No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted – Aesop

Since becoming a  stay-at-home-baby-incubator/stay-at-home-mother/both I’ve experienced every possible emotion regarding my work/lack of work/OMG SO MUCH WORK, ranging from incredible joy to mind-numbing frustration.

This is the best job in the world, why would I EVER want to do something else?!

God staying home is boring. How many years until kindergarten?

I love spending every second of every day with Baby Evan!

This one-income thing SUCKS. Maybe daycare would be worth looking into.

What do you mean I don’t “WORK”. YOU THINK THIS ISN’T WORK!?!?

I don’t think these feelings are the least bit unusual. It’s a rare person who is always happy with every second of their work or home life, even if they’re doing something they love. You don’t even have to be a mom to have days when your job feels pointless and frustrating and you think you must be missing out on something really awesome, some calling that would make you happy every day, some magical fantastic occupation that other people have but you do not. Dissatisfaction is part of the human condition and our ability to imagine how much BETTER things could be sometimes gets in the way of remember how much WORSE things could be.

You know what cures a good old-fashioned case of the woe-is-me’s? Doing good.

This weekend, I spent a few hours helping set up, working at, and breaking down a tag sale my friend April organized as a fundraiser for the Women’s Center of South Eastern Connecticut. It’s part of her Mommies on a Mission initiative, encouraging members of our Luna Mom’s Club to volunteer their time and talents for good causes, which she runs in addition to owning the Stroller Strides franchise, raising her two kids AND being a dedicated Navy wife. (April is kind of amazing. OK, REALLY amazing.) We raised over $800 in cash plus donations of women’s and children’s clothing for families who have been displaced due to domestic violence and need a new start. It’s amazing that you can turn a bunch of old junk into that kind of support with just a few volunteers and a Saturday morning. Playing just a small part in that good deed has given me the warm-fuzzies all weekend. Now I understand why so many otherwise unemployed housewives run charity events/foundations/galas/raffles. Those ladies-who-lunch are really onto something, even if I still can’t help making fun of their oh-no-my-maid-forgot-to-iron-the-sheets type problems.

I actually can’t wait for our next mission so I can get that happy, satisfied feeling of helping someone else again. Even if you don’t have time to organize or volunteer at an in-person event, doing good can brighten your outlook:

Jill from Baby Rabies’ #helpSam fundraiser reached an incredible total of over $9,000 in 3 weeks, thanks to the generosity of some great companies, bloggers and random internet strangers. I spent an afternoon tweet-spamming every celebrity and semi-celebrity I could think of and knowing I helped just a teeny tiny bit brought me to tears when I saw the incredible video Sam’s family created as a thank you.The giveaways are closed but the Paypal account remains open and donations are always appreciated.

Raising Madison is currently running a fundraiser for Keegan, an 8 month old with Medulloblastoma. She’s got some incredible companies on board (hello, who doesn’t want an ERGO?) and not a huge number of entries so PLEASE go over take a look. Just $5 is enough to help make a difference.

The March of Dimes is always accepting donations to make sure all babies are born healthy and full-term. Our team raised $3,000 during our March for Babies back in April and I loved every second of that damp, muddy walk. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event and would encourage everyone to find a walk in their area.

If you know of any other current fundraisers or causes, please link them in the comments. I would love to bring any attention I can to more people who are trying to live by the rule that small deeds make a world of difference.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
-Margaret Mead

One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.
-Henry David Thoreau

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
-Mahatma Gandhi

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6 Responses to “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted – Aesop”

  1. Michelle says:

    OK, I am just going to shamelessly self-promote the blog I JUST wrote to help my sister raise money for Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund. Please come check it out and help her reach her goal!!
    http://michgal18.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/my-first-guest-blog/

  2. brigidkeely says:

    I work with Literacy Works Chicago http://www.litworks.org/ at the Albany Park Community Center http://www.apcc-chgo.org/, where I tutor adult basic education MATH!!! I initially signed on to teach reading and writing, which I have more recent tutoring experience in, but they have a shortage of math tutors (which I also have experience in) so I’m doing that. I had a long scholastic career of being told I was bad at math, no good at math, retarded at math, but it was ok it didn’t matter I was a girl and girls just aren’t that good at math. Or science. Or sports. Let’s all have a big bowl of strawberry ice cream! So now I work with 3 adult women, two of whom want to take college placement tests so they can advance in their careers, and one of whom wants to get her GED so she can get into college so she can establish a career.

    It’s 2 2-hour sessions a week. It’s extremely fulfilling. It works my brain in ways I don’t normally work it, and I’m thinking about math and the whys and reasons arithmetic works the way it does in ways I haven’t done in years.

    I also made 2 dozen cupcakes last night for the bake sale and book sale today. I doubt any of your readers besides me are in Chicago, but if they are, come on by!

    • bebehblog says:

      I know at least one of my mommy blogger friends (although she’d laugh to hear me call her that) is in Chicago, but I don’t know where exactly. Maybe you guys will meet! (Her blog is over in my links: Tin Roof, Rusted).

  3. April says:

    Suzanne,
    You are so awesome to have given of yourself and your time and there is hands down no way we would would have been successful without your help last weekend! Thank you and it really made my day to read about this on your blog – how good it makes you feel to help others – it is what drives me to do what I do as well. Looking forward to our next ‘mission’!

  4. […] crazy comes in handy though, like when I volunteered to take some of the stuff left over from our charity tag sale to Goodwill and this picture frame “accidentally” forgot to make it out of my van. I […]

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