We’re continually impressed by the outpouring of dedication and support which members receive from their community organizations. From pulling out all the stops to host a reunion gala for former teammates, to dreaming up new fundraisers to bolster youth in arts, such great groups energize our team to continue adding features under the Tent.
In recounting her own quest for parenting advice and camaraderie, one of our colleagues, Archana Bhat, illustrates this unflagging volunteer spirit:
“Are they amazing? Or slightly crazy?”
These questions swirled in my head when I was pregnant with my twins and had just joined my local multiples group, Eastside Mothers of Multiples (EMOMs). Let me explain. When you are pregnant — with twins at that — everything seems overwhelming. I actually was scared of Babies R Us for the first six months of my pregnancy! I didn’t recognize half the items in the store, and the choices for raising baby were almost too crushing for me.
Then I joined EMOMS. When I got access to their message boards, I was so happy to read stories from other moms, who themselves had once been clueless about twin boppy pillows, breastfeeding multiples, and purchasing two of everything instead of one. A member nearby even called to reassure me, talking to me at length about my pregnancy and what to expect in the upcoming months.
Post-pregnancy, I attended the bi-annual Toys & Togs Sale and came home with tons of gently used toys, clothes, and strollers — all for the bargain basement price of $100! The sale was run better than any corporate event I have ever been part of, with enough rules and regulations to ensure a smooth sailing day for buyers and sellers alike. I then realized that the women of EMOMS are nothing short of amazing.
I left that sale deeply inspired by the club, and feeling as though I should give back for all that I had received. I emailed the existing technology chair and asked if I could help out in any way. She immediately replied, “Can you find us a new member site?”
In my search, I lighted upon Big Tent, and EMOMS soon launched on the site in Summer 2007.
Almost all the moms in my club were incredulous that I took on such a Herculean task with young kids at home. But that’s when I realized I had become the “EMOM” archetype that had once puzzled me — the seemingly tireless, always passionate mom. By adding the responsibility of securing a new group technology to my plate, I actually reduced my stress, and gained a mentally challenging outlet to counterbalance the other forces in my life. While raising twins as a stay-at-home mother is hard, my refreshed outlook enabled me to appreciate the wonderful moments of parenting bliss that punctuate the usual chaos.
In the end, EMOMS got a brand-new functional web platform, and I got way more than I anticipated: my freedom, my sanity, and a new network of friends and support.