Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paying It Forward

I've been a bit absent the past few weeks.  We've dealt with the passing of a sweet Grandmother, the stomach virus, the start of school and just general craziness.  I'm back now and geared up for October! I can hardly believe we are in the thick of Fall, but that's a whole other post :) 

So, paying it forward. No doubt, you've heard the term before.  It's the idea that if you do something nice for someone else, that they will in turn take the gift they've been given and do something nice for another person. The thoughts/actions snowball and before you know it, positivity is all around.  People are reaching out to others, helping them, loving them and lifting them up; even if just for a fleeting second.  

I've had the opportunity in the last 6 months to begin to pay forward all of the positivity, knowledge, and inspiration that I've received on my fitness journey. I'm inspiring women in small accountability groups on Facebook and I'm paying forward all that has been given to me in the last several years. The feeling you get when you know that you've genuinely helped someone is warm-and-fuzzy. It keeps us coming back for more.  

That's where this next chapter of paying-it-forward starts for me.  After the birth of Charlie, I fell into a downward spiral of post-partum anxiety and depression. (something I rarely mentioned here) I was overwhelmed, scared and not sure if I was doing things the "right" way.  Not having my mother here compounded my feelings and I sunk down deep to a bad place for several months.  I didn't feel I had the support system I needed even though people all around me were reaching out to help.  I couldn't take the help.  I went into Motherhood with the ideal that I could do it all on my own. Boy, was I wrong! Moms, and especially new Moms (and Dads), need support. Whether it's family, friends or a total stranger...

A total stranger? Well, maybe even a total stranger. :) When I was pregnant with Cecilia, I heard about an organization called MomsBloom. It was started by two friends, both of whom struggled with the isolation, depression and overwhelmed feeling a new Mom faces.  They created MomsBloom to reach out into the community and harness those families that needed the extra support. The women that call on MomsBloom may not have family here or they are new to the area. Perhaps they were like me and they suffered in a depressive and silent state. I called on MomsBloom before Cece was born and was ready to use them this time around if I needed to. I ended up not needing to use their services (thankfully!). I had the support this time around, I learned to speak up and ask for help and I didn't feel the isolation or suffer the depression I did with Charlie.  However, after Cece was born, I vowed that if I was ever in a position to help that I would step up and volunteer for this organization.   

That time has come.  I am in a place with all the things in my life where now is the time to start volunteering and giving back to my community.  I have been through the volunteer training, and last night, I received an email from the volunteer coordinator that she had found a family for me to work with.  The Mom is due on September 29 (3 days from now!) and I will be helping her out for 3 hours a week until the baby is 3 months old.  

I am ECSTATIC about this opportunity! I read the email and just felt at peace knowing this was the right volunteer opportunity for me. Not only will I get my newborn baby fix (yayayay!), but I will get to pay my "new-Mom" knowledge forward. I have a lot of compassion for the new Mom and Dad and I'm looking forward to being this family's support system for the first few months of their new baby's life.  What a blessing to finally be a part of this organization!

I will not be talking much about my experiences here as I feel this is a private time not only for Mom, but also for me.  I have things I can work on and I'm hoping this opportunity teaches me about myself and others in ways I haven't yet discovered. I can already tell that it's going to be a life-changing experience for me and I can't wait to get started

"Even Superwoman needs her heroes."
 Sara Binkley-Tow: Founder/Executive Director, MomsBloom

P.S. I will be back with food prep and more later on in the week!

1 comment:

CHAS said...

What a great idea that group is!