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How The Misfit Mamas, Inc. came to be

My life experiences from my earliest days, made me feel like I never quite belonged in the world around me. I was always looking for a safe space where my needs would be met. It would eventually inspire my life’s work. Born to a single teenage mother, I was placed in the custody by DCF by the age of two due to abuse and neglect. I'd celebrate special events in supervised foster visits, eventually being flown to Florida to live with my grandparents at three and a half. The next decade would play a crucial role in shaping the woman and mother I am today. This would lead to the drive to create the organization, called The Misfit Mamas, Inc. Out of foster care and with family, my life should have been wonderful, however behind the scenes was vastly different. I started to resist my grandparents, as my brother and I were treated differently. I’d spend each meal at the dining room table while he and my grandparents ate in the living room. Isolating me from the rest of the family as often as possible, even going as far to legally adopt my brother, and ensuring I knew they would never pressure mine.

At eleven years old I was sitting on the couch and my grandmother, who was already kidney failure started convulsing, bleeding, staring blankly ahead. My childhood was over with that vivid scene. Forever traumatized as I sat there alone navigating first responders with the echo of my Grandfather coping by blaming me in screams amid the chaos when he arrived. The diagnosis was a brain aneurysm which would require immediate and risky brain surgery. She returned home, and I found myself constantly by her side, doing anything to help. All these medical events left her, tiny and fragile, her head newly shaved staples from ear to ear from the brain surgery. Her speech and memory had also been affected, and she was intensely distant. Despite my attention and effort to help I couldn't shake the feeling of her resentment. Ultimately, she was so easily agitated daily until one evening she confronted me and told me to leave for good.

The years following I was always on the move. Nearing my 15th birthday, I packed my most valuable possessions, into two suitcases and a carry-on bag and boarded a one-way flight to Connecticut, and never looked back. Living on my own actually involved help from new family and friends. I stayed with my aunt, or for a couple of years, then began hopping between friends homes until college. Initially I moved between college dorms every semester and during summer breaks. Eventually I left college to pursue my passions and, found my way to doula work.

As an adult I became a mother myself, and while learned from clients, and acquaintances, and I had witnessed so many families struggling to find support and connection in their motherhood journey. Now I myself became a mother and Nothing could have prepared me for how eye opening it would be. Entering motherhood in the middle of a pandemic exacerbated my loneliness and unease. I wanted better as a mother and I wanted my baby to have everything he deserved in a healthy family, In self-help mode, I used Facebook to try tried to join ‘mom groups’ but found them either too unwelcoming. they just never fit. This motivated me to create my own group "The Misfit Mamas" which doubled as a Facebook group originally created as an extension of my doula business, "The Misfits DoulaTog”. In two months, we had over 1,500 members. I could see what I was creating was far greater than myself or anyone person, and I wanted to ensure it was around for generations to come. I wasn’t doing self-help anymore, I was going to expand to create a legacy my son.

In August of 2022, I established it as its own entity and started the process of turning it into a real non-profit organization. In The Misfit Mamas, families chose to share

experiences with mental health, childcare, and financial challenges. They shared the difficulty in work-life balance and covering the outrageous child care costs. Balancing work and childcare presents a difficult dilemma, with high costs often outweighing the

benefits. I realized their stories were not anomalies; Millions of U.S. families are feeling

increasingly cornered, with each passing generation experiencing worsening conditions identical stressors. So, I thought, “When will this cycle break?” I had the idea to use the former Briarwood campus as a brick and mortar home for our mission to amend child care struggles, provide individualized care, house families in transition, facilitate to individuals needing counsel, and create a home base for the volunteers and staff that work diligently to improve the lives of others before their own.

The Misfit Mamas, Inc. believes everyone has a unique story, a personal journey filled with triumphs, challenges, and growth. It is through our experiences and interactions with the world around us, that we can uncover our true purpose and potential. Embracing our inner- strength and wisdom allows us to navigate the twists and turns of fate with courage and resilience. This organization aims to share that and more with every family who, like I was so many times before, felt lost or overwhelmed as a parent and adult.

Always remember that your destiny is not a fixed destination, but a voyage of

self-discovery and transformation. Trust in your abilities, follow your passions, and believe in the power that resides within you to create the life you envision. and take risks. Your destiny truly lies within you. I choose to share my story and the Misfit story with you now, so that you know you are not alone. The journey of the Misfit Mamas, Inc. and our hope for Briarwood reflects a beacon of hope for each and every one of us, and future generations to come.

Love & Light, 

Shea Wordell 

Founder & CEO

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Thank you for sharing you personal journey and the journey you’re working cooperatively to move forward. You are the author of your own life story and you’re making it a good one.

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