Friday, May 1, 2015

Dear Mom, You're doing better than you think.

Today is the Mother's Day party that we throw every year. I am so excited and also exhausted and those things together make me really emotional. The whole point of this party is to make something useful and nice for another mom, someone who might otherwise receive nothing. These moms, by the way, are currently staying in either a domestic violence or homeless shelter with their kids. 

This party has become a yearly reminder for me that as parents, we're all in this together. It also shows me that so many of the experiences of being a mother are universal. What do we put in the gift bags? The same things we all need. Why? Because no matter where you live, your children will use your shirt as a snot rag and it will be gross. And tampons are tricky and sneaky, and hide in your purse when you need them the most, so we always need a couple of extra. We all need soap and shampoo and toothpaste (that will somehow make a huge sticky mess somewhere toothpaste has no business being). We need snacks for us and our kids, and know that our kids will always gobble up all the good ones before we can even get a nibble. 


But you know what else goes in those gift bags? WORDS. Every year my friend Ann makes hundreds of beautiful hand-made cards and we all write to the women who will receive these gifts. It's been the hardest part for me. What do I write? There's not a lot of room on the cards and there's so much to say. But I don't want to get too personal. Or too emotional. God knows, I can be painfully awkward in less than five sentences and it's not my intention to make the recipients of these gift bags feel concerned that I'm unstable. 

But I also want to be sincere! How do I convey that I'm a total stranger who cares so much about her and who's praying for her and her kids? That I want only the best for her family? How do I jot a little something down about how awed I am by the strength it takes to talk about abuse, to get help, to leave? 

I always struggle with what to write. But not this year. This year I know what to say.


A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Minute Maid asking me to work with them on a new campaign around Mother's Day. The idea was to let parents know they're doing better then they think. I was so scared when I emailed them back, asking for help with this event and for a donation for our gift bags. But they said yes! They're paying me to write this post (all of which will go towards donations to the shelters) and they're providing each family with free Minute Maid products.


Thank you, Minute Maid, sincerely. For the donations and for helping me know what to write on the Mother's Day cards this year. I will say:



Dear Mom, 
You're doing better than you think.  
We all need to hear that sometimes because this job is so hard and it's so easy to only think about the things we're doing wrong. So the next time you start to feel like you're letting your kids down, please read this note again. And know someone out there is rooting for you and wishing you all the best. 
Thank you for all you do for your children and Happy Mother's day.
Sincerely, 
Julie

Here's a new video that Minute Maid created as part of their "Doin' Good" campaign. It *might* have made me cry tears out of my eyeballs. Maybe. I really appreciate their message. 



And you could also win a gift card from Minute Maid! Tell me about someone you know who is doing a better job as a parent than he/she might think. Post a comment for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card to continue “Doin’ Good” with your kids (or give it to someone you think could use it).

This post is sponsored by Minute Maid, who also provided free products to the residents of Shelter House and Duffy House. For that we are so grateful. All the thoughts in the post are entirely my own because no one is the boss of me. 


(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2015

Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. Better yet - subscribe! Mostly because Facebook is now so dumb that our updates don't even show up in our own feed anymore.

33 comments:

  1. Jenny C from txMay 1, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    My friend Andrea. She's a mom who takes her son camping, kayaking, and to scouts -- as a solo-mom -- and has gotten a full-time job to support her 3 kids. She's fiesty and strong and funny, and she's stronger than she thinks she is. Plus, her son is a super kid.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your heart and it is always such a great reminder to me to have one too - love copying your ideas here in Texas!! I have a mom friend (don't we all) who is struggling with her identity as a mom as well as economically - I would love to blow her socks off with a gift card!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a friend who's a single mom. I could go on about her brave choice in leaving a desperately unhappy situation, how she worked hard to find a job and a (semi) affordable apartment within a few months, how she's raising her young daughters to be compassionate and strong with a truly fun streak--but what most impresses me is that the job she took on is that of a teacher.
    After taking care of absolutely everything her own kids need just to get through the day, she teaches a grade school class to value and cherish education. And she is so good at what she does- I'll never forget going to a craft fair with her when so many kids stopped to give her hugs. With all that is in front of her, she manages to remember to care for all of those around her.
    I know day to day life can be tiring for her- not the least of which because there is no parent partner who has her back and reminds her how well she is doing--but she is truly an inspiration. I hope she knows that.
    ---Mrs. Darling

