I don't typically write about myself because who cares, right? Well, I agree! I don't aspire to be a lifestyle blogger, I don't show my kid's faces on this instagram account and if you know me in real life you know I'm somewhat of a private person. Anyway, there are some new faces around here and the question I get asked most often is "how did you decide to do this?" Here's a little of "my story."
I'm Adrienne, the Founder of Bundles of Joy. I am in my early thirties, I'm married to my wonderfully supportive husband, Patrick, and we're proud parents of two little ones, Sloane (3.5) and Wesley (1). My own kids are inspiration for Bundles of Joy, actually. If it hadn't been for them, I don't know if I would have realized my passion for helping others in this very specific way.
I remember the moment very clearly when I decided I wanted to start my own not-for-profit. Patrick, Sloane and I were in a long car trip coming back from Thanksgiving when Sloane was only a few months old. I announced to him that I wanted to start my own version of this organization in Boston. When I was pregnant with Sloane I volunteered for an organization with a very mission of providing essentials. For some reason I just couldn't shake that experience. I kept obsessing over the basics that parents were asking for.
At the time, we were living in Boston and Patrick was in business school at MIT Sloan. I was working for an ad tech start-up -- a very big departure from my previous experience in NYC government. Anyway, it was fun. I can't say I loved the work because I didn't. I wasn't passionate about it but I DID love the people I worked with. The analysts I managed will always hold a place in my heart. I also really loved my boss. Anyway, I digress. I worked there while I was pregnant with Sloane and went on maternity leave when I had her. While I was out there were huge layoffs and I was cut. Just. like. that. I've never been laid off in my life and I had a 3 week old baby looking to me to provide EVERYTHING. I know that this happens to people a lot, actually. It's sadly "easy" to lay people off on maternity leave, even though there are some protective laws.
The truth is, I wasn't planning on returning to that position but it got me thinking how awful it is for the many many many women who are killing themselves to take care of their families and just can't. They are trying to work but get laid off. No explanation, no sorry, nothing. Also, how do you expect a new mother of a 3 week old to find a new job? There are so many things that make me angry about this situation, and not for me, because I was fine but for the others who aren't as lucky as I was. I also couldn't help but feel like a failure. I didn't even want to go back to that job and yet I felt like a loser. That is no way to start motherhood, right?
Listen, I know this happens a lot. I know I am really lucky and I am not seeking anyone's pity in this situation ESPECIALLY since I was planning on being home with Sloane anyway. The point is, this situation really affected me and changed the way I thought about those in need. I could be helping someone just like me. It's very personal to me and every bundle I pack, I put myself in that person's shoes. I imagine what I'd want most.
So, that is my story of how I got to here. I hate hate hate when people say "thing's happen for a reason," because I think thats such a retrospective, passive, annoying thing to declare...but in this case, all these things happened and got me overcome the fear of starting my own organization to do what I feel most passionate about. I feel really lucky to have found my purpose and I'm grateful to be able to pursue it with the support of my family and community.