I spent 10 minutes in the greeting card aisle on Monday, searching for a card to congratulate one of my besties on her newly announced pregnancy. I ended up leaving the store without a card in hand because I could not find something appropriate for the occasion – so frustrating! My only options were cards that congratulated the parents-to-be on their first baby (it will be my friend’s second) or on their ‘baby boy’ or ‘baby girl.’ Well, given that she’s early on in her pregnancy, the baby’s gender isn’t yet known (and what if she and her husband decide to be surprised?). I was really disappointed in the card selections and decided to use a blank card and write my own message.
As a content creator, that experience really annoyed me because I was being limited in my choices; it was like the ‘powerful, all-knowing greeting card wizards’ had decided exactly what situations warranted a particular New Baby card, and my friend’s wasn’t one of them.
The good news is, I did have another choice. I could head home and create my own card, reflective of the joy and excitement of a new, second baby whose gender was yet-to-be-determined. It’s this same concept of taking control of the mainstream image of Mother’s Day that’s resonating with me with this year’s Strong Families ‘Mamas Day Our Way‘ project.
According to the 2010 census, nearly 80% of households in this country do not reflect the traditional nuclear family form – with 2 heterosexual parents and their 2 biological kids.
That’s an amazing percentage! And one that is certainly not apparent from a walk down the greeting card aisle at your local store, right? Which doesn’t make any sense – think about the single-parent or adoptive or same-sex parent households that you know, for example. That’s why I think it’s so cool that, today, Strong Families, a national initiative of Forward Together, announced their 3rd annual ‘Mama’s Day Our Way‘ e-card series and campaign. Their goal is to “highlight the real experiences of mamas in our lives, and providing a more meaningful celebration beyond flowers and traditional greeting cards.”
They’ve partnered with a diverse group of artists who have designed a fun, thoughtful and non-traditional set of Mother’s Day e-cards. You can share them, for free, with a mama in your life across Facebook, Twitter, taking action in support of policy reform that supports families, and engaging in dialogue about families during their #MamasDay tweet chat on Thursday, May 9 at 11am PT/2pm ET.
If the mainstream isn’t providing us with content that reflects our lives and ideals, we should create our own. Now that’s a bandwagon that this content creator can jump on.