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The Mommies Network is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms find support and friendship in their local community. We were founded April, 2002 and currently have 119 communities in 33 states, with over 30,000 active members nationwide.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Making a Difference - One Mommy at a Time

Heather Fortune, CharlotteMommies
The Mommies Network Founder


As a kid, all I ever wanted to be was a mom. In the spring of 2002, I should have been on cloud nine – I had a beautiful baby daughter and was fortunate enough to be at home with her. I was so in love with my little girl, but I struggled daily with feelings of isolation and sadness. As a new mom, I didn’t recognize the signs of post-partum depression. What I did know was that I needed some mommy friends!

I found an online moms group and met some really wonderful ladies. Unfortunately, they all lived in various other parts of the country, nowhere near me. I tried a couple of local moms groups, but they all required a membership fee and had meetings that didn’t fit well into our schedule. Frustrated, I decided to go back online and set up a Yahoo! Group for moms in Charlotte, NC. A few months later, one of my group members and I opened CharlotteMommies.com.

As our group grew, I realized that I wasn’t alone in feeling isolated – there were plenty of moms who struggled with the same feelings and being a part of CharlotteMommies gave us all a chance to meet new friends, get answers to questions and get a hug (either virtually or in person) when we needed it. We became a neighborhood within our city. We shared our joys and our sorrows with each other and truly cared for each other. When one of us was in need, the others were always just a post away – coming to the aid of whoever needed it with love, support and friendship.

Never was this more real to me than when I experienced my own difficulty. In 2008, my daughters and I had to leave our home and suddenly had nothing but the few things we had taken with us. Finding a house and a job when you have been a stay-at-home mom for seven years is quite difficult. The mommies enveloped me in support and love – one member offered to rent her house to me, and many many others brought all of the things I would need to be able to live there. Every one of my needs were taken care of and my children and I were given an amazing opportunity to build a new life. As I write this, I still tear up – it was truly the most moving and powerful thing that has ever happened to me. I have never felt more loved and cared for.

CharlotteMommies was my savior in so many ways. It started out as a way to make new friends, but it soon became so much more than that. To be able to talk to so many moms, from so many walks of life, gives you a wonderful perspective and allows you to grow as a parent. I am a better mom because of CharlotteMommies and the wonderful women I have met there.

CharlotteMommies.com, the flagship community of The Mommies Network, opened in August, 2002. CharlotteMommies currently has nearly 3,000 members. Any mom living in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina is welcome to apply and join the chapter – membership is free. Don’t live in Mecklenburg? Check out http://www.themommiesnetwork.org/ to find a chapter in your area.

Heather Fortune is the Founder of CharlotteMommies.com and Founder and Marketing Director for The Mommies Network, Inc. She has two daughters, Caroline (9) and Caty (4) and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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