Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

Happy #MothersDay

Happy #MothersDay

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I read this line in Ismael Beah‘s novel The Radiance of Tomorrow two days before Mother’s Day. It resonated with me as I was missing my mother, and feeling so grateful for being a mother at the same time. I thought, yes, my story began with my birth, but really before that. With my mother’s story and her mother’s story beyond. I thought that although my mom is no longer alive to guide me, I do still hear her voice in me. When I wonder what she would do, or say in a certain situation, or advice she would give, the answer is usually there.

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Now it is up to me to continue to write my story, and to watch and guide as those of my own children unfold.

image Happy Mother’s Day! We are each the Heroes of own own stories, so be sure to write a good one!

#GlobalMoms at Moms+SocialGood in NYC

#GlobalMoms at Moms+SocialGood in NYC

Moms+SocialGood

For the second year in a row I told my husband in advance what I wanted for Mother’s Day, it was the same thing I requested last year. My wish was not for a thing, but an impactful experience. My Mother’s Day gift was to help me coordinate, wrangle, and cover the needs of our four kids while I took two days away from home to attend what I consider the ultimate celebration of mothers.  Organizing my four kids crazy schedules for two days without me is a generous gift I assure you, as some of you other moms might understand. It is no small task.  That said, to be present at the Save The Children’s launch event of the State of The Worlds Mothers Report at the UN on one day, attend the second annual Moms+SocialGood conference the next, while spending quality time with my dear childhood friend in between, was the type of gift that fed my soul.

Posing with fellow Global Team of 200 member Harriet Shugarman Executive Director of ClimateMama

Posing with fellow Global Team of 200 member Harriet Shugarman Executive Director of ClimateMama

The Moms+SocialGood event celebrates the power we all have as mothers to change the world, and highlights the amazing actions extraordinary mothers are taking every day to do so.  It is the culminating event of the Global Mom Relay that has run for the past two months, passing the baton between stories and causes shared daily through social media. Johnson & Johnson generously donated $1 per shared post to support the United Nations’ Every Woman Every Child Initiative. These donations will be used to help improve global maternal and child health, and welfare through the Girl Up initiative, Shot@Life campaign or MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action).

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New mom Olivia Wilde, Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson | United Nations Foundation

Held at the Paley Center for Media in New York City the Moms+SocialGood event was hosted by the United Nations Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, BabyCenterTM, The Huffington Post and the 92Y.  The day was filled with celebrities turned activists, like Padma Lakshmi, and new mother Olivia Wilde, and every day women turned heroes like Elizabeth Smart and Hlengiwe Lwandle. Hlengiwe, is a mother living with HIV, who avoided passing the virus on to her baby by taking anti-viral medication during pregnancy. She now mentors other HIV positive mothers with Mothers2Mothers.  All of the speakers and performers of the day use their voices to amplify their message towards meaningful change, and serve as examples of how each of us can make an impact.

Moms+SocialGood  highlights the role of social media, technology and philanthropy as a means for progress.

Padma Lakshmi, Endometriosis Foundation of America Co-Founder Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson | United Nations Foundation

Padma Lakshmi, Endometriosis Foundation of America Co-Founder Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson | United Nations Foundation

One of my favorite moments of the day came at the introduction, when Kathy Kalvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, and Pat Mitchell President and CEO of The Paley Center for Media took the stage. Pat Mitchell immediately addressed the missing Nigerian school girls. She issued a call to action for social media influencers to keep the focus on the return of those girls, and not to let up until they return safely. Kathy Kalvin also opened by reminding us of the great progress that has been made so far in terms of maternal and child health, but there is much work still to be done.  She reminded us that we have many of the solutions, weather it’s vaccines or bed nets, we know how to solves the problems, we just have to get it done.

Speakers and panelists such as Kathryn Bolles, Director of the Health and Nutrition Global Initiative with Save The Children gave a stirring presentation on the important work they do towards saving moms and kids in crisis.    HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan joined the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Sandra Hassink and Leith Greenslade UN Special Envoy on the MDGs on a panel on investing in mothers and newborns, and improving global health. Amazing panels continued throughout the day and included, moving performances by Saul Paul, and spoken word artist Sarah Kay:

They are all are worth watching, and you can do so via the Livestream videos that were watched globally during the event. Prepare to be inspired.

