I received no compensation from Proctor and Gamble for this post. The items I received were for sharing a story with them about Shelby.
At Proctor and Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” Facebook page they published this video a couple of weeks ago:
As the mom of a Special Olympian I was both moved and motivated to share Shelby’s story. We hear far too many people believing that children with special needs are “burdens” and “unwanted.” And as evidenced by the media attention of mothers who have killed and attempted to kill children with special needs, the public is buying that hook line and sinker. I wanted to make sure that Proctor and Gamble knew I appreciated them showing the “other side” the side of joy and love that a child with special needs can bring. So I commented on their link saying this:
Thank you for this. My beautiful daughter Shelby is a Special Olympian. She was diagnosed at age 2 with autism. I remember when the psychologist who first diagnosed her told us, “She is still your daughter that you love the same today as yesterday. There are no limits on what she can and cannot do.” I wish every parent receiving the unexpected news that they have a special needs child could hear those words. No, my daughter (now almost 8) does not talk, but her love is evident to us every single day. And our lives would not be complete without her. She’s done so many amazing, wonderful things in her short life thus far, and tell her she can’t do something, for her it’s a challenge to say, “Watch me!”
I didn’t expect anything to come of it so I was very surprised when this comment appeared in reply to mine:
I was surprised and shocked. I know that “Thank you, Mom” is a huge media campaign for P&G but I didn’t expect someone would be reading my comment much less commenting so encouragingly and that’s not to mention the fact they wanted to send me something?
I emailed and got a very sweet reply to my email and was told to wait a couple of weeks for something in the mail.
Today I got home from work and a package was there. This is what was in it:
That’s a “Thank You, Mom” backpack, in case you couldn’t tell. And here’s what I found inside the backpack. First a card:
That’s a hand-written note, not a typed form letter and for those with difficulty reading cursive 😉 or who have trouble seeing it it reads:
We loved hearing about your daughter, Shelby, on our Thank You, Mom Facebook page. Thank you for sharing with us and our community! To show our appreciation, we’ve enclosed a small gift we hope you enjoy!
Jeanne–Thank You, Mom Community Manager
And then I opened the backpack to find this:
I realize these don’t look like much to most but I NEVER buy cosmetics, ever. It’s just not in our budget which is to the bone already and there is simply nothing else I can cut from to justify the high price of cosmetics. Even mascara. And those razors are great, but I’m usually just getting one out of Jeff’s multi-pack and trying to make it last a month. And that Pantene pack, was literally an answer to a prayer. I got in the shower this morning and used the last of my conditioner. Not a big deal you say? Well, it is when conditioner is a necessity to making one’s hair look as unlike Buckwheat’s as possible in this humidity and you have literally $.97 left in your account which is not enough to buy even the cheapest stuff. I prayed that somehow I could squeeze enough conditioner out of the bottle I had to make it to next payday (Friday). Well, now I have enough. (Thank you, God!)
Even Jeff was impressed. I only wanted to thank a company for a positive portrayal of a child with special needs and her mom and share our story in solidarity. Just the initial acknowledgment was more than I expected. And I realize it sounds very silly to most people but as we all know motherhood can be grueling and while our children are their own reward, sometimes when someone on the outside stops and says, “Hey, you’re doing a great job! Thank you for being your child’s mother,” it really does stop you in your tracks and makes you realize that it’s possible you’re on the right track when it feels all off the rails. Thank you, Proctor and Gamble for making this Mother’s Day weekend a little more special in a small, but meaningful way.
And thank you to all the moms out there who feel in a rut or like they’ve messed everything up (I assure you, you haven’t!) and if no one’s told you: You‘re doing a great job, Thank you for being your child’s mother!