I admit that Mother’s Day can be an afterthought for me these days. Not that my own mother is ever an afterthought–but by mid-May I’m generally coming off a whirlwind month at Cool Mom Picks with our own Mother’s Day Gift Guide–and by the way have you been there yet?
(This might be a good time. Great gift ideas, most of which support small mom-run businesses, and a $700 giveaway, yo.)
And then there’s Sage, who happened to be born the very same week, and has the audacity to expect things like cupcakes and a party to commemorate the occasion. To top it off, Mother’s Day, like many holidays, is often preceded by several of my very favorite kind of conversations between Nate and me, the ones that includes, “well, what do you want to do?” back and forth until the plans gel. Or don’t.
Even so, it’s never a letdown. Ever. At all.
Just receiving two hastily scribbled crayon cards from the girls and a few extra kisses makes my morning, and last year they “bought” me two teeny necklaces that I rarely take off to this day. I’m generally offered a few hours off for a pedicure or some reading time in the coffee shop and you know? Sometimes I’m even reluctant to take it because it’s such a joy to have the day with my family.
All in all, pretty awesome.
It’s the kind of thing that makes me feel wildly lucky. Especially (because this is where my head is at these days) as my thoughts turns towards those who don’t have such good fortune. Single moms who don’t have a partner to nudge the kids towards the crayon box. Moms who have lost a child–or a mother, or a grandmother–this year, and are spending the day with emotions I can’t even imagine. Moms whose lives are so wrought with challenges they don’t have the liberty of expecting a gift or even special treatment for a day.
Sometimes just getting through a day is the gift.
Sorry, not trying to bring you down. But it’s that whole community of women thing I’m loving so much these days–we cheer when we’re up, and we lift one another when we’re down.
And I really wanted to honor a few women who are doing phenomenal things to support other mothers and babies right now. Please check them out if, like me, you’re feeling super blessed (in a perfectly non-denominational, no-God-required kind of way, of course) and want to pay it forward:
-Thanks to Julia Beck and Rebecca Levey who introduced me to the R Baby Foundation, an organization founded by parents Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz five years ago to help make sure hospitals are better staffed to handle pediatric emergencies because yikes, most aren’t. I was honored to learn more about them as part of the host committee for their fundraiser last night (see above for cute photobooth promotional photo thingie), and I hope you will too. The stats are pretty mindblowing, and it’s not hard to commit to an organization that is actually decreasing the number of preventable deaths. I’ve donated ad space to them, and I hope you’ll click over and sign the petition.
–Katherine Stone, my lovely friend behind the blog Postpartum Progress, hosts an annual Mother’s Day Rally for Mental Health. And it doesn’t even require actual physical rallying, or running shoes. That’s my kind of rally, and Katherine is my kind of hero.
–Lee Rhodes is one of many many women who creates gifts that give back. I loved learning about her company Glassy Baby last week at the Mom 2.0 summit, and these gorgeous, handblown votives make an awesome Mother’s Day gift. Or gift for yourself. Or gift for someone who would appreciate that their sales have raised nearly $1 million for terrific organizations.
–Christie Turlington Burns, as you probably know, has been remarkable in dedicating her considerable resources to Every Mother Counts with help from women like Heather Armstrong. EMC has got an interesting partnership right now with Dwell Studio and Hatch, via Pinterest. Create a pinboard showcasing your personal nursery style and $10 goes right to Every Mother Counts; plus you’re entered to win a $1500 giveaway. MomTrends details it really nicely.
Do you have a favorite mom or group supporting other parents? Feel free to give it a shout-out in the comments. I’m always up for learning more. And psst…feel free to have a bloody mary too on Sunday. I will.
27 thoughts on “Mother’s Day – it’s not just about the bloody marys.”
Okay. Geez. Now I’m completely teary. Thank you. Love you back.
This is a wonderful way to celebrate, Liz. Thanks for introducing us to these wonderful organizations. As a temporary single mother (my husband is away on assignment for 6 months), I am now very aware of the issues single parents face and how much help they need on a daily basis. One of the organizations that helps a very important sub-group of single parents is the The Liz Logelin Foundation, which focuses on supporting grief-stricken young widows and widowers and does a wonderful job at that: http://thelizlogelinfoundation.org/about/
That’s awesome Raquel. Of course I’m familiar with Liz Logelin and it’s a really wonderful group. I hope you get all the pampering and love you deserve this Sunday, even with your husband away.