One of the last speakers of the day was Elizabeth Smart, activist and author who brought the day full circle by offering words of wisdom to the still missing Nigerian schoolgirls. She said that she would give them the same advice her mother gave her when she was rescued from her own abduction experience.

Elizabeth Smart, Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson | United Nations Foundation

Elizabeth Smart, Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson | United Nations Foundation

You can not be devalued by someone else, if you are abused you still have worth. It does not make them less in any way, it can’t destroy them.

Her message to them was hope for their futures.  Her message to society was to shatter that shame in loss of virtue idea that is so destructive. This is a crime that happens everywhere in the world and we should use our voices to make it an ongoing conversation until it ends.

Join the Global Moms Challenge of taking up action, using our voices for positive meaningful impact.

Happy Mothers Day!

Shot@Life Champions w/ President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Sandra Hassink

Shot@Life Champions w/ President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Sandra Hassink

A Way To #HonorYourMom This Mother’s Day

A Way To #HonorYourMom This Mother’s Day
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Photo of my sister-in-law, my mother, and me.

Mother’s Day  is coming up on May 11th, and I have to admit that it brings a tinge of  bitter-sweetness for me.  My own mother passed away just three months before I first became a mother myself, so of course I think of her, and miss her on that day of the year more than all others.    I say just a tinge though, because the bitter of  missing her is nearly obliterated by the sweet immense joy, chaos, and love my own four children bring to me each day.  Still, for that reason Mother’s Day is an emotional one for me.  As anyone who has lost a parent knows, it doesn’t matter how old you are, or how prepared you believed you were. It is an acutely felt loss, where the umbrella of the generation before you is closed, exposing you to the world in a new unsheltered way.  Granted I was an adult when she passed away, and so I am grateful for the thirty-three years of my life that I had her, I know how fortunate I am to have had that.

Children need their mother; they need their mother’s love and protection, the devotion above all else that only a mother gives.  I know I was blessed to have grown up with that, but I don’t think I knew how much I truly needed her until I gave birth to my own first child. Like most of us I had just lovingly taken for granted that she was there. Quite suddenly when I gave birth to my own daughter, I understood.  As a new mother I felt I needed her more than ever, really it was not that I needed her more, but that I wanted her more than ever.  It is impossible to register what your own mother went through with pregnancy, birthing, nursing, caring, and nurturing, the scope of physical, and emotional outpouring that motherhood demands, until you are in the midst of it yourself.

Photo by Michelle Amarante

With my own little people , Photo by Michelle Amarante

I can no longer express that gratitude to her in person, but I think, and hope that I did well enough when she was still alive. Instead I know that I can honor her by being the best possible mother that I can be to my own children. I try to pass on her legacy of love, and compassion.  That is why I think Samahope’s #HonorYourMom campaign resonates with me so deeply. It gives me the opportunity to honor my own mother while giving another mother the opportunity for her children to grow up under the umbrella of her love by providing a safe birth.  So if you are thinking about ways to #HonorYourMom that would be truly meaningful this Mother’s Day, check out the Samahope #HonorYourMom campaign page and see the beautiful tributes that have already been posted.  Here is how it works:

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1. Pick a photo of you & your Mom – Upload a childhood picture of you and Mom on the #HonorYourMom website, and write what makes her so amazing to you. (You can also add an Instagram video.)
2. Donate in your Mother’s Name – Make a donation to support safe births and life-changing medical treatments for other moms in need.
3. Your mother will get a gift she’ll cherish – A special dedication page is created for your mom, and she’ll get a personalized gift in the mail for Mother’s Day.

 

Those of us fortunate enough to know our mother’s love, and to be able to pass that on to our own children, can’t take those gifts for granted. Too many mothers still die in childbirth; too many children are forced to grow up without their mother.  This can often cause them to end up stuck in the cycle of extreme poverty. No mother should lose their own life-giving birth, and no child should have to grow up without their mother’s love. Samahope hopes to provide 1,000 safe births to mothers in need with the #HonorYourMom campaign. What better way to honor mothers everywhere this Mother’s Day.

