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#ThanksBaby – A Mother’s Day Project

As a member of the Pampers Baby Board, I get the chance to work on a couple of projects a year with Pampers.

Generally, they give me a grant and the freedom to use it how I want, which means I feel some pressure to make sure I put it toward helping people who could really use it.

When they offered to fund a Mother’s Day project focused on new moms, I spent weeks trying to figure out who to use it on. As part of #ThanksBaby, Pampers is encouraging moms to reflect on the joy, challenges and emotions that are part of motherhood.

We know plenty of first time moms in our extended family and neighborhood, but while I was sure they’d appreciate it, I didn’t think any of them really needed it.

Finally, just before Mother’s Day, I said to Bart, “What if we found some single moms who are spending their first Mother’s Day on their own with no one to celebrate all the work they are doing as moms?” If there is ever a mom whose world changes when that baby arrives, it is a single mom.

Bart was raised by a single mom who found herself totally responsible for three children five and under when Bart was less than two years old.

She went back to school and earned a PhD, going on to become an expert in her field. Although she retired about ten years ago, she still gets called in to consult on various projects from time to time.

When Bart was eight, she remarried. Years ago, I asked Bart if he’d been unhappy about his mom remarrying and he said, “No, not at all. I didn’t want her to be alone anymore.”

So for Bart, this project hit close to home.

We made a few phone calls and pretty soon had a list of several single moms in the community, who had very new babies.

The day before Mother’s Day, we headed to Target and picked out cases of diapers and wipes, frozen meals, baby books, sound machines, Target gift cards, and some chocolates and flowers.

On Mother’s Day, we packed everything into the car, loaded up the girls, and drove around to deliver the gifts, including a few to new moms living in the House of Refuge, a non-profit that provides transitional housing for families that have been homeless.

At the first house, the girls helped carry the various bags and when we knocked on the door, this sweet new mom, with a three month old baby, answered and I said, “You don’t know us, but I work with Pampers and we’re delivering some gifts to new moms.”

She was so smiley and bubbly, but then I gave her a hug before we left and when I pulled back, she had tears in her eyes.

And each house was the same, with moms who were spending this day without a partner to help in the overwhelming job of raising a little baby.

The girls brought me breakfast in bed on Sunday morning, and there are some lovely flowers sitting on my table, but for our whole family, the highlight was visiting these sweet hero moms.

Afterward, we all said, “We should do this again next year.”

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19 Comments

  • Reply Alysa Stewart May 11, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Gah! I love it so much! Do you mind sharing how many moms you helped and how much you spent? I want to save up and give myself a "grant" next year.

    • Reply Janssen May 13, 2016 at 6:47 am

      Of course! We helped four moms and spent almost exactly $1000 (we did a sound machine, two freezer meals, a bag of chocolate, a bouquet of flowers, two board books, two triple packs of wipes, the biggest box of Pampers Diapers we could find, and a $100 Target gift card). Hope that's helpful!

  • Reply april May 11, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Aww, this made me feel a little weepy.

  • Reply Caitlin May 11, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Well I just bawled my eyes out at this post. . . What a wonderful thing to do. I'm gonna have to steal this idea!!

  • Reply Steph May 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    And I totally just cried through reading this. What a great opportunity for your family and special gift for those moms. Bravo.

  • Reply Steph May 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    And I totally just cried through reading this. What a great opportunity for your family and special gift for those moms. Bravo.

  • Reply Helen May 11, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    What a beautiful gesture! I'm sure your family and you made many mothers happier on Mother's Day. There's nothing like the feeling that you're not alone. What a wonderful gift! I might have to borrow this idea in the future.

  • Reply Katie May 11, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    This is a great idea. I'm doing it with my boys next year for sure!

  • Reply Sara May 12, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Love this!

  • Reply Julia Manfredi-Hobbs May 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    This is so lovely. It brought tears to my eyes.

  • Reply thatmormonlady May 12, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I love this! What a great way to get outside of yourself.

  • Reply Jen Bosen May 12, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    1) This is the sweetest idea. Well played.
    2) The site redesign is looking fab! Your header is soooo good!

  • Reply The Suz May 12, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a wonderful idea! So selfless, do needed. Thank you for being such an uplifting blogger. Can we be friends? Ha!

    • Reply Janssen May 13, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Yes! Move in across the street from me 🙂

  • Reply The Suz May 12, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    *so needed. Sheesh.

  • Reply Elisabeth McKnight May 13, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Janssen, this is awesome (and not just the video, the whole project). What a neat experience for your girls to be apart of.

  • Reply Sarah May 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    This is such a sweet idea, and a great experience for a family! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Mad Hadder May 15, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Who made your uber cool video?

  • Reply Jenn May 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    So sweet. This brought tears to my eyes! The new blog design looks great, too!

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