Posted by Phyllis Eidelman
Presented at the CERS Women’s Breakfast
When I was asked to speak at the Women’s Breakfast about my experience as a Visiting Mom, I was honored and yet humbled at the opportunity as I am still a rookie in this 25-year-old program.
I am very blessed to have three beautiful, healthy children. Once they were no longer babies, they started to notice my affinity towards other babies. Thus was born the nickname “baby magnet.” Often, wherever we went, I would gravitate towards babies or the babies would find me. I can think of worse scenarios.
With my own children becoming more independent, I busied myself with volunteer work. When I learned about the Lauren and Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® program run by JF&CS I had a “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup” moment. Volunteer with an amazing Jewish organization and work with moms and babies? I could hardly wait! The details were even better: volunteer one hour a week to visit a new mom and her baby and participate in a supervision group every other week. Sign me up.
But life works in strange ways. Just as I was nearing the end of the training, I found out that my beloved father, Eli, was going to be placed in hospice. By this time our supervision group had already formed a bond. When I shared with my group that I believed my father was dying, I was met with more support than I could have ever imagined. I called Debbie Whitehill, Director of Visiting Moms, and explained my situation. I could feel her compassion through the phone as she reassured me that I could take whatever time I needed and start to be a Visiting Mom whenever I was ready.