Monday, March 11, 2013

Mothers in the Hood

I had this idea last week.  It was an idea for a party.  It was an idea for a movement.  It went something like this....mothers coming together to celebrate our diversity, our passions, our dreams, our businesses, our art, our politics.  Mothers coming together to talk about how becoming a mother can feel overwhelming at times, but also empowering.  

This party was also a way for me to stop being a hypocrite.  A way to drop the curtain.  

It has become very easy for me to sit in my kitchen office and write a blog about how I keep it real with my messy house and unruly kids.  But real life?  I didn't want anyone to walk into my unorganized home and witness it first hand.  I didn't want to host a party because my cabinets in my rental house are mismatched and I still have boxes that are unpacked a year after moving in.  

It has become very easy for me to sit in my kitchen office and be on my computer and tell my stories and never talk to real people.  People in my neighborhood.

So, I dropped the curtain and invited mothers from my hood to my mismatched, unorganized home.  

I also invited two organizations that involve amazing mothers to educate and inspire the movement--Moms Clean Air Force and Charlotte's Wings.

My friend Vee from Moms Clean Air Force (MCAF) came to talk about how mothers can become activists for clean air.  We watched videos from celebrity mom activists involved in MCAF Juliane Moore and Jessica Capshaw (and of course now we KNOW them, right?).

We discussed energy standards, emissions, fracking and more.  We talked about personal responsibility.  We talked about global warming and legacy.  We talked about how mothers can be at the forefront of making effective change in policy and beyond.

Maybe there will be a mother from my hood that goes all Erin Brockovich on us and uses her mother power to change the world environmentally one petition at a time.  And maybe not and that's okay.  It was just one part of the movement.

Charlotte's Wings is an organization that at serves the state of Michigan.  They provide books and nooks to children in hospitals and hospices.   It was founded by women, mothers, who came together to help children. Their story is about coping with grief and finding ways to make a difference. I wrote about the benefit I attended last year and how it inspired me here.  

Everyone that came to my house party, brought a book to donate to Charlotte's Wings and then they watched this video to learn more:

Maybe there will be a mother from my hood that goes out and starts a life-changing nonprofit organization or maybe they'll go to the gala benefit for Charlotte's Wings in May.  And maybe not and that's okay.

This "mothers in the hood" movement idea is not about judging what inspires or speaks to women, it's about celebrating it.  It's not about feeling less than or more than, it's about feeling wiser, prouder and stronger.  We are mothers hear us roar kind of thing.  More Helen Reddy less Sarah Palin.  But if you love her, that's cool too, no judgement, I mean it.  No mommy wars here.

And hey, the movement also included wine, cheese, my famous guacamole (I'm the only one that calls it that, but I'm trying to change that), cookies and more wine.  

These mother people are a group of intelligent, compassionate, funny, serious, complicated, passionate, courageous women.

In 2008, I got involved in the presidential campaign and met so many amazing women and mothers.  We had a blast working together and organizing together.  Even though I'm still involved politically, I have a lot of Republican friends.  Friends that will never campaign with me.  Friends that I want to hang out with, friends that I want to find commonality with, friends that if nothing else we can bond over a good bottle of wine.

My first party was a success.  Books were donated, seeds of activism were planted, wine was poured, appetizers were eaten and good times were had and maybe a movement was was started.  No one mentioned my mismatched cabinets or dirty floors.  And I'm already plannning my next party.

What are the mothers in your hood doing that inspires you or interests you?  Ask them.   Invite them over.  Tell me about it in the comments.  

All the pictures were taken by my ahhhhmazing friend and fellow mom-of-four club member Liane.  She is uber talented and I love her.  Check out her awesome photoblog, my dusty glasshere, her pictures are incredibly beautiful.

Click here to find out more about Moms Clean Air Force.
Click here to find out more about Charlotte's Wings.


  1. So proud of you for dropping the curtain and so glad I get to witness how blogging is changing your life, even if I have to miss the piles of cheese. <3

    Also, I have so much sweater envy. Where'd you get the chevrons?

    1. Jen! Thank you for all of your support and your comments. I am so glad to have you as my friend and so wish I was seeing you next week at Blissdom.
      The chevrons are from my favorite store-Old Navy. In the sale rack of course.

  2. It was a success! And really fun. Thanks for having me...I look forward to more:)

    1. Thank you for everything. You are amazing ljm!!!!

  3. So sorry I missed it. Looked like fun and hope I can come next time.

  4. I had a great time, thank you so much for coming up with this great idea! I look forward to the next one. (P.S. the pictures look great!)

    1. Thank you so much for coming to the partay!

  5. This sounds like such an amazing night! I don't really have a hood. Boo.