Thank you for sharing this, Liz. Can Canadians help support R Baby? I love supporting UNICEF, and my mom is one of their artists, and I love seing the good they do around the world.
I would imagine that they’d take a donation or a petition signature from anywhere at all. Thanks so much Loukia! They’re really doing good things.
I’m totally giving a shout out to one of my awesome Momma friends, Erica, who is the founder and executive director of Birth Education Beyond the Ordinary (http://www.beboinc.org/index.html), a program that serves women in Westchester County, NY on a sliding scale, based on income. They do child birth classes, offer doula services, newborn care classes and postpartum support.
I met Erica online through a “healthy pregnancy” support site. Most of the ladies in our group were newly pregnant with our first babies, all due in the same month, and had no idea what we were doing. We all helped each other bumble through the 9 months and then some. After we all gave birth, she had this vision of helping other women through the birthing and postpartum processes, especially low income and under served women, and made that vision into a reality.
Seven years later I’m proud to still call her a friend and I’m always happy to spread the word of her awesome work!
That’s so great Alyssa, thank you. Local community groups can do so much great work and your friend sounds amazing.
This is such a moving tribute to Mother’s Day. So much more productive than that day of disappearance that someone else recently suggested. Thank you for sharing information about such worthy causes!
Thanks Korinthia. I appreciate some of the organizations who are trying to use silence as a tool to acknowledge mothers with no voices..but I’m with Katherine Stone and others in thinking our voices are the most powerful tool we have. More so than silence. If I can use my words to actually help, I think I can do more than using no words just to make a point.
Thanks for mentioning grieving moms. Such a tough day for us, but so many of us are working to make the world a better place for our babies (and yours).
Thank you Kristine, for the work you’re doing. I hope you’re with people you love this weekend.
Thanks for shining your light all around. I think I’ll buy Glassybaby votive holders as teacher gifts this year.
You’ll love them Asha. I have a milky white one and I think their photos don’t even do it justice.
My mom is the bomb. And I hit the jackpot with my mother-in-law.
But I’d like to recognize my friend Mandy here, who in the past five years has lost her mother to pancreatic cancer, lost her 17 month old daughter suddenly and tragically to bacterial meningitis, had another son a year ago, signed on with TNT to compete in an olympic distance triathlon to raise money for LLS, and then in a cruel twist of fate learned that she has Hodgkins Lymphoma weeks before the race and weeks before moving from DC to Chapel Hill.
She did the race anyway.
She’s a complete badass, an inspiration, one of my oldest and most brilliant friends. You can read about her journey here http://hudsonsonegoodthing.blogspot.com/
Somehow she manages to eloquently articulate the pain, the fear, the darkness, the joy, the triumph, the complexity that is grief and motherhood and survival, and all that entails.
Happy Mother’s Day, Liz. Thanks for bringing us all together here.
What a cool mothers day post! I’ve been lurking here for quite some time, but I thought I’d celebrate by finally commenting. I recently discovered another mom blogger supporting other birthing moms through supplying birth kits for birthing mothers in 3rd world Papua New Guinea. Here’s the link: http://themommyhoodmemos.com/2012/04/bloggers-for-birth-kits-helping-moms-in-developing-nations/
So glad to know about it, thanks Shana. And thanks for delurking!
Like I said last year, happy mothers day to all but especially to those who have to execute their own special day (I can relate) and to those for whom it’s not a celebration at all. Little things should never be taken for granted.
Thank you for recognizing the single mamas. I am thankful to all the teachers of the world who inspire the children to make cards, plant flowers, or write poems and things as Mother’s Day gifts. They are the reason my boys come home on the holidays with something meaningful and homemade for me 🙂 almost a teacher myself, I got to be in both mommy and teacher role this year as I student taught in a grade 2 class <3
How awesome, congrats to you! And Happy Mother’s Day.
Thanks Korinthia. for the work you’re doing. I hope you’re with people you love this weekend. Thank you for sharing information about such worthy causes!
That is a very nice tribute to all mothers on such a special day that is has been set aside to honour them. It actually made me wanna cry. *looking up so that tears will fall ‘inside’*,, Thanks a lot for sharing.
I loved reading about all these great organizations! Great idea to share!Thank you for R Baby’s shout out. I always say that nothing we do will bring our daugther back, but I know through voices like yours, we can educate parents and help hospitals make sure all EDs are prepared for all our children going foward. thanks for your support – Phyllis
Thanks Phyllis, so lovely to meet you and your husband. Keep on keeping on!
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