During the holidays, I wanted to take a moment and highlight a non-profit that is doing amazing things around the world, Carry the Future. Some of you know that I volunteer as their Branding Coordinator and have hosted diaper drives and fundraisers for this incredible organization.
I won't steal any of Laura's thunder, as she talks more about the organization in her post, but I did want to take a moment to introduce you to Laura Sieckmann, Carry the Future's Chief Communication Officer. Laura called me over the summer after I applied for the position, and I immediately could feel her passion, drive and heart radiate through the phone. This mom does it all and so much more. I am honored that she agreed to guest blog and share her story. Thank you, Laura!
(And as you consider your end-of-the-year donations, take a moment and consider Carry the Future- you won't be disappointed!)
The Following is Written By, Laura Sieckmann
They say time flies when you are having fun and when you are raising kids. I turn 35 in about a month, and I am pregnant with my third child who is due in about 6 weeks. I know a thing or two about fun, and I can attest that time certainly does seem to go by at a more rapid pace when raising little ones. Why this is, I have my theories, but regardless of how I perceive the passing of time at this phase in my life, one thing is for certain, I am so blessed. Like beyond belief. Sometimes I find myself just starting off into space, oblivious of the life and mostly chaos around me created by my little ones, and I am just lost in thought, or at least stuck on the thought of OMG, how did I get so lucky? I was born into a middle class family in America, I am white, I am able to stay home with my kids and still take vacations with the family AND not have to cut coupons. It is just beyond me sometimes how I was cast into such a blessed role in life. And yet I still worry about things out of my control, I still stress about achieving a higher level of perfection and I still yell at my kids and have break down moments like every other human and mom. I am not perfect. One thing is certain to me though, I love being a mom.
A little more than 2 years ago now, I was having a strange time in my life. I was finding myself caught in these introspective moments of thought, and I was coming up empty. I couldn’t figure it out. I was doing arts and crafts, extracurricular activities galore for the kiddos, homeschooling with the best of them even. But something was off. I thought maybe I needed a "me activity" beyond the mommy time I carved out for myself for the occasional mani-pedi, or moms night out. So, I signed up for an art class (I am a pathetic artist). It was so great! I learned some basics, had some wonderful, quiet, me time and grew in confidence. But the feeling of emptiness persisted. I spend a fair amount of my daily allotted mommy time reading up on current events, being a journalism major and of the thought that I want to have opinions about the world and things to talk about beyond my children. So, as I was going through this internal strife, if you will, I was also being overwhelmed with the media coverage of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. I was in shock at how the world was not coming together to take action to protect innocent people. I decided to do something. Maybe if I found a way to help, then all of it wouldn’t be so bad, my weird, unexplainable feelings, and the burden that these families were facing. Maybe I could help. It was then, in my life, that I found Carry the Future.
When I first read about it, it was nothing more than a movement. One mom wanted to make a difference and others were rallying around her. This mom stepped up to bring baby carriers to refugee families in need and I was an avid baby wearer! It seemed like a match made in heaven, and honestly, it has been. Today, 2 years later, Carry the Future is an official 501c3 Non-Profit organization with 150 staff members from all around the world! We still bring baby carriers to refugee families, along with diapers, baby beds, food, playgrounds, blankets, shoes, love… The best part, we are 100% volunteer run!!! Yes, 150 staff and 6,000 volunteers, all unpaid, from around the world make up what is still a wonderful movement to make a difference. I have been so blessed to be a part of this organization as it has grown in stages from newborn, to infant and now to toddler. Right along with Carry the Future, my own children have been growing. While being a part of Carry the Future has brought me personal, and professional growth, beyond what I could have dreamed and in a way that has given such a deep purpose to my life, it hasn’t come without its own struggles.
There are days when it is a constant balancing contest. Being the Chief Communications Officer is a juggling act within itself and it takes many hours and much of my brain power some days. Having to make the choice between reading another bedtime story or turning out the light so I can tackle my to do list, or putting another episode of Daniel Tiger on so I can work a little bit more is a real life struggle and it is not always easy. But it is always worth it. I know that I am setting a wonderful example because my girls hear me on conference calls, they see the pictures of the families we serve (because I show them), they know that there are people on this planet that are not as blessed as them (because I remind them, a lot) and most importantly to me, they know what Carry the Future is. It is a way for mommy to make a difference, to help the babies that need help and to not sit by while others are in need.
So, I am still not perfect. I still yell, and I still strive for impossible perfection. But all the while I am taking conference calls while my little ones are in ballet class. I think about campaigns and website updates while cooking dinner. I even check my email when I should be 100% focused on the Barbie in front of me. But having this opportunity to give of myself to something that has no personal benefit to me, other than the feels I get from it, has changed me. It has made me a better mom and a happier person. The kind that isn’t staring off into the distance, stuck on the idea of why I have so much, but instead, the kind that is using what she has been given to be a force of action, hope and change.
Learn more about Carry the Future here.