Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Meade
I can’t remember when it started. I just always had a baby I was carrying around. As a child I had a severe doll obsession. I was never without one. As soon as I could hold live babies, I would seek out family friends that had them with a hidden agenda to “babysit.”
In my early 20s, I had one of my own. In my mid 30s, another. These moments were hands down the most powerful breaths in my life. These children brought hundreds of more children into my life, children that called me Mom, Momma, Momma Weil. I love them all. I hug them when they come and when they leave to make sure they know it.
I taught elementary school, and the numbers exponentially grew. The Babies, all of them, are a constant thread that runs through my day, 24/7, and have been in my heart since I arrived on this planet.
I think that’s why this Calling has poured into my heart the way it has. My vision started as a dream to see each child going through a mental health rough patch get back on track as soon as possible–and for them to believe that can happen. To give them hope–a strength to believe in the essence of who they are beneath the layer of the illness. Perhaps that’s because I bargained with God that if my first child could be relieved of the pain he felt through his teens, and his constant desire to leave this earth because of it, I would dedicate this lifetime to helping all the babies I could.
There’s a thing that happens when symptoms flare up in a child. It’s steeped in fear of being different and “crazy.” It’s wrapped in pain and secrecy grown out of confusion about what’s happening. It’s a knife in the self-esteem heart as the child often feels screwed by being handed such a fate. It’s a gateway into street drugs to “normalize” and find relief from the chaotic swirl. It’s a thing that’s hard to know unless you’ve taken up residence with it in the same home, waking with it and laying with it while it shakes in the dark, afraid of the night terrors that live at the edge of sleep…but knowing not sleeping brings with it dire consequences.
To watch a child go through this pain breaks my heart into a million pieces. Knowing that so many “professionals” don’t even really get it, activates my anger and frustration. In certain places, the knowledge exists, but it’s like somebody tore that information up in a million fucking pieces and threw it into the air laughing, “You figure out how to help your child. Good luck.” Gluing those pieces back together and sharing that cohesive picture is my mission. Getting this message directly to the parents and allies who need it is my vision.
Here’s what I know. By taking optimal steps to recovery, and recovery IS a thing, time can speed by and get the child living out his unique blueprint. This inspires me to no end. This can only happen, by the way, if the child is allowed out of the mental health closet by well-meaning parents often worried about “what people will think.” By hiding the child, the child gets the message that “something is wrong with me and this is my fault” when the opposite is true. The child’s internship with mental health symptoms can make that child stronger, more empathetic, more resilient, and more understanding of this beautifully diverse world we live in. Where we fall down now is in the secrecy step which prolongs the period of time before people can look to others for support, education, and advocacy for their child.
Imagine if all those babies came forward how those 1 in 4 stats would change. Children’s mental health issues are without a doubt the current elephant in the room. When my family was going through our first dark night crisis, my oldest child was 12. People turned their backs on us right and left. We felt so isolated and afraid for our child. I was desperate to help my baby who was in so much pain. The place I turned was a confidential list serve where there were hundreds of moms like me in the same boat. Just knowing I was not alone calmed my heart. I knew that through Group Wisdom, as embodied in this place, I would find the support and education I needed to help my child. I vowed never to stop helping others with the knowledge that I gained on the journey to helping my own baby.
Enter Hope for Our Babies. This is the start of an outreach to gather a tribe of parents and their allies (this should include all of us, folks) committed to a vision that together we can help all kids through the mental health tunnel and to the light on the other side. The quicker, the better. By calling on each other for support and education, this grassroots effort is meant to roll out a group of voices for change. We’re starting with California (because it’s in 48th place in the US, which is pathetic, and I like a challenge), but the reach will extend far beyond the Sunshine State.
How can you help? First, click on this link and then click like:
Second, copy and paste on your social media to share. If you are a parent or ally, and want to share in a closed group, click on “Contact Us” and you will be taken to the group page where you may find guidance that can help you on your journey.
By liking and sharing, we can extend our reach to parents and allies who have babies of all ages they are supporting on a regular basis. By pulling the pieces together, in a solution oriented format, we will gather resources and filter it through Group Wisdom. I am a firm believer that we are put here to serve others by sharing the nuggets we’ve gathered on our journey. That’s where joy lives. I’m also a firm believer that we are all connected, and by helping our babies on their journeys (ALL THE BABIES of all ages) we have the best shot at creating a world that works for everybody.