I have said on this blog before that I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason. Some of you may have heard me articulate this as “I don’t believe that God gives us the bad stuff.” I just can’t wrap my head around a world where the difficult path that I have been down was chosen for me, that I have suffered so much because I am uniquely strong enough to bear it. I think we have a lot more choice than that, and sometimes shit just happens. And it’s not fair, and it’s not because I deserved it, or because I needed it to grow as a person. I am just someone who for a long time couldn’t catch a break. And I went through a long string of crazy health problems and am just now coming out the other side of it.
What I do believe is that people who are dealt a rough hand have the option to bet on it anyway. We don’t always have the ability to change the circumstances that come into our lives, but we can choose to keep going, to get out of bed every day (or most days) and hope for the best. And if we are lucky, we can find a way to turn those things into something great. And sometimes God, or The Universe, or Completely Random Chance (whatever you want to name it that makes sense to you) lets things line up in a way that all that crap makes sense and has a purpose and can be turned into something beautiful.
This is more philosophical than I usually get here, but I need to explain to everyone why all of the sudden I have become (even more of) a crazy person and decided to take on a huge project when I am not quite fully functional myself. I started a charity. Like yesterday. With no real plan in place, just flying by the seat of my yoga pants and praying that it turns out ok.
I have actually been thinking about starting this since I first got sick. Because I always knew how fortunate I was that with the help of our families we could afford to hire a nanny to get me through the worst of it. And I found Wonder J– as I have written before she has been amazing for our family. I always knew that I could focus on taking care of myself and be there for my girls as much as possible, but have confidence that if I hit a wall and had to go lay down, or got dizzy, or was about to poop my pants (sorry for the TMI but we are talking colon removal here!) my girls were in good hands. I can’t even begin to describe how much I needed this help, I am not exaggerating when I say I am not sure I could have gotten through the last few years without a nanny. Cause stay at home mommies don’t get sick days. Ever. Not if you have a cold and not if you have cancer.
Stay at home mommies of young kids don’t have disability insurance and most of us don’t have any sort of childcare set up. Maybe a MDO or a couple of hours of babysitting here and there. Not enough to go to seven doctor’s appointments a week. Or be in the hospital for 20 days in a year. Or go through invasive treatments and surgeries that leave you feeling like warmed-up death. And if you can’t afford to hire help than at best you have tons of different people volunteering a few hours here and there, having to explain your kids schedule to every person that helps you, feeling guilty that there is no consistency in the kids lives, and at worst have to miss vital appointments or treatments because you can’t find someone to watch your kid with strep. Who, by the way, you shouldn’t even be near because you have a severely compromised immune system. Not a great situation, huh?
So when I heard that my friend Annie (who has two darling kids and not-so-cute colon cancer) was back in the hospital following surgical complications, and did not have and could not afford full time help to get her through the rest of her surgeries and chemo, I knew I HAD to do something. See, a few years ago, I would have heard her story and thought, “Aww that sucks, she’s so nice, this is going to be really hard for her.” But now I hear that story and say “NO!!! You can’t do this by yourself, if you can’t get help then I will get it for you.” And then the real miracle happened. Our previous nanny (who left only because she got a full time job, we loved her) texted me and said she was looking for a new family. And I thought, “Hello, all I have to do is put these two together, raise a bunch of money, and I’m off.” So Mommies In Need was born.
But can’t I just raise money for another charity that does this? Nope. If there is one, I couldn’t find it. And my vision is very specific. I want to not only fund the nannies for sick moms, but also provide them with someone who is vetted, background checked, and stamped with the SuperCrazy Mommy seal of approval (as in I have/would leave my own kids with them.) Because when you are in pain is not the time to have to do interviews and reference checks and try to find the right person. My long term goal is that if I get a call for a mommy who just got a diagnosis I can move fast and have a reliable nanny to her in a few days.
I know that there is a daunting amount of work ahead of me, I just opened the new bank account and am starting all the 501(c)(3) paperwork, and I actually do have “Grand Plans” for the future. But already I am amazed at the people who have stepped forward and said they think this is important and want to be a part of it. I am feeling grateful that everything came together at the right time for me to get off my ass and actually start this thing. So is it crazy? Yes. Is it Super Crazy? Yes! But I am doing this because I feel like I finally found the good that I can pull out of all the shit I have been through. This non-profit is my silver lining, my reason for all my difficulties. I actually have an answer now to the question that plagued me everytime I got hit with another diagnosis or huge crisis.
In Mommies In Need I found my “Why?”
*If this blog has ever spoken to you, or made you laugh, or given your day a little lift, please consider donating to MommiesInNeed. If you can’t donate, please check out the fundraising page and share it on any media platform you can. Plus as you will see on the campaign page, if you donate $100 or more I’ll Be Your Best Friend! You can also like me on Facebook for more updates on this project.