2020...it’s been a year, to say the least! I know you feel exactly where I’m coming from. The title of our chapters about this year would read the same, yet each person’s details are vastly different. In fact, more than a chapter, I feel like I could write a book about this year! But to keep this post focused, let’s talk In-Motional Development.
After working hard to create and craft this business, I clawed to try to make it work in a virtual setting. I was able to continue some small, but fun, online classes; however, I came to feel that this type of venue was not in line with my vision and mission of empowering holistic growth for children and their caregivers. That, in combination with the all-in-one setting that my home became as I strived to parent, work, and support my children’s education, led me to the decision to put this business on hold. After assessing my priorities, I felt that the health and happiness of my children needed to come first and foremost while my husband and I partnered to create a productive and sane working environment for ourselves. I worked to learn new ways of providing speech-language therapy and reflective parent coaching in my position with my local early intervention system, finding that my skills could be further enhanced even in this new and different world.
It’s been disappointing to put this company on hold, but above all else I feel grateful. I’m grateful as I think about all of the small business owners who do not have another job to help them stay afloat. I am grateful to be able to be present for my children during this time, despite the many tasks that fill my days. I am grateful to have a spouse who has supported me through many emotional ups and downs. I am grateful when my children and I wake up healthy and able to enjoy another day. I am grateful for each moment I spend with my “bubble” of family whose presence fills my world with light. I am very grateful for all of the lessons I’ve learned about acceptance, gratitude, perseverance, and resilience this year. I am grateful to truly understand what it means to be a citizen and to be able to teach that to my children. Lastly, I am grateful for the gift of patience. I know that I can be patient for this pandemic to pass and that this business will be ready and waiting when the world needs it most.
In the meantime, I have continued to look for ways to be of service to others and to use my knowledge and skills to contribute to the larger community. Like a gift from the universe, a coworker sent me some information about a mom named Shelley Kramm who was looking for area specialists to contribute to an up and coming website she is launching. Not only will Shelley’s site serve as a hub of resources and interaction for mothers of children with special needs, but it is aimed to support women within my very own community of Montgomery County, Maryland! Additionally, Shelley’s mission is in alignment with In-Motional Development’s goal to support the development of the whole child, parent, and caregiver. I took this as a sign that this was my opportunity to help families, create positivity, and continue the work I set out to do with In-Motional Development.
Shelley Kramm, founder of Special Needs Moms of Montgomery County, Maryland (SNMOMC-MD) became an entrepreneur when she stepped into the nonprofit arena and founded Hadley’s Park, which was the grassroots nonprofit organization behind the development and creation of the first fully inclusive playground in the state of Maryland and one of the first in the country. She was featured in People Magazine, Landscape Architecture, Washington Post, Washingtonian, and many other national publications and television. She toured the United States and Canada speaking about the need for fully inclusive playgrounds. She was proud to have been named Washingtonian of the Year 2005 by Washingtonian Magazine. In 2004 Hadley's Park, Inc, closed and she launched a lifestyle site and online community for women in the DC Metro area called The DC Ladies. That successful community garnered 5000 daily readers and continued until 2016 when her husband unexpectedly passed away and she went into shock. Now a single mother of a 28 year old young lady who has cerebral palsy, Shelley is bridging her life experiences together and creating a platform for special needs mothers to share inspirational stories, educational tips, introduce businesses that can help the community, advice from specialists and all around upbeat and fun. I hope that, by contributing to Shelley’s sisterhood of SNMOMC-MD, I can play a small role in making a mom’s life a little bit easier.
I hope that you will subscribe to and share Shelley’s website, https://specialneedsmomsofmontgomerycountymaryland.com, so that you can start following my posts and those of the SNMOMC-MD community as soon as the site launches in early 2021! Additionally, you can follow SNMOMC-MD on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the wealth of resources and information this organization will offer. Under normal circumstances, it takes a village to be the kind of parent you strive to be and even more so for those of children with special needs. So, please pass this along to anyone you know who may need to expand their village! Wishing everyone a holiday season of finding appreciation in small moments and happy and HEALTHY new year from my family to yours