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a friend who is dealing with a teenager who is doing poorly in school due to peer pressure and lack of initiative, and a teenager about to graduate high school. The senior is dealing with severe depression and has been harming himself off and on for several months. They are all in counseling and my friend feels as if she is the reason all of this is happening. No matter how often I tell her that the kids make choices or that depression isn't anyone's fault, she still feels responsible. I want her to know that she's doing the very best that she can and that with help and support, this too shall pass.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My cousin's girlfriend. She has 3 kids, and no help from her ex. Since Christmas, her oldest son has had to have surgery on his knee. Before surgery, he slipped in the tub, and cracked her brand new tub. Her youngest son has had strep throat 5 times since Christmas, and finally had his tonsils taken out. And, then last week had him in the er with poison ivy, all over his face. But, she never backs down, and does everything in her life, with her kids best interest at heart.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful (you, your actions, and the video)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oooooh you made me ugly cry! Thank you for this, though. And thank you for reminding me to honor two very special moms in my life who might not otherwise be told just how wonderful a job they're doing this Mother's Day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a great friend who has dealt with an absent spouse (jail, long story) for over 4 years now. She's sweet and funny and works her butt off to provided for her and her son. She is a rockstar!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. My mom has done and still does a way better job parenting my brother and I than she has ever believed, even though we now are in our 40s. My brother and his family need help due to my brother's chronic illness and she is always there for him. She certainly has encouraged and stood by me my whole life. She is a great mom.

    ReplyDelete
  10. My sister Katie. She has four kids of her own and they are just finalizing their adoption of an adorable boy from Hong Kong who has Down Syndrome. She often feels like she isn't doing enough, but I know if I can just be 1/4 the mom she is my girls will be very lucky!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post, and your cards are awesome. I think ALL parents are probably doing better at this parenting gig than we think. It is easy to focus on all the wrongs and question our decisions - but I think at the end of the day, we as parents are ALL doing better than we think we are!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My friend Heather. Her husband walked out on her and their three children three years ago. She struggles with making sure the kids have all they need, let alone all they want. She also has to struggle with the father being the cool parent and the meltdowns it causes their youngest after a weekend with him. I've been there and its not a pretty sight. She doesn't think she's doing a good job but she is.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My friend Donna is a nurse and mother of toddler twins and she's doing great. I'm amazed at how she juggles it all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. My sister. She works hard and has amazing kids.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My BFF of 21 years. She is pregnant with her (surprise!) third. She works hard to give good things to her family, she has stood by me in my times of joy and great sorrow, she teaches, disciplines and loves her kids, and yet she counts ME as her inspiration. I just want to be a mom and friend worthy of such high praise.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My friend Catherine is such a great mom to her 3 kids. She is a single mom who has endured some terrible things in her past, but always strives to see the positive in others. She has big plans to further her education to help make a better life for herself and her kids. And she is working toward those goals by returning to college while working to support her family. She is truly an inspiration!! It would be great for her to receive a gift card!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I need to tell you, I have done this Mother's Day project in my city for the last 3 years and it has been a labor of love. This year I have been 7 hours from home for months now with my youngest son who just received a bone marrow transplant to hopefully cure an immune deficiency. Right now he's in ICU with some complications, but he's fighting and doing better than the doctors expected. It's been the hardest thing I've ever been through.
    A few weeks ago a dear friend told me she was going to take over the Mother's Day project for me b/c she knows it's important to me and she wanted to honor me. And obviously it was going to fall by the wayside. Talk about crying real tears out of my eyeballs! This friend is a middle school teacher and a special needs parent, so you know she's got all the time in the world- yeah right!
    Im just so touched that my friend Meghan would organize the entire Mother's Day project for me (and she's done an incredible job!). She works so hard at everything she does, and she's definitely doing better than she thinks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! Go Minute Maid! My friend, Kelly, is a single mom and doing a fabulous job. Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My big sister has three little boys. Her seven-year-old twins are sweet and funny and wonderful...but they faced a lot of prenatal challenges. They were born ten weeks early and had developmental delays and birth defects, resulting in a two-month stay in the NICU for one and five months for the other...in separate cities. Meanwhile, my sister was also trying to raise a three-year-old.
    Now the twins are in kindergarten, and they still struggle with academics and with impulse control. Their mom does an AMAZING job; she is constantly volunteering at the school, driving someone to the psychiatrist or to occupational therapy, or generally finding ways to be more awesome. She is doing so, so much better than she thinks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. My Sister is doing a great job because she can juggle a million things at once and still be good at it all as a parent. As a mom; she volunteers, works outside the home, goes to school, and is a trainer helping others to live more healthy. She takes on the world with full force, even when she is tired she finds the will power. She's a great mom, who’s love pours over onto everyone’s life in a positive way, and I literally never leave her presence without a huge smile on my face & in my heart, as I see In her kids as well. Our own mom wasn't really around when we where kids, so I think my moms absence gave her a mothering nature right from the start. My sister is truly awesome and deserves to be celebrated everyday for being a fantastic mom.

