Pampers and Operation Shower Put Smiles on Military Moms’ Faces – And We Love It!

BY: - 10 May '17 | Parenting

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Many of you know that Lamar and I are brand ambassadors for Pampers and members of their Pampers Baby Board. Over the last few years,  we’ve had some amazing opportunities to pay it forward in various ways from giving away a $300 AmEx gift card to a friend in need to throwing a baby shower to providing the Atlanta Diaper Relief with a one year supply of diapers and wipes Oprah style!

Pampers is committed to making life better for babies, their families and our communities.  And I’m so happy that they’ve asked me to share their latest community outreach effort in support of military families. From January through June of this year, Pampers will be donating diapers and wipes to Operation Shower, a non-profit which throws baby showers for expecting moms whose husbands are stationed overseas.

Operation Shower’s mission is to ease the stress of deployment by hosting joyful baby showers for military families across the country. Our baby showers provide expectant military families with high quality products for their babies while recognizing all that they do for our country. – Operation Shower

I’ve never had a spouse that was deployed while I was expecting a baby…I haven’t had that experience.  But I have been pregnant and alone and hundreds of miles away from my family and main support system.  And it felt so good when my friends embraced me and supported me during that time.  They not only gave me emotional support, but they also gave me lots of great gifts for the baby during my baby shower.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Mara Shepard about her personal experience with Operation Shower. Mara is a labor and delivery nurse that has been married to her high school sweetheart for 20 years.  They have 3 children, an 11-year old girl and 5-year old boy/girl twins.

What is it like to be a military wife and mother?

Mara: I think being a military wife/mother has many challenging moments.  When your service member leaves for deployments 6 to 9 months at a time (and sometimes longer) and you are separated by different continents, you must hold things down at home with the kids …while praying in the back of your mind that he will be safe.

You can’t just call him if you need something.  You can’t just talk to him when you want to talk to him.  You wait till he calls you and when he does you hope you catch him…because most of the time you are in different time zones.  You must be okay with moving halfway around the world and away from your family.  You miss special occasions like birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, or the birth of your child.  When he leaves, there is an adjustment period as well as when he comes back home.  You get used to doing everything by yourself.  Military life is just a different way of living.

Describe your Operation Shower experience.

Mara: I attended Operation Shower in January of 2012 in Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. I had just had my twins and my husband was deployed at the time.  My mom attended the shower with me.  My Operation Shower experience was filled with many emotions… all at one time.

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Mara Shepard is all smiles as she attends the Operation Shower event in January of 2012 in Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California

I had no idea who [Operation Shower] was when I was invited to attend their shower.  I was already feeling down and blue that my husband was not with me during the birth of our twins.  When I walked into the event I was greeted with so many smiles and so much warmth.

When I walked into the event I was greeted with so many smiles and so much warmth.

They were welcoming and put a smile on my face.  I remember how everything was so beautiful from the table settings to the dessert table to the gift table.  I was surprised, shocked, and wasn’t sure how to feel.  I thought, who were these people that would do something for us like this?

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Mara Shepard and her mother are holding Mara’s twins at the Operation Shower event in January of 2012 in Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.

When anyone mentions Operation Shower to me, a whole lot of memories come flooding back to me.   Happy memories because of the experience I had with them.  The VERY recent one is the memory of my mom going to this shower with me.  Because she passed away just January of this year, I have memories of her being happy and I AM so THANKFUL my mom got to experience this with me.  She was my best friend who did everything with me and I am so grateful that she was able to attend with me.

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Mara Shepard’s mother (shown in the picture) was a big part of her life and attending the Operation Shower event with her mother is one of Mara’s fondest memories.

They made me feel special and important.  They recognized the sacrifices military wives and mothers go through.  I was happy.  I was thankful.  I felt really blessed and I was also inspired by the caring people of Operation Shower and all the sponsors/people that helped to make it happen.

What impact does Pamper’s diaper donations to Operation Shower have on military moms?

Without businesses like Pampers, organizations such as Operation Shower could not carry out their work with military moms.  Pampers’ donation make a positive social impact in the lives of military moms and other businesses and organizations leading by example.  It helps motivate others to help support military moms/wives.  Pampers helps make a difference by their generous donations to Operation Shower.  For this I am also thankful.