 

ONEMoms and FashionABLE Mother’s Day Scarf

ONEMoms and FashionABLE Mother’s Day Scarf

I’m sure that you remember the gorgeous fashionABLE scarves in the Documama holiday gifts that give back guide.  Each style is more beautiful than the next, but the best part is that each scarf also helps to employ a woman working towards a better life for herself and her family in Ethiopia.  A few months ago in December and January there was a ONE | fashionABLE | ALT challenge / contest held where the Alt community was challenged to design a scarf to be voted on by conference attendees.  The scarf was then handmade in Ethiopia for an exclusive ONE | fashionABLE Mother’s Day Scarf.  The Altitude Summit Community meets up for an annual conference in Utah geared towards design-oriented bloggers, lifestyle brands and companies that want to connect with them to discuss theory, and the love of all things design.  More than 60 designs were submitted to the contest, 12 of which were produced by FashionABLE in Ethiopia.  Four of the twelve were voted on by the ALT community, and the winning scarf is being produced now and will be available on April 15.

As a ONEMoms community partner, today, Thursday, April 4 we are able to offer our documama readers a pre-sale of the chosen design and both ONE.org and FashionABLE are offering two full days of free shipping.  After April 5th the pre-sale will continue with regular shipping. All scarves ordered will be shipped on April 17 in time for Mother’s Day. The scarf is gorgeous, and each handmade scarf takes three days to make.  The chosen scarf is named The Genet,  after one of the amazing women who helped produce it, and is available for purchase through the ONE Store  and fashionABLE websites.

Read Genet’s story to get an idea for the opportunities you are supporting by purchasing a FashionABLE scarf:

Photo of Genet and her daughter provided by ONE.org

“I don’t remember my birth mother, and I don’t know my birthday or actual age, so the timeline of my story is based on my best guess . I was brought from the countryside into the city of Addis at age 3 by an aunt who promised my family I would be sent to school and have a “better life .” Instead, I was groomed to be a housemaid and given so many responsibilities that the load of work become impossible and overwhelming . By age 12, I ran away and began living on  the street . I felt lost and I was continually raped . Eventually, I became pregnant . With a baby at 15, I learned to have sex for money so I could support her. I coped with life through drinking, drugs and smoking . I recently learned about this program and am enrolled in counseling to work through my addictions, my childhood trauma, and learn ways to reconnect with my now 6-year-old daughter.  I am also working at fashionABLE and grateful  to have a job that provides dignity. “

 

This scarf  is definitely on my Mother’s Day wish list!

 

5 Great Mother’s Day Gifts Ideas

5 Great Mother’s Day Gifts Ideas

1. Godiva Chocolate in a FEED bag! What could be a better combination than chocolate, philanthropy and fashion?! Each FEED 10 bag provides 10 school meals for children, and women in Liberia handcraft each one.

 

 

 

2. Anything Tory Burch, but  Shop for a cause makes spending all that money feel better! All purchases from the Tory Burch Shop for a Cause store donate a portion to the Tory Burch Foundation  which provides economic opportunities to women and their families in the United States.

 

3. For the eco-conscious mom who loves to entertain, this beautiful Sparq cheese plate is made from re-purposed soapstone.  Soapstone absorbs and retains various temperatures, so it functions as a warmer to keep appetizers warm, or a cooler that keeps cheese plates or sushi cool. Just stick it in the oven or freezer before setting out your food. This one was sent to me to try out and I totally love it, for both its form and function!

 

4. Felix Doolittle stationary Products: You will find the most beautiful designs in book plates, food labels, stationary and note cards. It is just hard to choose one design!

 

 

 

 

 

5.Sentimental Jewelry like the birds nest necklace from uncommon goods, or Heather Moore charms that can be personalized are always a hit.

 

 

 

Don’t forget the option of a homemade gift; those are always my favorite ones as a mom!

 

*  I received a free Sparq soapstone thermal appetizer plate for reviewing purposes. (and I totally love it! Thank you Sparq!)  All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.