We have all been there. The whole house is sick with the flu, or a stomach bug, or one of those things that doctors say is just a cold but you are pretty sure is actually the plague. And Mom is the one who has to chug a bottle of Dayquil to keep the household functioning.
There is no calling in sick to the 24/7 job of mothering. No matter how terrible you feel, there are still diapers to be changed and kids to be fed (sometimes from your own body!) As moms, we often put the needs of our families above everything else, including our own health.
And moms are strong. We can push through a nasty flu or even a minor plague. But what if we get cancer? What if one of our organs shuts down and we need a transplant? What if we are in a car accident and have to have a limb amputated?
As horrible as it is to think about, these things happen. And they happen to moms. In fact, those are all things that have happened to moms that I know in Dallas. But those moms didn’t have to worry about who was caring for their kids while they recovered because of a non-profit called Mommies In Need.
Did you know that there is an organization in Dallas that exists solely to provide sick moms with free childcare?
Well, I did because I started it. But, since you may have never heard of Mommies In Need before, let me tell you the story about how my own personal health nightmare turned into a blessing both for me and for 26 families in Dallas (so far!)
I had my beautiful twin girls in March of 2012 and six weeks later almost hemorrhaged to death because of a rare post-pregnancy complication. My doctor saved my life with an emergency hysterectomy, but I spent a week in the hospital missing my babies and being extremely grateful that my mom lived close enough to help.
The next few years were a near constant health battle as my ulcerative colitis (an autoimmune disease) got progressively worse. This eventually led to the removal of my colon- which is about as fun as it sounds. During this time I also discovered that I had thyroid cancer. In just two years I had 5 major surgeries, 3 organs removed, countless hospital stays, and three months of living with an ostomy bag. All while being a mom to twin toddlers.
And I count myself lucky! I was lucky that I had family that lived close and that we were able to hire a nanny when we needed one. But I started to realize that there is a shocking lack of resources for moms who are going through health problems.
Then my friend Annie got sick. She had colon cancer and was a stay-at-home mom to a 2 and 4-year old. Her mom did not live close by and hiring a nanny was just not an option for them financially.
When I visited her in the hospital, she said something that I will never forget. “I guess I will just have a friend watch the kids on chemo days and I will do it myself the rest of the days.”
I know first hand what it is like to hear your baby crying in the next room but to be physically unable to get up and comfort them. How it feels to leave your littles screaming and strapped into a stroller while you race to the bathroom to get sick.
And right then I decided that I was going to do everything I could to make that process easier for my friend and for other women in that position. So I sent the nanny that had been helping me to care for Annie’s kids and I began fundraising like crazy to pay for it.
And so Mommies In Need was born. I like to joke that I accidentally founded a non-profit. But the truth is that I saw a person I loved hurting in a way that I understood intimately and I felt called to do something about it. Today, after less than three years in operation, Mommies In Need has provided almost 9,000 hours of childcare to 26 families in Dallas and close surrounding areas.
We have nannies who are employees of the company and we send them into the homes of parents who are going though a major health crisis. We have helped families dealing with cancer, stroke, surgeries, pregnancy complications, and many other extremely difficult situations. As much as possible we send the same nanny to the same family for the entire duration of their contract with us. Each family can receive as much as 40 hours a week of childcare for up to six months.
Right now we have four full-time nannies serving four families. Mommies In Need is providing about one hundred and sixty hours of childcare each week! And because of the incredible generosity of our community in Dallas, all of this care is completely free of cost to these families.
What Can You Do To Help?
- Spread the word! Many people don’t know this care is available. If you know someone who needs childcare help during a health crisis, have them email [email protected] Share this article in your moms groups, PTOs, and on social media. You never know who might need help in your friend circle but does not know how to find it.
- Apply or refer a nanny! Our nannies are experienced care-givers who are background-checked, CPR certified, and trained in dealing with these difficult situations- and we are always hiring! Email [email protected] with a resume if you are interested in working with us.
- Donate! We need financial support to be able to continue to provide this life-changing care, you can easily contribute here.
- Volunteer! Mommies In Need is always in need of people to help out with our behind-the-scenes operation and events. Email [email protected] for more information.
- Attend our Events!!! Subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss any and join us at:
Resounding Harmony’s Benefit Concert for Mommies In Need
October 20, 2017 at 7:30 pm at Moody Performance Hall
Enjoy a fantastic evening of beautiful, family-friendly music with all proceeds benefiting Mommies In Need! There will be fun kids activities to entertain the little ones, as well as a special performance by the kids of Mommies In Need, melting your hearts with their sweet singing.
*** Dallas Moms Blog Readers can use promotional code mommies to receive 15% off tickets purchased on or before October 8th! Visit resoundingharmony.org/tickets to get yours today!***