing and saying and being at the things. X

  • Leslie Penney

    This article really hit home for me, as I have “friends I’ve never met” too…mostly through that oh so wonderful FMS PAD group. What a blessing it has been for me! And some of them I have met…and took a dream trip to Australia too. They are wonderful on-line and even better in person. Thank you, thank you! Leslie ???

  • This is a lovely post – have shared it with a few of my friends I’ve never met! 🙂

    Found it through the ultimate rabbit hole over at The Annoyed Thyroid.

  • Alison Lennard

    I’ve met a few Insta friends in real life recently and felt like I knew them already! I know that ‘trolls’ are out there, but I’ve only ever found a community of likeminded lovelies and I’m very happy to be in your photoaday tribe xx

@Fatmumslim