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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Kindness Challenge

 I've so enjoyed reading on the Connecticut Moms Facebook group page about the Mother's Day Kindness Challenge. You should like their page if you haven't already, great initiatives.

Their point: let's be kinder to fellow moms, since we most likely know what it's like, what they are going through.

Who doesn't love a surprise or feeling good about helping another mom?!

My new niece Ada agrees, BE KIND, MOMMAS!

Here are a few ideas for how you can do an act of kindness to a fellow mom this Mother's Day or beyond.
  • Pay for the person behind you meal at the drive thru
  • Buy the person next to you a coffee
  • Give someone a $5 Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift card. Mail one to your friend who you know needs a 5 minute reprieve
  •  Hold the door open - I don't know how many times people have done this and it's been so appreciated. 
  • Compliment another mom. Tell her how you think it's awesome that she was able to get through the grocery store line without someone melting down. Tell her how you think she seems so patient. Tell her that her kids are so well behaved. 
  • Share in the frustration. Side with her. If you see a kid having a tantrum, offer a smile or a nod in agreement, as if to say, "I've been there, don't worry, you aren't alone." 
  • Send her a card to brighten up her snail mail amidst all of those bills. 
  • Offer to go with her to her child's next doctor's visit so you can entertain her other child while she's inside with the one needing the visit. 
  • When you visit her house, bring her a snack or some coloring books for the kids so they are entertained when you talk. 
  • Call her at the end of a Monday or at the start of a Monday text her saying YOU CAN DO IT! Mondays are rough. 
  • When she comments on the Mommy Stories discussion board, side with her, agree with her, tell her you've been there. Like her comment. When you disagree, do so respectfully, re-read what you wrote to make sure it sounds OK. 
  • On the day she returns to work after maternity leave, text her every hour or at least a few times a day to make sure she knows you're there, you know how it feels, really listen and offer support.
  • Listen! Turn those listening ears up, as I tell my kids! Really try to be focused with your momma friends. I know that's hard with your own kids around, but do your best. Sometimes moms say things that we won't catch unless we're really paying attention. 
  • When a mom posts a question or asks you something and you don't know the answer, type it into Google for them. It shows one extra step of caring, that you tried to find an answer to help her in the confusion. If you have no idea where to start, at least say something like "Sorry you are dealing with this. Thinking of you." 
  • Hang out! Be women and friends again, not just moms. Make time for your mom friends. Even if it's only for a 10-minute phone call here and there. Do whatever you can to keep connected so she knows you're there when she has a rough day. 
  • At the store, get a grocery cart un-stuck for her to put her kids in. 
  • Smile! Just smile and nod, make eye contact with strangers. 
  • Laugh. Sometimes all women need is someone who understands and laughs about something with them. 

Kindness can go a long way. Think of a mom you know who needs to be uplifted right now. Perhaps she's in the middle of sleepless nights with a newborn, or maybe you're worried about her experiencing Post-Partum Depression. Check in. Call, visit, send a note. Do something to make sure she knows you're there.

Maybe she's in the middle of the Terrible Twos or talking about sending her child to Kindergarten in the fall. Maybe there is a big family situation or a difficult work issue she's trying to figure out. Whatever season your mom friends are in, do something kind for them around this Mother's Day.

I know the actual Mother's Day can be tough, so busy, so if you don't have time tomorrow, do it next week or the week after. Just think about something small you could do to brighten her day. 

And it's great to spread the kindness... but also important to be kind to yourself, moms, you deserve some love! So here are a few things you can do to be kinder to yourself as a mom:
  •  Take a bubble bath
  • Take a longer shower, the kind where you actually remember to shave, shampoo AND conditioner, etc. 
  • Buy a treat at the grocery store, sneak it under the cart if you don't want the kids to see. It's all good. 
  • Put music on while doing chores or picking up toys for the 10th time today, it makes it more fun or at least not as awful.
  • Read a magazine. Get a subscription, it will make you feel like you have time to read if you are missing reading novels like you used to pre-kids. 
  • Go out with your partner for dates. 
  • Get out with the girls. When is the last time you dressed up cute, did your hair and makeup, put on jewelry without worrying the baby would tear it off your neck, and laughed your head off?! Well, make it happen SOON!
  • Light candles
  • Call a friend to chat
  • Scroll Pinterest, then watch some dumb TV, all while in comfy pajamas
  • Take a walk, run, do something physical for yourself
  • Grab a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks treat EVERY time you head out to do errands. It makes it easier when you feel like you are doing something special for yourself while you're at it. 
  • Take a break. Let some chores go for the night...or week. It'll get done later. It's fine.
You deserve to send and receive some kindness :) 

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