Being part of Families in the Loop has lots of perks. At the top of the list is the incredible group of Chicago professionals and business owners I’ve come to know over the past year. Each day they’re hard at work, achieving excellence in their industries and inspiring dreamy entrepreneurs like me to keep going. So this month I’m dedicating the Families in the Loop blog to these Chicago superstars. And since it’s the month of love, I’ve added a twist. I have asked these experts to share how love has factored into their career choice. Was it love at first sight? How about a breakup? Find out here, all throughout the month of February. Parents, it’s time to recharge our career batteries with FITL’s “Live It - Love It” career series.
Giving More than Milk
~By Amy Cahill
A year ago, I was knee deep in a world consumed by milk, poop, and everything baby. My bookshelves were lined with parent how-to books, my conversations centered on sleep (or the lack thereof), and most of my shopping took place on diapers.com. Don’t get me wrong — I was absolutely in love with the tiny life I had brought into the world — but my life needed balance.
Not only was I looking for an avenue for continued personal growth, but as a new mom I was more motivated than ever to make the world a better place. Fortunately, I had one fantastic outlet available to me: coaching Girls on the Run Chicago. I jumped back into my fourth season and once again felt the excitement emanating from my 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-grade team members.
As in past seasons, I felt incredible joy in seeing the girls’ self-confidence surge through running and developing team camaraderie. But this season there was an added dimension to the experience. My 3-month-old son gained 15 big sisters who loved to push the stroller and take care of him at every turn. I realized that every mom should have this kind of opportunity, an insight that led to the creation of More Than Milk, a community of moms with a philanthropic focus. And so my world got bigger in just the way I wanted it to: by making a difference for deserving non-profit organizations and moms alike.
More Than Milk introduces you to inspiring non-profits, offers a smorgasbord of mom-friendly volunteer projects where you can bring the kids along, and keeps the conversation of giving back going. In working with each featured charity and non-profit organization, I see firsthand the good that is happening in Chicago. We support organizations tackling issues such as domestic violence, poverty, education, and the elderly. In doing so, I am part of a culture of hope, philanthropy, and compassion that rarely makes the headlines. Combine that culture with moms motivated to make a difference, and the results are powerful and invigorating.
A year out from starting this exciting venture, I’m still immersed in the world of milk, but I have more to offer in my conversations (yes, more than milk). I’m part of a vibrant and dynamic network of people and organizations doing amazing things in our community, and that’s definitely worth talking about.
That said, I don’t think moms will ever find the perfect balance. There will always be give and take, but right now life is pretty good. I get to enjoy quality time with my 14-month-old by day and help define a new type of giving back with inspiring philanthropists by nap and night. Plus, volunteering has become a regular activity for my son and me to do together.
As More Than Milk evolves, I’m finding new and exciting ways to love my family, myself, and my community. The Chicago mom community is active, full of so many talents, and has a huge heart. We hope to rally those amazing resources behind deserving causes and create a lovely and loving community.
We got the cute photo here!