I love projects… and I love paying it forward. If you do too, this page will be right up your alley!
I will be posting a new challenge here every month – it may require showing love to a mom you know or supporting a mom you don’t know, but can relate to anyway.
Use this as a chance to give back to the strong communities of women we know and love. And if you complete a challenge, share your experience through social media with #themamalovemovement attached!
Maine Needs. Let’s just say it. This year is wild. COVID, wildfires, Civil Rights movements, sharks… it’s getting hard to keep up with the unrest. But my favorite thing about this year has been the way communities have come together to help those in need. I know I talk about this group a lot, but they are truly amazing. They find needs within the community and then connect people to help one another. I love it. I love them. And they are raising money for a physical space to work from – click here to support Maine Needs today!
Breathe. Thank yourself. Thank your mom. Wow. Did anyone else imagine 2020 shaking out this way? I sure didn’t. I missed March and April postings mostly because I was trying to get my bearings. But now that I’ve found my footing (for the moment), I wanted to hop on and let you know that this month, it’s all about you. Breathe, thank yourself for all that you have done to keep your children safe and your family in tact these past few months. Do something that brings you joy. Write down five things you are proud of yourself for right now now. And thank your mama (or whoever served as the role of main caretaker in your world growing up). This job ain’t easy. But it is SO worth it. ❤ Happy Mother’s Day, beautiful mamas!
Send Some Valentine Love to an Unexpected Recipient. It’s that time of year where red and pink are strewn about and hearts pop up in every aisle at Target. Why not spread the love to someone who would never expect it? Pop a card in the mail, drop some cookies off to them, pay for their coffee in line at Dunks. Just a little something to make them feel loved.
Donate Books to Local Shelters, Libraries, Schools, etc. Give others the gift of an incredible book – share new or loved books with any organizations you can and change someone’s life!
November/December 2019 Challenge:
Support Maine Baby. Maine Baby is a beautiful, organically grown, volunteer-based initiative to collect goods for babies, kids and moms who have come to the U.S. as asylum seekers, refugees or are otherwise in need. I will continue to push you all to support this wonderful movement!!
October 2019 Challenge:
Donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This may seem like it’s just for kids and has nothing to do with supporting other moms, but as a former employee, I can tell you that a wish for a child brings joy to the WHOLE family. When parents are watching their child battle some form of a life threatening illness, it can be all consuming. It’s exhausting, expensive, and emotionally draining. A wish brings joy to a child and thus to his or her family… it allows families a distraction and gives the child an opportunity to dream. Learn more and make a donation today in honor of a child or parent you know and love. (This link is connected to the Maine chapter, but feel free to search for a chapter near you if you’d prefer!)
September 2019 Challenge:
READ. Take the five minutes you would spend looking for something on Netflix and open a good book. Ask for recommendations or find one that has been on your shelf collecting dust. There is nothing that can improve my attitude and lift my spirits quite like a good book can. It’s an escape and a way to learn, appreciate creativity and imagine. Plus, it teaches our children that reading for pleasure is so very important to the soul.
July & August 2019- took a little break from social media. My own challenge to myself!
June 2019 Challenge:
Join a Mom Network That Works for You. We all need a different type of community because all of us are unique! Maybe you need a group that focuses on fitness (Mama Beasts in Massachusetts is awesome). Maybe you need one where you give back or create community experiences (I’m personally excited to reach out to Mom to Mom of Maine in my new area). Whatever it is, find your passion and then find other mamas who share that with you!
March, April and May 2019 Challenge (lumping three into one to make up for my radio silence during pregnancy):
Thank a Healthcare Professional Who Helped During Your Pregnancy or Postpartum Period. This could be a doctor, nurse, lactation consultant, therapist, etc. It takes a village to get a baby here safely and to keep a baby and mama healthy post delivery. Write a heartfelt note to one who helped you.
