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Mom Words That Hit Home

Erin Zammett Ruddy

As a parent, there are a lot of things people say that bother me. But every once in a while, someone says that something that really resonates, something that makes me feel good about the job I’m doing instead of bad. Here’s one I’ll remember forever:

 As you guys know I’ve been working around the clock trying to raise $100,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by May 17th. Monday night was our big Cancerverary Bash fundraiser and the preparation for it was massive. We had a three-hour, open-bar party for 300 people at a fabulous restaurant in Huntington (Honu Kitchen & Cocktails ), we had a live performance by Straight No Chaser (if you’ve never heard of them, check them out ), we had a silent auction with 30 lots, a Chinese auction with 16 lots, a live auction, we showed our video ( watch it here ) and I gave a speech. In other words, there were a lot of moving parts and there was a lot to coordinate. My incredible campaign team and I have been working on the event for about six months now so we had it under control but there was a big push to pull it all together last week. And because I was pretty much at my desk, or running around town or in my basement workshop 24/7, I was neglecting all other duties. Namely, my children.

I haven’t been cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, doing bedtime, doing baths, wiping butts, reading books, playing cars, brushing hair, doing school drop offs or any other normal mom jobs at all. I ate every meal at my desk (the last two days before the event, Nick would literally bring me my food and then take it away—that’s how intensely I was working). I wasn’t even getting the kids out of bed in the morning because I started setting an alarm so I could get downstairs and get a jump on the day before everyone else woke up. Nora would periodically sneak downstairs just to say, “I love you and I like you, Mom,” which would have made me feel guilty if I had time to feel guilty. Fortunately, Nick seriously stepped up his already-good game and then my mother-in-law came into town on Friday and basically saved the day. Every day. 

Still, at the end of the event Monday night—which was a success beyond all of my expectations*—I was chatting with a few mom friends. I said I was feeling a little guilty that I’ve given my children very little quality time lately—and a lot of Amy’s frozen pizza—because of the campaign. One of them said this: “Your kids are not going to remember the few weeks that you weren’t around much but they will remember that their mother raised tens of thousands of dollars for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and was named Woman of the Year.” It totally shut me up. Of course, I haven’t been named Woman of the Year yet, (and I may not be--the competition ends May 17th and I have no idea where I stand against the other candidates), but regardless, I know I am doing a super important thing that will make my children very proud someday. And I know as soon as it's over I'll go right back to reading books and wiping butts and making yummy nutritious meals. Even reading her words now gives me the chills a little. It was just the thing I needed to hear at just the right time. Thanks, Meghan!

Has this ever happened to you? Where someone says something that immediately helps you gain perspective? It seems so simple but it can really make a big difference to have that kind of encouragement just when you need it. (Next week we can talk about all the horrible things people say to us about our parenting but I’m still coasting on all the good vibes from Monday night so let’s be happy and positive today!)

 And be sure to check out to learn more about the campaign and our upcoming events!

 *Because the campaign is a competition I can’t tell you how much we raised yet but I can tell you it was a HUGE amount that completely blew us away.