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Five, six, and seven years ago, we were in major financial trouble.
It wasn’t for lack of work ethic or because we were lazy.
It was in part because of some bad decisions we thought would go a different way.
But it was also because of a bunch of unexpected blows. One after another.
Unexpected medical emergencies and unanticipated stuff that just keep knocking us down.
It was blow after blow after blow.
Like we could never catch a break.
We filed for bankruptcy and at one point foreclosure proceedings began on our house and it was like we were in a hole that we just couldn’t get out of.
We had seven kids at home and five of them were under eight or nine years old and it just felt like we were constantly drowning.
When you get into that situation, it’s really hard to make any forward progress. All your energy goes into just keeping your head above water.
You are exhausted, both physically and emotionally.
And then you start to lose hope.
It is not a good feeling.
And when we found ourselves in that situation, people helped us.
They came out of nowhere.
My friends collected Christmas gifts for the kids.
Gift cards to Costco and Target showed up in my mailbox.
It was the help from our friends and strangers that helped us catch a break and climb out of the hole I thought we were just going to slip deeper and deeper into until we had lost everything.
I vowed back then that I would pay it forward when I was able.
A couple years later, Patty came along.
She was a single mom in an abusive relationship who had two little boys and she was really struggling.
She left a comment on a blog post, and we started talking.
I haven’t heard from Patty in years. I have no idea what became of her. I hope she is doing well and thriving and happy and healthy.
But what I do know is that was one of the greatest things that ever happened here at Not Your Average Mom.
The way everyone came together to help this girl was incredible.
I guess you could say, “Well if you don’t know that it made a difference, then it was all for nothing.”
That wasn’t really the point, though.
Not for me.
For me the point was coming together to help someone in need and to do what you can to give them a second chance.
To help them wipe the slate clean.
To help them climb out of the hole.
I find myself in another position to help someone climb out of a hole that just seems to keep getting deeper.
Someone who needs to catch a break.
This isn’t a stranger.
This is a woman who began as a blog reader and then became a member of my HOME BACE group.
I have gifted her a membership for the last two years, and she has never taken that for granted.
She has grown so much in the last two years, from a young mom who felt like she was at the mercy of a shitty world to a woman who now takes charge and does what she can to make shit happen.
Now she’s not just a member of my group.
She’s a friend.
She’s married and she’s got six kids under nine years old.
She reminds me very, very, VERY much of myself about 8 years ago.
And she just cannot catch a break.
It’s tough to find employment when you have six kids under the age of nine because child care negates whatever you earn.
To help make ends meet, she started Ubering when she was pregnant with her youngest daughter.
Then the pandemic hit and that threw everything off.
Her five older kids are home, full-time remote learning.
There aren’t many chicks who can handle that shit.
Her husband was laid off of his job as a result of COVID and is now working multiple part-time jobs to try to make ends meet.
But it’s not nearly enough.
The hard drive on their only computer just completely died a couple days ago, and it’s vital for one of her husband’s jobs and they don’t have the money to get a new one.
So she applied to work the night shift at an Amazon warehouse.
I know where she is.
It feels hopeless.
It feels like day after day after day life keeps kicking your ass. Blow after blow.
So yesterday I was not on my computer or Facebook for most of the day.
And by the time I got on late last night, there was a shit ton of activity in my HOME BACE group.
One of the members of HOME BACE told her to make a wish list on Amazon so we could help her out.
I was like, wait a second… what did I miss here?
And one of the women said,
Bitches making Christmas magic is what happened.
Followed by this:
MY HOME BACE LADIES ARE FUCKING AWESOME.
We aren’t a membership group.
We are a family.
We take care of each other.
It’s not me leading them.
It’s US leading each other.
We aren’t separate families.
We our one BIG family.
And Katie’s little baby is our little baby.
Anyway, at first Katie was very reluctant.
Like VERY RELUCTANT.
Like I’m-only-putting-toilet-paper-and-diapers-on-the-list reluctant.
The HOME BACE ladies cleared out her tiny wish list in a matter of minutes.
Every little bit helps, but toilet paper and diapers aren’t going to get you out of a deep hole and on your feet.
So last night I told her to fill her list up.
Actually, my exact words were I WANT YOU TO FILL THAT LIST THE FUCK UP.
I told her to put everything on there she could possibly think of.
She added like ten things.
I was like, WOMAN. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
So then I gave her things to add. Things that would allow her to run her home more efficiently. Things that would make her life easier. Christmas gifts for the kids.
Things that she couldn’t dream of affording.
Things that seemed way over-the-top.
I told her to put a laptop and computer and bikes and helmets and extension cords and pillows and sheet sets and just about everything under the sun.
And she did it.
She is like the younger sister I never had. I’ve had many, many, MANY conversations with her.
She’s a ballsy, badass chick who just needs to get on her feet and have some fucking room to breathe and not stress for a couple months.
She needs her own laptop.
That will open up a world of possibilities to her.
She needs what you all gave to me six and seven and eight years ago.
This is your chance to be part of something bigger than yourself and help a family who is near and dear to my heart and who has been directly affected by this pandemic.
I wanna give these kids the chance that you guys gave to mine.
Let’s do something awesome together and give a woman with tremendous potential, my friend, the opportunity to one day do the same thing for someone else in the same situation she was once in.