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.

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

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