Tag Archive | online community

Open letter to my friends

To my friends (you know who you are!),

I am sorry that we don’t get to catch up very often. I honestly miss the moments we have together, whether they are coffee or wine infused! I had to write today though to express who much I love, respect, thank and even miss you!

Friends come and go. But the ones who stick with you during the hard periods, they are the special kind.

When I had my first child just as we hit our 20’s, you were the ones who realised that I couldn’t drop everything  and come to a last-minute party, or go to the pubs, anymore.
You still made the effort to include us in your lives.

Thank you for making the effort to catch up despite my hectic life!

Thank you for making the effort to catch up despite my hectic life!

When more children came along, and it was even harder for us to have a night out, you didn’t ignore us/drop us, you still invited us to barbeques, included my children, or said “So you have the kids at home today? We will come to your house then for coffee!”
You even visited when I was in hospital after giving birth. Outside of family, not many friends actually visited, I don’t think you realise how special that made me feel!

When our lives became more difficult due to the fact special needs cropped up, again, instead of walking away from our friendship, you said “What can I do to help?” or “How are things going at the moment?”

You take a genuine interest in our struggles and our lives. You want to help. I recognise that!

When we come to your house, you see that I am worried about my kids running riot and trashing your house. You make us feel welcome, accomodate us and tell me “It’s ok!” when my kids have made themselves at home and made a mess of your living room.

I know you don't mind too much, but I don't want to trash your houses!

I know you don’t mind too much, but I don’t want to trash your houses!

You make sure that my youngest son is allowed to have something to eat, before you hand it over, just because of his medical condition. You are aware of the need for this.

You drag me away from the kids if you see me hovering over them, and tell me I am supposed to be enjoying myself when I am at a party. You remind me that it is ok to release my control and anxieties.

You understand that it can be a long time between catch ups because I am busy with work and/or child responsibilities. You work around it, and you dont judge me for it, and you don’t forget about me.

You have no idea how much I love and respect you for the support you constantly give me and my family. My love and respect grow every time you interact with my special needs children. When my children show you something, you act like it is the coolest thing you have ever seen! You don’t ignore them and fob them off. My middle son, Ethan, has a hard time opening up to adults, yet I have memories where I watched in amazement, where he would sit in your laps, open up, and not want to leave your sides. You made him feel loved and secure. I don’t think you realise how much of a rare event this is, or what you did for him in that moment!

There are bad experiences online, but I am lucky enough to find great friends online

There are bad experiences online, but I am lucky enough to find great friends online

To my online friends- although we have never officially met in person, I hope to one day. Some of you I have known for almost eight years. We have laughed together, cried together, shared tips and advice. When my children with born, you rejoiced- sending me messages and gift of congratulations. The horrible period when my youngest, Cameron, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, it was the first time that any of us had been diagnosed with a serious condition. I contacted some of you to spread the news. Little did I know, you all rallied together, chipped in some cash, and sent Cam and I a care package of flowers, a teddy and much need chocolate to the hospital. I cried when it arrived. I felt loved and thought of. While I am no longer in contact with some of you, I still respect you for the friendship you extended to me.
One day, I will meet you, but in the meantime, you know that you can contact me, good or bad, about anything. Despite not officially meeting, I still consider you some of my best friends. I hope you feel the same way about me!

To my husband’s friends- I love and respect you for when you call and my husband isn’t available, and you will spend at least half an hour just chatting with me, asking about me (or Mark) and how our kids are, how life is travelling (instead of just saying that you will call back later.) Or when we are actually managed to catch up, you will actually sit next to me and chat.
I have immense respect for the fact that you seem to actually like me for who I am ( not just as your mate’s partner) and take a genuine interest in our children and our lives. Both Mark and I express our regrets that we can’t catch up nearly enough! 😦
I feel like a terrible friend because we don’t catch up often enough, and I can’t possibly return the sentiments that you give. I can only try! I honestly don’t feel like I have articulated well enough how I am really feeling, but I hope you are starting to get
I don’t tell you often enough, and I can’t express enough, but thank you, and I love you!

Bella 🙂


Just a little bummed

Some people reading this (once I have published and shared this) may feel the way I do. Maybe I am over-reacting a little. But I am trying to deal with a loss of something that has had a major impact on my life for a few years now.

So let me start with the back story.

Not long after my eldest was born, I joined a website found on the back of a Heinz rice cereal packet. Being my first baby, and the only one in my circle of friends to have a child, I was interested in all the information provided on the website, ranging from development, to tips on feeding. While there, I stumbled across a little community in the forum.

I was a quiet beginning, but being the pushy busy-body that I am, I quickly worked my way into the thick of it. I was sharing the milestones made by my eldest, and soon, the joys (and not so crash hot parts) of being pregnant with my second child.

After a while, for whatever reason, the forum admin decided to shut the forum and reopen it on a different platform. So many of us made the jump on to the new website, and continued to share in each others ups and downs, by this stage, we were starting to share everything, not just parenting skills. We enjoyed the features the new website provided such a sharing photos, little smiley faces, the little sort of things to help us express our personalities.

Time went on, and again, for reasons unknown, Heinz admin decided to shut down the forum for good. Friendships were thick and we couldn’t bear the thought of not having each other to turn to, so a few members started up another website for us all to go to once the orignal one had closed.

Again, we all made the jump (of course, it didn’t happen without a few dramas, mainly due to one person who will remained unnamed, but some readers will giggle and know who I’m talking about!)

Once the platform provider asked us to start paying for our use, we created yet another website, and made the jump again. So you are starting to get the idea of how close we are.

These gorgeous, hilarious, and compassionate women have helped me through so much over the past  five years. They laughed along with all the funny things my kids got up to, gave great advice on things from cooking to relationships and health for both ourselves and our children. We do a christmas card list and secret santa (though its pretty obvious when the gift is from me. Since I am the only one in Western Australia. They just have to look at from where it was sent, and they know!) Gifts get sent to those who have just had a child, or if there is a significant birthday looming.

My only disappointment is that being the only one in Western Australia, everyone else is miles away and I can’t meet up with these ladies, for example, go out for coffee like some of them regularly do, or organise play dates for our children. But despite the distance, they have supported me greatly, especially so after the young one was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The morning after he was flown to hospital, I sent a text message to a couple of the ladies and asked them to tell everyone the bad news. Everyone felt the shock and shared the pain of his diagnosis. So, to show their support, they rallied together and sent a gift basket to the hospital, complete with flowers, a teddy for the boy, and some much-needed chocolate! I cried when it arrived! I was so touched by their thoughts.

But I have been walking around my house, moping a little. You see, we recently had a bit of drama on the website, and some members left. I guess you can’t expect everyone to like each other, but now that we have a private group on Facebook, and most prefer the features on there,  and the website is being shut down.

While I’m not losing contact with any of these ladies (well, I hope not anyway!), and I am still talking to many of them on a daily basis, but I feel like I have lost one of my best friends. We all helped to build the website. A big part of me went into it. It was like a child. We all helped to nurture it and help it grow, become something magnificent.

I don’t know why I feel this way over a website. Its stupid really. But I cant help but feel that I somehow let the site down by not maintaining input. I feel like I have let my friends down.

But I am so grateful for the friendship and support from these wonderful ladies. I am glad we can still keep in contact once the forum is gone for good.

Dont worry, I will get over my mopey-ness.

Bella 🙂