The pandemic hasn't been easy on anyone, but parents may have had to juggle more than most, from managing changes in their own work lives and stress levels to adapting to a virtual school year and modified child care. Parents have had to be caretakers, teachers and employees while holding on to their own sanity. So this Mother's Day, two local moms have come up with a way to say thanks and "we see you."
Rachel DesRochers, the entrepreneur behind Grateful Grahams, the Incubator Kitchen Collective, the In Gratitude podcast and her own mentorship program, and Stevi Carr, the founder and CEO of WISe Wellness Guild, have come up with the concept of "Mominations."
The public can nominate any deserving mom in their lives (and what mom isn't deserving) to win a special basket full of local goods and services worth $1,000.
"We both feel really grateful to be here in our community as women, mothers, business owners and to take time to acknowledge and share these joys made us both really excited," says DesRochers.
Mominations are open until midnight May 3 at wisewellnessguild.com/motherhood. Winners will be announced May 7.
To learn more about the packages and why celebrating moms is especially important this year, we talked to DesRochers and Carr via email.
CityBeat: How did you come up with the idea for the Mominations?
Rachel DesRochers: This is twofold: I wanted a way to honor my mama, who passed last year, and also acknowledge how hard mothers have worked this past year. I spent a lot of time this year speaking to other mothers and with being a mom, owning my own businesses and now trying to help the kids get through school, the pressure was real. We made it and we need to acknowledge that work.
CB: Why do you think that's so important this Mother's Day?
RD: It's important to take time to acknowledge these mothers for how they carried so much weight last year. They gave up jobs, careers, they became teachers overnight, the teachers were now home trying to mother, teach their students and their kids. They were frontline workers in every sense of the word. The work it takes to run a home is a full-time job and we need to talk about that more. We are working mothers. Our world needs mothers, they can't crash and burn. I believe the world may stop if they did!
CityBeat: Can you kind of go through what is in the special mom boxes?
RD: I am so excited because they aren't just full of chocolates and flowers. They are full of food certificates from companies like Dinner to Doorbells, Elwood Kitchen & Co and Family Thyme Kitchen. Manicure sets from Barely Blush Nails, a massage certificate and even a makeover from BrideFace, (and) a haircut from CoCo Creative. There are healthy self-care certificates for writing a vision statement to coaching sessions to Enneagram workshops from Wellison Enterprises, Head to Heart Mentorship. The Rhined, Oakley Wines, Bouquet, Oakley Kitchen, Frida's, Lucius Q, Foz Bakery, Tickety Boo Treats, Urbanstead Cheese, F & Goode Desserts, Sweet Ace Cakes, Juicing with Kiwi, Nine Giant and more (all donated). (There are) gift certificates for local beef, cards from The Hive, a Thrive Circle from Galia Collaborative. Honestly, I think over 95% of the donations actually came from mothers or women. Each basket will be a little different.
CB: How do you hope moms who are nominated and moms who win the packages will feel?
RD: I hope they feel seen. That they know it's going to be OK and that as a community we can get through hard things.
Stevi Carr: This is a great opportunity not only for women in our community to step up but also for us to acknowledge the true, everyday work that mothering is.
CB: Do you have any words of advice or wisdom for moms out there after this tough-ass year?
RD: Oh, goodness, mamas. I see you. I want you to know that your best is beautiful and enough. I want you to know the baby will be OK while you take a shower. I want you to know that it's OK to say it's hard or say it's easy. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. You are a great mom.
SC: Be OK with letting things slip through the cracks and the balls drop. The things that are most important you will find a way to preserve and support and all of the extra obligatory items will somehow magically no longer matter.
CB: Anything else you think readers should know about the boxes?
RD: I wish we had enough donations to give every mother a gift basket, maybe next year. Thank you for taking time out of your day to Mominate someone you know is deserving and needs to be seen right now!
Learn more and nominate a mom at wisewellnessguild.com/motherhood.