Plant Flowers or a Tree in Honor of Your Mother or a Mother You Love. Moms make the world a more beautiful place – let’s give that beauty a visual.
Plan a Moms Night Out With Your Favorite Mamas. You deserve it, trust me.
February 2019 Challenge:
Give Support to a Mama You Love. This one should be SUPER easy. Find a mama in your life that you love and choose one way that you can offer support to her this month – maybe it’s offering to watch her little ones so she can breathe, bake her some cookies or take her dinner, check in on her if you know she’s been going through a hard time, send a gift card for coffee to her through the mail, donate some baby clothes to her if she’s expecting and you no longer need yours… get creative! This should be fun and will definitely bring some sunshine to both of you.
January 2019 Challenge:
The Singletons (formerly Singleton Moms). I love, love, love this organization with my whole heart. When I lived in Arizona, I volunteered for them (I think 4 years total?) as a board member, care coordinator, and grant writer. This organization is local to Arizona, but I wish it was everywhere in the world. It’s mission is to support single parents with cancer AND single parents who have a child with cancer (how incredible is that???) by providing them with tangible resources like bill pay assistance, nutritious meals, home necessities (ie paper towels, cleaning supplies, shampoo, diapers, etc) and house cleaning – not to mention oodles of emotional support from the compassionate employees and volunteers running the show. I love how grassroots this organization is and how big and amazing it has become over the years. I challenge you to get involved with them in some way this month – either through monetary donations (especially if you are far away like me) or through hands on support (if you are a friend or reader out in Arizona!). Check out their web page today.
December 2018 Challenge:
Slow down. Do your best to take a moment whenever you can and enjoy the holiday season. Don’t let stress consume you.
November 2018 Challenge:
Pay it Forward with Gratitude! Follow the chart below and see how many of these challenges you can complete this month! The world will be a better place, even if you complete just one.
September 2018 Challenge:
I am turning this month’s challenge back to YOU. Yes, you, Mama. The one who does for everyone else all day long and gives, gives, gives til it hurts. This month, I challenge you to make space for something that you want and need. It can be as simple as scheduling a dental appointment that you’ve put off for far too long (guilty!) or as indulgent as a spa day, complete with a cucumber eye mask. Whatever it is, I want you to carve out a place for it with NO guilt attached. The house will still stand, the children will survive, everyone will be OK.
August 2018 Challenge:
Fill a backpack for a child in need – I love this one. We used to do a backpack drive at one of the nonprofits I worked for prior to becoming a nurse. Look for an organization, school or church hosting a drive near you – I guarantee you there are many. If not, why not start one yourself? By supplying a child in need with a backpack and school supplies, you are giving them a positive start this school year and in turn, supporting another mom who may be struggling financially.
July 2018 Challenge:
Share the love with another mom! This challenge is a simple one – I want you to think of a mom who really helped you in some way – be it by showing up, making you laugh, letting you cry or inspiring you to be stronger and better than you were before. Now go THANK THAT MOM. Send her an email, a text, a card, call her! Just take the time to thank her for something she probably doesn’t even realize she did for you when you needed it most. She will feel great receiving such a sweet note! And you will too for raising another mother up! Send your stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!!! I’d love to know what helped you as a mother (anonymity is fine).
June 2018 Challenge:
Every Mother Counts
This month, I would like to encourage you all to look into Every Mother Counts, an amazing international organization that works to make childbirth safe for mothers everywhere. By providing education, engaging in advocacy, and investing in community-led maternal-fetal health initiatives around the world, they are helping reduce childbirth related death each and every day. They have a Gold Star of transparency through GuideStar, too!
Spend some time educating yourself about their services and consider making a donation in honor of your own birth story or that of someone you love! Another fun way to raise money? Get a group of friends together for a wine tasting night or a book club and have everyone contribute a few dollars toward a raffle ticket for a door prize. Draw a name out of a hat at the end of the night and reward the winner with a small prize (a candle, a book, a free night of babysitting even!).