Wife, mama, entrepreneur, and devoted community builder.
Even from a young age I knew I wouldn't be complete unless I was helping people and making the world better. Growing up was a challenge at times and I watched family members struggle both emotionally and mentally. I have always had a deep sense of empathy and I envisioned myself doing some sort of counselling so I could help people when they needed it most. I attended college at Western Illinois University where I earned a degree in psychology. While in college I met my hubby, Derick, and we have been together for almost 14 years. I had a great, stable life with endless possibilities and a seemingly clear cut path to my dreams that included heading off to grad school.
After college we got married and then baby fever kicked in. In November 2014 we welcomed our baby boy into the world: our little B. I was on cloud nine, and at the time all I wanted was to be home snuggling with my little guy forever. We decided I would stay home to take care of B while hubby worked and I would hold off on grad school. Up until this point in my life I felt like I had everything figured out. I was gonna be the best mom in the world and follow through with my dreams, right? I probably don't have to tell you, but nothing jerks the rug out from under your perfectly organized life like having a baby.
Overnight I had this living, breathing person that needed me more than anything and choices that were once so easy to make suddenly became mountains to climb. Do I go to the store or stay home because B will need to nurse soon? Do I take a shower? What if he wakes up and needs me while I still have suds in my hair? Should I have lunch with my bestie and take B with? I can pretty much guarantee that we won't finish a single conversation because I'll have to stop a billion times to answer my two year old's burning questions about his mac & cheese. Oh! Let's not forget about nap time! That magical double edged sword that means, yay! A little quiet time, but crap I really need to go to the store so we don't starve.
I was terrified (and really still am) to leave my precious little guy with a stranger. This crazy, sweet ball of energy was my everything and the thought of trusting someone that I didn’t know with him was out of the question. I found myself only making plans when my in-laws (who live 1.5 hours away) could take him for a day or two just so I could have a night with hubby or get a haircut or *gasp* get some housework done! Those endless possibilities I once had became distant memories and I felt a little trapped by the thing I wanted so badly: motherhood.
This is where I decided to make a change and find me again. I was tired of the mom guilt over needing me time and missing out on fun things because I didn't have a sitter I could trust. I found a mom’s group online called Unite In Motherhood and was immediately drawn to their mission of diversity and inclusion. I attended a few playdates and quickly found my village of like minded mamas. We were all experiencing the joys and struggles of motherhood together but giving each other permission to screw it up on occasion.
I became close friends with the group's founder and learned that she had always wanted UIM to be a business that supports and empowers moms, but didn't know how to make that happen. I knew in my bones I could help her realize this dream so we decided to be business partners. Here was my opportunity to find me again and fulfill my dream of helping people. We struggled to figure out how to make money, but kept the outreach and connections in the group flourishing. When I took over the business after my partner moved, I was determined more than ever to succeed.
I thought back to my early days of motherhood and looked at what I needed most. I realized that for me, and so many other mamas, what we craved most was time. Time to shower, time to think, time alone with our partners, time to sleep, time to work, time to wander around Target without a babe begging for all the things. How could I give moms time? The answer was shockingly simple: offer reliable childcare so moms can accomplish their goals without fear or guilt. I started by caring for my friends kiddos in the evenings and from there business blossomed. I realized that I loved caring for other children and felt so good about helping moms. Once word of mouth spread, I suddenly had more clients than I could handle. It was time to expand and add more sitters to my team. I found me again and gained a new sense of purpose that I had been missing.
Today Unite In Motherhood has a childcare referral service called UIM Nannies & More. I have the privilege of meeting with moms and kiddos all over the Quad Cities, just like me, who need a caregiver they can trust. I match mamas with kind, compassionate, reliable caregivers so they can realize their own dreams. I background check, personally interview, and CPR certify all of my providers so mamas can be sure their littles are in the best hands. I also take B with me to interviews because I certainly wouldn’t recommend a childcare provider if I didn’t trust them with my own little guy. I provide a personal experience and connect with each of my families and caregivers. I take all the uncertainty out of finding a provider so moms like you and I can spend more time focusing on the things we love!
Of course I can't do all of this on my own. I have an amazing crew of committed mamas who help me keep this wild ship sailing. We dedicate a huge chunk of our time to helping moms make connections and supporting each other through life’s ups and downs. We offer a super supportive community group where we invite moms from all walks of life to join us for playdates and much needed mom's nights out. We also organize outreach projects and work with local nonprofits to strengthen our community and teach our kiddos social responsibility. We are real moms working to find balance and purpose just like you. We want to be your village so come find your dream sitter, join our Community Group, and be sure to Subscribe to our mailing list for updates and deals. We can't wait to unite in motherhood with you!
Sending good vibes, lots of snuggles, and a glorious nap!