Get Involved:

Just like Pampers, we, as individuals, can support Operation Shower by donating products, baby items, and even your time as a volunteer. Click here to donate baby products through their registry. And check out the pictures below from a recent Operation Shower event.

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Photo Credit: Glen Bashaw with Images in Light. The mom pictured below is Jesiah and she is attending a recent Operation Shower event.

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Photo Credit: Glen Bashaw with Images in Light. The mom pictured below is Jesiah and she is attending a recent Operation Shower event.

Disclosure: Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are “Pampers Baby Board” members and this post is sponsored by Pampers. We partnered with them to spread the word about the great work that  Operation Shower  is doing for our military families. All opinions are our own.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 523 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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How I Went from Feeling Lonely to Being Loved on Mother’s Day

BY: - 14 May '17 | Parenting

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I never thought I would be a person that made a big deal out of Mother’s Day.  You see, those types of holidays didn’t really excite me.  Don’t get me wrong, I always took time to honor my mom on Mother’s Day.  But I did not know the day was going to mean so much to me, until I became a mother myself.

There’s one Mother’s Day that I will never forget.  My first-born son was a baby at the time, and for some reason, I waited for his father to say Happy Mother’s Day to me all day long.  I wasn’t waiting on a gift.  I was just waiting on the acknowledgement of the day.  A card would have been nice too.

But he said nothing.

And then finally, when I couldn’t take it any longer, I said something. And you’ll never guess what he told me…He said: “You’re not my mother. So why should I say Happy Mother’s Day to you.”

And in that moment, I felt so alone. I felt under-appreciated, and I felt hurt.  Those words stung.  But I did not tell anyone.  I argued with him for a few minutes and decided to get revenge on Father’s Day…lol.  (But you do know that revenge never makes you feel better.  First, he did not care about Father’s Day. And second, my revenge could not erase the hurt that I felt on Mother’s Day.  So, it was a waste of my time and energy.)

You’re Not Alone

Looking back on that time, I realize that I was not alone.  I had my family and my friends.  And if I would have just told them how I was feeling, I am quite sure they would have poured on the love.

But now, I have so many more great memories of Mother’s Day…like when I receive cards from my mother, telling me that I am a good mother and that she loves me.  Those cards mean so much to me.

And now that I am married to an awesome man, he doesn’t let one Mother’s Day go by without honoring me and his mother.  Even when I tell him not make a big deal out of the day, he makes sure I get a good meal and a nice gift.  He teaches the kids to honor me on Mother’s Day too, by making sure they make me a card and give me a small token of their love.

No Mother Should Feel Alone on Mother’s Day

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No mother should ever have to feel the way I felt on that Mother’s Day.  It does not take much to reach out to the moms in your life to say,

“Happy Mother’s Day, you are doing such a great job of raising your kids.”  Or,

“If you don’t have any plans, why don’t you come over to my house for dinner tonight?”

You never know who is feeling alone on Mother’s Day.  And like me, they may not share it with you.

This is why I am so excited to join Pampers to be among the first to wish moms a Happy Mother’s Day.  Check out the video that Pampers released last night to be the first to say Happy Mother’s Day.  Pampers wants to be there during a time when many new moms would be up…possibly taking care of their infants or getting some free time to themselves.

But Pampers’ goodwill did not stop at this video.  They granted me $500 to make Mother’s Day extra special for a mother of my choosing.  And when they said the word, I knew exactly who to choose.

I know exactly what it’s like to be a single mother that lives hundreds of miles a way from her family and support system. In this scenario, childcare is a major concern as you always need someone to watch the kids when you are not home (especially during summer vacation.) So, I’ve decided to give my grant to one of my nearest and dearest friends, Krystyll, who will most certainly be focusing on summer camp selection in the coming weeks.

I talked to her recently (after not hearing from her in a few months) and she told me she had a rough couple of months (as she went through a period of unemployment after layoffs at her job.) And by giving her this Mother’s Day grant (sponsored by Pampers) I want her to know, she’s not alone and that she can always call me.  And I want her to know that she is an awesome Mother and that I love her.

BMWK – if you have not done so already, please share the Pampers Midnight Mother’s Day video with the special moms in your life and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day! Because you never know how much that small gesture could mean to a mother.

I am a proud member of the Pampers Baby Board! This post was sponsored by Pampers (www.pampers.com ) to wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 523 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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