    ReplyDelete
  22. My sister in law has 8 kids (two grown) and never feels like she's doing well as a mom. Her husband is a teacher who works VERY hard at all sorts of extra activities to support them. She would like to be able to help out financially but daycare would take most of what she would make, so it's sort of pointless until the last one is in school. She gets frustrated because she feels like she doesn't have enough time with her husband as he is so busy coaching a very active group on campus and when he's not there, he's preparing for the job he does for income during the summer. Plus, he's been battling back pain so he needs to go to bed fairly early. She told me Sunday, "I just can't be Super Mom like all these other moms." The fact is, she's doing a great job. Her oldest two have turned out well and I have every reason to believe the rest will too. She's doing far better than she thinks. I'm signing this one Anonymous (I usually don't) because she would be upset if somehow this linked back to her. She won't need to see the original post if I win, and I would LOVE to hand that gift card to her.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My friend M has 3 kids, and she stays home with them. She also watches other people's kids, like my son. :-) She is amazing... even though her husband makes less than the poverty limit for a family of 5, she manages to keep those kids happy and fed, and her household running like a top. I'm always in awe of how she manages, and still keeps a smile on her face and a hug for anyone who is going through a hard time. She is an inspiration to me, and I feel proud to call her my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I work with kids at a grade school. We provide before and after school care. I would like to tell about half the moms who use the service they are doing better than they think---these moms who have to drop their kids off early in the morning and don't get to see them again until late afternoon. They get judged so harshly, even though some of them are truly doing the best they can. Even though their kids end up spending extra time at the school, I never begrudge a mom an extra hour to get the grocery shopping done in peace. If it means she won't yell at her kids out of frustration later, then I'm happy to watch them. I have to be there anyway.

    I should probably remind myself occasionally that while I can't make sure every moment my child experiences is a happy one, I am doing a good job at making the bad moments tolerable.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My younger sister, and my older sister. Two very different parenting styles, two very different parenting situations and yet they are both amazing mothers. One is a sort of step mom to two kids, and she takes care of those kids as if they were her own, and is amazing for being able to put them before herself which shows me her level of maturity has grown amazing. The other is single parenting her daughter and has been doing it since her daughter was an infant. Plus still having to deal with bad custody issues. Niether situation is ideal, and they both continue to lift me up even through their own issues as well. Can't be them. <3

    ReplyDelete
  26. My daughter is a single mom with 3 boys. She always does the best she can but now needs car repairs which she can't afford. She depends on her car for working. It would be great if she had help with this to ease her worries. She always puts her boys first and herself last so deserves a helping hand.

    ReplyDelete
  27. A friend of mine whose husband has been laid off for the 2nd time in their 10 year marriage. She works harder than anyone I know to take care of 3 kids and make sure that they have everything they need and more. When she's not working full time during the week or shuttling the kids to every sports practice under the sun, she cleans houses to make ends meet. Even though I tell her daily that she is an amazing mom and she is doing an incredible job, she struggles to feel like she's doing enough for her family. I would love, love, love to surprise her with a gift card to help ease the burden a little!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED! Email us at admin@rantsfrommommyland.com for more details

      Delete
  28. My sister is doing good. She is a marine wife, mom of three, and she just finished nursing school! And she did it like a rockstar! She has been practically a single mom for half of her kids lives because of her husbands multiple deployments. She has endured the months and months of worry and fear that come along with those deployments. She may be my little sister, but I really look up to and admire her strength. I don't know how she managed to take care of her family and go to nursing school at the same time AND pull off straight As too!! She is doing so much better than she thinks!

    ReplyDelete
  29. My sister is going to be a single mom to 5 kids soon. She's perseveration personified 💜

    ReplyDelete
  30. My sister has being an amazing mother all the Times since she had her first child now she have 3 more and a adopted one and continĂșes doing a great job but she Dora not know that she alwas saids she is the runt.

    ReplyDelete
  31. My sister has being an amazing mother all the Times since she had her first child now she have 3 more and a adopted one and continĂșes doing a great job but she Dora not know that she alwas saids she is the runt.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My oldest daughter had to return to work recently and was worried about it but she is juggling it well. She is well organized, has a lot of patience and balances fun and discipline. Im very proud of her and my grand kids!

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts