That is a bold statement— Changing the World. But, I believe it. I don’t believe it is just working moms that are doing the changing either. I feel like a lot of mothers right now are changing the world for (hopefully) the better. Today is EarthDay—which, I know, is all about recycling and being a better citizen of the planet— and it got me thinking about other ways in which we are bettering our planet.
The moms in this series have been sharing what they want their kids to look back and think of when they look back on life with a working mother. I don’t know that many of the answers are any different that what our mothers, those that worked, might have hoped for us growing up.
We are half-way through my series on working mothers. If you’ve missed any of it then you should absolutely check it out. A big thank you to the volunteers that let me ask them a ton of questions and get photos of them. Also a huge thank you to the women that helped make this possible Mary Boyden of Mama Bear Mag took all the photos from the photoshoot and Madeline Roosevelt offered hair and make-up services to those who wanted it. These women are seriously kick-ass with what they are doing in their own worlds at this moment in time:
There are about a thousand different reasons why working mothers work. For some people—which I didn’t really encounter as I was getting volunteers for this series but I KNOW exist and have shared their stories with me— they work because they have no other choice. They WISH they could stay home with their child and be the full-time caregiver, but they simply can’t afford it. Some mothers work, even though they wish to stay home with their children during the baby years, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have a job to come back to once they felt that their caregiving can be shared. And, then, there are some mothers who love work and feel that they are better versions of themselves, and thereby better mothers for their children, when they do work.
Whether it is a dream job or a job that it is out of necessity I feel that todays working mothers are beginning a conversation that will change the future of working mothers for our children.
There are so many things that I want for my children that me, my mother and certainly my grandmother didn’t have as an option. I’d like for these conversations about working mothers can help normalize the issues that we are all dealing with just a tad more. I want for my kids to have family leave that is PAID for—whether by their companies or the government I don’t know— so they don’t have to go back to work before they are ready. I want the mommy wars to die down a bit so that whether someone chooses to stay home with their children (for financial or child care reasons) or to go to work everyone stops judging these decisions and starts helping out the mommas in their circle. I want mom guilt to stop being about not getting to be in the lives of their children because they are stuck in an office and more about that extra scoop of ice cream that caused way too much energy. You know?
It is going to take a lot more conversations. It is going to take some changes in our government. And it is going to take a whole bunch of women supporting other women to make these things happen.
“I also hope [seeing me work] helps them become more independent and creative. When I grew up, both my parents worked. Having a lot of free time on our own made me and my siblings invent fun for ourselves. We spent hours imagining ourselves as fairies or orphans or alligator wrestlers. We dedicated weeks to turning our play room into a haunted house. We made up songs and ran around outside and skinned our knees and broke windows (though not too often, thankfully). I want my girls to have a similar childhood – one that’s not micromanaged by me.” — Catherine, Writer & Mother of Two
“I really, really hope my son will understand that I work not because I didn’t like being around him- I actually like it quite a bit, certainly way more than I thought I would- but because it’s what’s right for me. The classic, “It’s not you, it’s me,” bit. I hope it shows him that you can live the life you want, even if it’s hard, as long as you’re willing to (forgive the pun) work for it. And I hope he internalizes the lesson that you should not make anyone but yourself the center of your Universe: it’s an unfair amount of pressure to expect someone else to give your life meaning and worth. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t devote any (or even a lot!) of your time and energy to someone you love, just that you shouldn’t let them take more than is healthy for you to give.” — Jenny, Office Manager & mother of one
“This is an old one, and you hear it a lot. But I want my children to see that women do not have to walk away from their dreams, goals, and position in the marketplace to become a mother. Yes, you CAN do and have it all. But you have to wake up every day with intention. Clear and focused intention.” — Missy, Radio Host, Regional Sales Director & Mother to Twins
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and today’s blog is in hopes of helping shed a little more light on the desperate need for more funding and research on pediatric cancer. Cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children and adolescents in America. Growing up my best friends family dealt with the impact of pediatric cancer on their world when her sister was diagnosed. A local girl and her family are experiencing the hardships that pediatric cancer brings with it and the community of Milwaukie, Oregon are banding together to help!
The local Milwaukie community is pulling together to host an outdoor family friendly benefit, silent auction and rock concert for a local girl living with a very rare brain tumor. Leah Merklin, a 4-year old girl has one of the rarest forms of pediatric brain cancer, primarily affecting young children, the brain tumor called DIPG is both inoperable and incurable.
On Wednesday, September 10th, local Milwaukie business owners, Portland DJ Ron Rouse, Chris Carpenter & The Collective, a local band, and Good Roots Community Church are joining arms to host an outdoor community fundraiser for Leah.
Banding together, local vendors are stepping up to offer locally sourced, delicious food at the event: Pronto Pizzeria & Kitchen will be selling grilled pizzas and farmer’s market fresh salads. Schoolyard Farms, a local nonprofit educational farm, will be offering build you own kid salads. Pepper & Salt will be selling butternut squash infused mac + cheese and lettuce turkey wraps. Painted Lady Coffee House will be selling hot coffee, Italian sodas, and homemade delicacies and Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery will be whipping up batches of their custom made ice cream.
There will be stenciled face art by Sweet Cheeks Airbrushing; handmade necklaces and headbands offering proceeds back to the Merklin family; and a bouncy house, henna tattoos and a stilt walker for the kids!
Ron Rouse, who works for Portland Fire & Rescue and is also a popular local DJ named DJ Rontourage, will be donating his time at the event. Local band Chris Carpenter & The Collective will be playing live music from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Event goers will be invited to pick out a favorite song from the band’s play list and the band will play songs for donation.
Finally, there will be a silent auction featuring locally procured items, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the family.
Connect with the Rock for a Reason Facebook event or connect with the Support for Leah Rose Merklin and Family Facebook Page!
I often find myself content to sit in my own little world of problems, responsibilities, and issues without thinking ahead to what the future might bring or what issues may be plaguing the world that could possibly use my help, my voice. It isn’t that I don’t care. I do, often more than it shows. Rather, sometimes… my own stuff is all I can handle! Lately, however, I’ve been really pushing myself to extend my reach ad lend my voice to issues where I am able.
One of those issues that has really been laid on my heart (cheesy, but true) has been Alzheimer’s Disease. About a year ago I accepted a full-time position as a Social Media and Marketing specialist for a Senior Living company. It has been an eye-opening, humbling and incredible year. I’ve had Alzheimer’s touch my life personally by affecting the people that I love. It took me seeing how MANY people that this disease really affects to make me realize my voice (and money) was needed. What I can do as a single person is not enough though, I need your help!
” Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.” — Alz.Org Website
A few facts that really hit home with me about this disease from the Alzheimer’s Association website:
When advocating for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s I am thinking about the residents in the buildings of the senior communities I work with, my grandparents and my parents. But, I am also being a little bit selfish. I want to know that someday if I receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, that maybe there might be an answer out there to help slow the progression or to cure the disease. I advocate for my son so that the burden of my care is not put solely on his shoulders.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a series of walks across the United States that help raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s. I will be participating in the Portland Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, September 7, 2014. My goal is to raise $200 for the cause and as much awareness as possible. I’m about 60% to reaching my goal and am working hard at it! I encourage anyone who can to find a local walk and participate. If you are unable to walk, a donation would be very much appreciated.
If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s please consider donating today. You are welcome to donate via the Alz.Org website or click this link to help me reach my donation goal! For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
Information and Facts about Alzheimer’s disease via the Alzheimer’s Association website: www.alz.org For help or more information feel free to call the 24/7 Helpline at 1.800.272.3900.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. This is just a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I wanted to share to help build awareness for this important cause.