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A Hard Decision
By Lorna, Founder and CEO of MS MOMS
Ladies and Gentlemen of MS MOMS,
During this, holiday weekend families often get together to celebrate over a barbeque and fireworks. We are celebrating “independence day”. Today I would like to talk to you about dependence, about my dependence on MS MOMS. The following letter is long, but heartfelt. I want to reach out over this holiday to share with all of you the changes that have come about rather rapidly in the past weeks and what it all means for MS MOMS. In addition, because I regard many of you as family and dear friends, I felt it only right to let you know my feelings.
Last year there were many difficulties in my life, which lead to some turbulence with MS MOMS. Every person experiences times in their life when they have overwhelming doubts. I had convinced myself that I was not fit to run MS MOMS, that although I had given the organization life, I had no right in thinking I had the expertise to run it. I came by this judgment because I thought I had to be superwoman. I also felt that everyone else expected me to be superwoman as well. Each time life interrupted or a month passed without my working on the site, I felt that I was letting not only myself but also hundreds of members down. I longed for someone to take over yet I was also afraid of what might go wrong. Like any mother, I was unsure, nervous, and yet very protective of MS MOMS.
Last winter, in an attempt to be a good mother and let “my baby” go, I gave up my presidency. I had decided that the work MS MOMS needed done could not be done by me. I rationalized that someone else would be a better manager and that I was only being selfish by hanging on to MS MOMS so tight. Resolving to let go and not hover about, micro managing, I encouraged Cindi to take on the mantle of president again. Cindi has always been a great supporter of MS MOMS, a lady who stuck with me from the beginning. She also had experience with other MS organizations, was a nurse, and fit the bill for someone who loved MS MOMS, but did not have the overwhelming emotional attachment to it. Although I was terrified of the future and aware that any change was going to make me nuts, I resolved to be a good mother and let go. (You know like when you ignore that your teenager has green hair. It drives you insane, but you also realize that screaming about it will only encourage them to go through with the piercing.)
The time that followed was difficult for me. I instantly wondered if I had truly made the right choice or bowed to outside (and inside) pressure that I was not “good enough.” While it may have appeared to others that I simply charged off into the horizon, I hovered, watching the website in silence. Right off the bat there were some changes to the web and while I was thrilled to see that MS MOMS was moving forward, there was the growing pains that come with relinquishing your vision to someone else. In the meantime, I began to take lessons in management and do some work with another organization, learning how to better manage my time.
Discovering I was pregnant also played havoc with my emotions. I would not have time for MS MOMS anyhow, I consoled myself, but all the while, I felt that sharing my pregnancy with MS MOMS was what really needed to happen. Yet, I had made a deal and I was going to stick by it. Besides, things were changing and there was no reason to worry that MS MOMS was heading in the wrong direction.
March and April flew by and in May I noticed that while there had been progress in February, nothing else had happened. I attempted to reassure myself that sometimes life happens and everything would work out. In June it became apparent that not only had things stopped, things were falling apart. A heavy silence hung over MS MOMS, one that had been in place for some time that I was not fully aware of until then. The new site was not working and people had begun to leave the old site because nothing was happening. Messages were not being answered, along with email. No matter the reason, no matter my previous insistence that this was how change looked, this was not what I had envisioned for MS MOMS.
At this time, I am still not exactly sure what happened. What I do know, is that MS MOMS is not going to flounder any longer. I apologize to all of you for letting it get this way, and for not moving sooner. I can only hope that I have not hesitated too long and that those who have walked away will come back once they see that MS MOMS is running again. I will be stepping in as president again and coming with me, is a larger team of people than before, all interested in putting things back together. All of them are aware that I have some very strong feelings about MS MOMS. The mistakes I have made in the past, have made me stronger and they will not happen again.
In a positive light, the time away has helped me to learn not only how to manage, but also that I am good enough. MS MOMS has always been an integral part of who I am since the day it first started. Taking that away has been like taking a part of my soul from me. It left me feeling empty, trying to find something else to fill that void. There is nothing else and I do not think there ever will be.
In the hopes that you will support me for another round,
Lorna, Founder & CEO
Reach Lorna by email to comment: email@example.com