From that event sparked an interest to do something just for the moms. And when Wellsphere came along and offered $150 towards to cost of hosting events for health bloggers, I submitted a proposal right away. This was my chance to make it bigger and better!
Excerpt from the proposal:
Title of Proposal: Mom's OverNight Out
Now, describe your proposal a little more. Please don't forget to describe:
a) The purpose. Tell us what you are looking to achieve.
When I discovered my daughter's diagnosis after she was born, I was devastated. I didn't know what to do or where to turn. What I've since realized, over the past two years, is that the support of other parents is invaluable. Not only do I know that I am not alone, but I can get questions answered, express my feelings to people that understand, learn about opportunities to help my daughter reach her fullest potential, and share her successes with those that will gladly celebrate with me. In that regard, I am very interested in hosting a Mom's OverNight Out at my home.
All moms need a break, but moms of kids with special needs often need respite so that we can be recharged and empowered to be the advocates that our children need daily. I think it would be fantastic if Wellsphere could support this endeavor to help make this night extra special for a wonderful group of women.
b) The people. Tell us who you plan to share the event with.
I would like to bring approximately 30 women together (all mothers of children with Down syndrome) in my local and extended Down syndrome support network and have a time that is just for us. We can discuss our kids, pick each other's brains, and also just relax knowing that we're all among friends who "get it." A fantastic Mom's Night Out!
c) The location. Where are you having this event?
It will be hosted at my home
Tell us about the angle: What makes this event unique?
While there are virtual support groups that exist and allow parents to share information via the internet, due to the sometimes very-scheduled lives of families with someone with special needs, getting together in person can prove difficult. When it does happen, there always seems to never be enough time to chat about the various things we have in common. This would be an opportunity for our support group to have time for just the mothers alone where there is essentially no time limit. We can support each other in a way that just hasn't been done before.
On September 19th, it all came together. As the time approached, I had the thought to expand the group to include mothers of children with diagnoses other than Ds as well. I'm glad I did because we were able to be joined by some more really great people!
There was a TON of food, a wide array of drinks, and even more laughs and conversation. While some people did have to get home that night, a good number of us were able to remain and have a good, old-fashioned sleepover. Playette and BD were gone for the night so we, honest-to-goodness, had the house to ourselves and we could stay up because we wanted to and sleep in until we were good and ready to do otherwise.
Aside from armloads of cakes, pies, muffins, and other assorted pastry items, many of the ladies were able to go home with souvenirs of the gift card variety (from Victoria's Secret, Cold Stone, Target, Bath & Body Works, and Starbucks) to remind them of the time we had together and also to encourage them to do something for them and them alone. (Moms tend to forget that "just for us" stuff sometimes.)
Thanks to our esteemed photog friend and fellow mama, Jen, we have some pics to share of the event.
I like to call this one..."Oops. I guess I don't know how to use that rabbit wine opener thingee after all."
Mothers of kids with differing abilities are nothing if not resourceful. Believe that.
Wait. That didn't work? Hm. How about this?
New bottle, you say? We can accommodate.
That one wasn't my fault. I swear!
Off to cause destruction elsewhere
...while our esteemed photog opted for a different libation.
In the end, we all came together and gave a salute to our less-traveled paths that brought us together to celebrate as moms.