Monday, November 20, 2006

Changin’ the World One Mommy Blog At A Time

by Sandra

"Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead


Now, that quote is just a bit overwhelming. Change the world? How small of a group? What exactly do you expect me to do? If you are gonna give me a weekly guilt trip, Sandra, I am so outta here.


I get it. No guilt and no unreasonable expectations either. I promise. But maybe once in a while, we can come up with something that may give you a reason feel pretty good or to even reward yourself with a pair of cute new shoes. Or a decadent flourless chocolate cake. Whatever your poison, I am not above bribery and incentives. Hell, I am a mother.


I am also a mother who is a lot like you. I care about issues. Ever since I became a parent, I cannot watch the news the same way. I know from talking to other moms, that our social awareness and primal concern for the world that our children are growing up in, has been intensified after childbirth. Just another one of the many secrets no one warns us about pre-conception. That, and the saggy boobs were two of my biggest surprises.


The ironic challenge is that at a time when we are most affected by issues and have such a desire to make a difference, we have NO time. Make that less than no time. Seriously. How am I supposed to sit on a volunteer board, or lobby the government or spend time helping street youth when I barely can fit a shower into my mommy-fied schedule? Charity begins at home, sister. And if you've seen my laundry pile or watched me reduced to tears along with my child in the throws of a tantrum, you'd know that saying was never truer of me.


So it’s tough. But it is not impossible. And I hope to try to make it easier. My idealistic pipe dream is to find a way for us socially conscious mamas to be part of making change in the world. In small, reasonable, mother-scheduling-challenged ways. I look forward to digging up issues to discuss, flexible volunteer opportunities, family friendly fundraising events and even things that just require you signing your name to a worthy petition. No guilt. No need to hire a nanny to find the time. Because every little bit helps. It does.


So where to begin on this naive quest of mine? Why not right here in the blogosphere. Most of you reading this are bloggers so you already find time for your site. Let's start with that. And I know you know how because when Her Bad Mother issued a recent call to action, well, we bloggers responded. In impressive numbers! And it felt damn good.


So why stop there? Maybe you can resolve to write a post about a charity or issue that is close to your heart each month (I know you NaBloPoMo folks must be looking for content by now). Or if that is too much, then try each quarter or even each year. You can find ideas for some stellar non-profits at sites like Charity Village. I think it makes for some interesting reading and certainly challenges the narrow-minded mommy-blog critics who say we only write about poopy diapers and post cute kid pics.


Writer's block? Not to worry. One of the most important things that Canadian charities need is awareness. They need people talking and thinking about their issue and you can help. With your blog, you have a very public voice. Whether your readership is a dozen or hundreds of visitors daily, you have the ability to spread awareness. Many of you are already doing it, but lets all consider adding a short list of links on our sidebar spotlighting some charities that you think are worthy of your readers checking out. You can put one or two or ten. There are more than 78,000 charities registered in Canada alone so there's got to be one in there that resonates with you. And with that many needy charities out there, it doesn't take a statistician to realize that the competition for share of heart and wallet is fierce. Help them out by spreading the word.


Every little bit counts. It does. It really, really does. So what are you waiting for? The offer of bribes and incentives won't last forever ...
___________________________________________



When she is not raising her 5-year-old-boy-genius, Sandra is an ex-advertising exec who spends her days working with a grassroots feminist charity. She is also an aspiring writer, chocolate-loving vegetarian … and a blogger.

13 comments:

something blue said...

Making the world a better place for our children and future generations is what I aspire to do. Her Bad Mother's call to action posts helped me discover some new charities that I'm very interested in.

Sharing these details with each other makes a bigger difference than we might know. Thanks Sandra!

metro mama said...

Great column Sandra. I would really like to do more but like you say, it's so hard to find the time. Can't wait to hear your ideas.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Yes! Bloggers have a very unique voice that we should capitalize on. We should seize this opportunity to do some good. Good call, Sandra.

Her Bad Mother said...

YES YES YES.

Anybody who does an action post, I'll add it to the Call to Action list over at HBM. Maybe we can even set up a separate Call To Action page...

Changing the World, one mommy blog at a time.

Mouse said...

I'm really lookin forward to your posts. I remember my high school fervor and change-the-world attitude and miss some of that. But the reality is that I can't even begin to do even a small amount of what I did then.

Haley-O said...

Your so right about how different and "primal" our concern for the world is now that we have children. And, no, no one prepared us! (No one could have, though.) Keep up the great work! This post is very inspiring! :)

crazymumma said...

Great post Sandra. I firmly believe that change begins at home.I try when I can to give to the people we meet on the street who ask. When my girls ask me why I gave, I explain as best I can. For the longest time, our family was not in the position to give. Now we are exploring a couple of charities and sponsorships that are best suited to us. (Street Kids International, Stephen Lewis, Feed the Children). As well, I have convinced our families to give to charities for Xmas as opposed to gifts. I believe that there is so much we can give, even if we do not have spare change, with a kind word, and a recognition.

Amber said...

Yes! Good job using your voice to encourage other to do the same.

:)

jen said...

bravo, bravo, bravo.

i cannot tell you enough how much i love this post. thank you for advocating.

ewe are here said...

Great column.

And you're right about time; it becomes so precious once we have a child. How to fit everything in?

Ali said...

this was such a great post.
and very timely too.

this morning i was reading this

and decided to give to this

(many, many thanks to my friend becca who made me aware of this!)

mo-wo said...

A little reminder of the great cause Metro Mama put out there in th HBM list. Bedkits. I am sending one out for all my Aunties and the Grampas that just don't need a 'nice bar of soap' from me this holiday gift season.

http://www.scaw.org/index.html

Donna said...

Not a Toronto mom, but writing in from Ottawa . . .

I love love love this post. I have a 2 1/2 month old, and am taking the year off from my job. I recently was asked to undertake a weekly write-up of Parliament Hill happenings for the status report project (http://www.statusreport.ca - a site that is bringing women together to fight the recent cuts at Status of Women Canada - if you haven't visited the site - go there now!) but have come to realise that it's impossible at this point in my life. I'm lucky if I can read the paper each day, let alone follow committee minutes, Question Period antics, debates in the House, etc, and write about it. Ain't gonna happen. And I'm really torn about this . . but every little bit helps, right?