Putting my career and aspirations on pause (again) and starting over in a new community...the "phoenix rising" tale of Infinity Family Services.
It has been almost two years since Infinity Family Services was publicly active. And oh my goodness, how time has flown! And in other instances, has seemed to stand entirely too still for entirely too long...
Statistics show that military spouses are one of the most underemployed demographics, that many spouses have completed higher educations than their servicemembers. (And that sorta blows the "dependa" myth right out of the water, doesn't it? Especially when you account for the "cost of motherhood," reestablishing childcare and education struggles at each new base and in the case of self-employment- reestablishing a networking community, which takes time, trust and tenacity)
When I was in college studying families, milspouse employment statistics were just numbers on a page to me and not nearly as painful to swallow as they are in the present day. That's because I had been, up to that point, one of the lucky ones. My spouse and I were associated with the same duty location for nearly ten years. I enlisted and completed that enlistment in that time, had two children and we established our family life all in the same community. We actually spent much of our time requesting a change of assignment, not knowing how much our lives would change when we were granted our request.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Well, we eventually got our wish, orders to a new base, the prospect of a new adventure in a new town, a new-life-restart. It was exciting. It was intimidating. And there was a lot "adulting" that we had not expected (selling a house in a slow market while trying to buy a house in a fast market....the disappointment, the tears, the waiting- but that's a story for another day!)
What does that all mean for Infinity Family Services?
As much as I would like to redefine myself as something more than a veteran and a military spouse, the truth is I would not have the life I have without the military. I am not sure I could tell you who I am as a person without the leadership lessons I took away with me from my own time in the service, without the constant reminders of my own strength and resilience and grit that life as a military dependent reminds me of daily.
To be honest most of the time, my life pretty much revolves around last minute scheduling changes, time spent apart from my spouse, relying heavily on my childcare providers and in general just "making it work". So, as with many families, Mom's priorities are often put on hold to make sure "it works" and the family is functioning properly. To a more experienced business person, my endeavors with Infinity Family Services may look sporadic, but I assure you the passion and dedication for serving expecting and new families has never wavered.
I have continued to serve families behind the scenes from gestation through early childhood behind the scenes, despite the fact that my original website has long since passed its renewal date, despite the fact that my social media accounts are perpetually sending me reminder emails that my "followers haven't heard from me in awhile." Despite the occasional (and sometimes long-term) outward silence in the last six years, I feel incredibly blessed to have been invited into the sacred spaces of mother honoring ceremonies and postpartum healing rituals. I have held the hands (or massaged the shoulders or squeezed the hips) of laboring and birthing women (I was even a human "birth stool" at one incredibly powerful birth!) I have cuddled sweet newborns and played with siblings, folded laundry, mopped floors, brought meals to postpartum families, coffee to mamas in need.
I have never ceased to serve quietly when my family life demanded that my public advertising efforts reduce to a whisper in the dark (and sometimes, desperate tears into my pillow, wondering when my time would come again "to be more than *just* a mama") But I have been here all along, learning, living, growing, readjusting, fueling my passions through further education, biding my time for the public revival of Infinity Family Services.
Home At Last
“Through it all, I have had my eye on the next big step and I finally found a childbirth education curriculum felt matched the quality and caliber of information expected in my career field as a family life educator: Birth Boot Camp. ”
So what exactly has kept me from pouring all my love and energy into my business the last two years? Well, I am glad you asked. In 2018, I graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Family Life Education, Child Development with a minor in Human Environmental Sciences. (Magna Cum Laude, baby! And you better believe I got myself a special ribbon to wear on my grad cap for all the extra juggling that came with that GPA while solo parenting my two young children during my husband's military training away from home)
I finished my last class the day our home went on the market and the mover's were packing up all our worldly possessions. Let me tell you, there were a lot of tears that day! And then off we went on our cross-country vacation towards our next duty station. We made some incredible memories while visiting Yellowstone National Park and arrived in Spokane, WA in early August. It wasn't until January 2019 that we found our home and got settled, more of the same life-on-hold-military-life, hurry-up-and-wait. I really struggled so much with that living-in-a-hotel life and even took the kids to visit family in Ohio for a few weeks so we had some more room to spread our wings while we waited for all the pieces to fall into place. But now I look back at that time we spent in such close quarters together and find it to be so simple and sweet. I am thankful we found a place to call home here on the South Hill (and the best part is, I now have an incredible classroom space that I can't wait to show you all) and not long after arriving, we discovered we were expecting our third baby!
The Time Is Now
After a really long, lonely pregnancy in the middle of our first winter (accompanied by a deployment) in Spokane, Spring brought with it a renewal of old business ideas, a fresh perspective, a reignited flame in a new community of birthy colleagues I had the pleasure of working with as a client before branching out professionally.
Through it all, I have had my eye on the next big step and I finally found a childbirth education curriculum that I felt matched the quality and caliber of information expected in my career field as a family life educator: Birth Boot Camp. And so, here I am- as my husband embarks on a much more stable and generally more predictable military career field, I too have settled into my role, as a pregnancy and parent educator. I am ecstatic to be a part of an incredible new collective of Birth Boot Camp instructors in Spokane and I cannot wait to share this curriculum with parents and professionals alike.
Infinity Family Services is no longer a whisper in the dark.
The time is now!
Bring it on Spokane.
Bring it on 2020!
(P.S. I'm declaring my birthday "Infinity Family Day" and we are going to celebrate this very exciting relaunch November 2020)