Reinventing the wheel is not something that is typically recommended. When one as an idea, this is why research is such an important step, does it already exist? Once I had this idea that what was really needed was a stroller attachment that would transfer the energy from the spinning wheels into a way to charge my phone. At the time I was a mom with a baby and I walked a lot, I often would realize that I forgot to charge my phone and was irritated by having to carry the cord around (a couple miles sometimes) and then ask at the coffee shop/kids gym/friends house to plug my phone in. I was convinced this would be a world changing thing for moms. I went to the internet and started searching, and WOW you should see what I found, there was this origami stroller that absolutely blew my mind.
With other parenting ideas I found what I “thought of” often in the On Step Ahead catalog. I didn’t get discouraged, I am instead empowered that I’m coming up with ideas that have great market validation since they already exist and have customers! So I allow myself to keep daydreaming about ways to make the world a better place and simply appreciated that the Onsie extenders existed, the appropriately sized baby bottles for babies that are used to breastfeeding and more. I also signed up for any affiliate program related to these items and tried to be a part of letting people know these great things existed.
Sometimes, it happens though that something doesn’t exist. It was 2009 after I gave birth to my second baby and was having a hard time both financially and also finding support that I realized as a mom who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), there wasn’t a place for me to connect with other moms. At the time there were a good number of forums for people diagnosed with MS but there wasn’t anything “just” for the moms. I found a few groups that were labeled as “Parents” that contained an awkward mix of people who were:
*Parents with children diagnosed with MS
*Married to/previously married to someone diagnosed with MS
*Parents who were diagnosed with MS (moms &/or dads)
As a mom, I was not comfortable posting questions about things like breastfeeding, what medications were ok to talk, and details about childbirth. This is because the people in these rooms all had their own unique perspective on the topic that skewed their response. I saw moms not getting support when they asked reasonable questions and also sometimes even attacked for considering having children. As a mom with MS I also knew that through my pregnancies, one of which happened in NYC and the other in WA state, all of my doctors gave completely different advice as far as how to deal with everything, and this includes neurologists, ob/gyn, and even midwives.
I wanted to know what other moms did and how they made their decisions. I believed that moms, especially moms dealing with a serious diagnosis needed support, and I created the site on a Ning platform with the domain MomsWithMS.com in 7/2009. That was just over 5 years ago, and there is still a few moms trickling in each week because they were looking for women who could relate to what they are going through.
So still working on other ideas at the same time and grateful that after so many years I am seeing more sites/support groups dedicated to this previously neglected demographic. I’m still investigating my other ideas as they come up and I hope that you are too, there seems to be no limit to ideas! I am grateful that I experienced the success of this ever growing community and was able to help some people realize they are not alone. Also grateful to have had an idea really seem to stick.