Friday, April 20, 2012

Heart of Haiti: Every Mother Works...

This Mother's Day, I'm working with Clever Girls in support of Macy's Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.

In my life I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by many strong, capable, independent women. It's their life's lessons and wisdom that have helped me get through some of my most trying days. Most thankfully, I think about the sound, loving advice from the amazing women who have influenced me and I can always find a snippet of strength to keep going forward and not feel so alone.

Here's a few of my favorite lessons on how to survive being a  mother:

1. Every Mother Works. (from my mother, Rose) It doesn't matter if you stay home to run a household and raise kids or if you're out there hustling an important gig to pay the bills. There isn't a mother out there who doesn't work super duper hard. Amid all the political hullabaloo about women who work and others who work harder, we need to appreciate the women who invest in their homes and family and put it at the forefront of their lives. In the same vein, we also need to cheer on the mothers who get out there and make the bacon, then bring it home to cook it. Sometimes working moms like to think we're the only moms who work hard, but it's not that simple. I know a single working mom who works 45 hours a week and still finds time to do homework with her 3 boys then drive them to boy scouts and sports. I eat a big piece of humble pie every time I think of her. You should too.

2. Just relax. (from my friend Heather F.) Quit obsessing over the perfect private or charter school for your kids. Stop helicopter parenting your children and picking out their colleges before they know what they want to do with their lives. Instead, just aim to show them the fun that is inherent in learning and being curious. Spend quality time getting to know them and understanding their interests. Be content that your child is doing the best they can. Every kid learns at their own pace, so instead of pressuring your daughter to read at a college level while she's in 6th grade, find a great story or book series that you'll enjoy together. Savor the experience and take solace in knowing that things will just work out.

3. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. (from Virginia, my mother in law) During those times when we feel like we're not meeting our life's goals, we're too paralyzed by heartbreak or are consumed by life's twists and turns, it can feel so hard to move on. Virginia, who is a master of personal reinvention, said it best when I asked her how to get out of a rut. She said, "You do what comes next. Sometimes that may only involve putting one foot in front of the other, and at other times it's important to just keep breathing."

Bottom line: As women of strength, we do what we can with what we've got. That makes each of us remarkable in our own beautiful way. Dear readers, have an amazing Mother's Day. Go honor the women you love!

Thank you to Macy's Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart" promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Thank you for supporting Heart of Haiti this Mother's Day. The people of Haiti probably understand the sentiment behind "just keep putting one foot in front of the other" better than anyone. Sometimes all we can do is keep breathing, and I applaud every mother who does just that. Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly! Hope you had a great Mother's Day as well. :)


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