Ten years ago I was heavily preggo with my daughter, living back in my hometown of Miami for one year while I clerked for Judge Peter T. Fay on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
I had just graduated law school was newly married and despite living where I grew up, really didn’t have any “in real life” friends. The few friends I did have in high school were long gone. And, at only 25, no one else I knew was pregnant yet.
So, I made friends online.
It was perfect. I had spent the summer as a summer associate being wined and dined by one of the biggest law firms in the world. I didn’t really have that much work and spent all day in my office surfing the internet researching anything to do with pregnancy and babies.
I stumbled across the November 1999 Moms Email group on Yahoo! Groups or it may have been somewhere else and we migrated over to Yahoo! after a big brouhaha within our original group regarding breastfeeding/formula or maybe it was cry it out/family bed.
Either way, I made my very first group of mommy friends and these amazing women supported me through my pregnancy and the first few years of mom life. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
In my real life, I was so lonely it was painful. After my clerkship in Miami, I moved to California, away from my family, to start my prestigious full time job as an associate at a big law firm.
I was only 26 years old and from the outside it appeared all my dreams had come true – husband, baby, prestigious job, 6-figure paycheck, etc. … But, I was so miserable.
My daughter who was just turning 1 cried constantly when I was at work. My husband was staying home to take care of her and for part of the time his mother (who was dying of cancer) lived with us. I was the only new mom among my law firm colleagues and my husband had very little desire to make any mommy friends.
I felt so alone. If it wasn’t for my online friends, especially the November 1999 Moms Like Me, I don’t know what I would have done.
Happy Birthday Ladies – each one of you has more than a little credit for the mom I am to Kaia and Noah today. I love you.