I'll let you in on a not-so-secret detail of my life...
I'm not a mom. Haha, surprise! (It's true).
But this Thanksgiving, I got to receive just a glimpse of what new mom life really means, and to all the ladies who are currently doing it... serious props to you.
Jess Madron, here.
This last weekend I watched in awe as my older sister, Erica rocked her newly adopted, 8-month-old babe to sleep after what seemed like a 5 hour fit of tears and whimpers.
I got to hear my best friend Haley describe what it's like to only run on 3-4 hours of sleep at any given time determined by her newborn, not her.
But the crazy part?
They love it.
I see it in the way they demonstrate patience at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon, even though they've been up since 3 a.m.
I hear it in the murmured, "I love you's" and hushed lullabies that find themselves present before every nap time.
And if you're still following me here... they're SO good at it.
Just like I am entirely confident in the fact that YOU, yes you, are too.
And if crushing mom life wasn’t enough, you women are excelling at a million other things. Like balancing a career, managing home life, going back to school, volunteering in your community, and keeping family and friend relationships alive and growing, and I’m. In. Awe.
Which brings me to Elevate.
In the car on the way to another family Thanksgiving that weekend, I randomly posed the question to my sister:
"Without diminishing or trying to take away from the difficulties that you are personally going through or experiencing as a mom right now, can you imagine what it might be like to be a mom in a developing country?"
We both agreed.
We have a lot to be thankful for this year.
(above: one of the 6 women in Nepal who graduated from our women's beautician training and received funds to start her own beauty shop.)
But here's the thing, I personally don't want our thankfulness for where we live to be the end of that conversation.
Not when just 9 months ago I remember sitting in a very small, crowded Nepali room with 20 other women describing to me their hopes and dreams to see their kids go to school, when half of them couldn't read or write themselves.
How could I forget the faces who told me they fled their harsh home life at 14, because despite not knowing what they'd do, it was better than staying?
Flash forward to the present, and they're raising babies of their own.
So I'm here. Writing this to all of you brave, courageous mommas that in the midst of the long nights, and early morning tantrums this holiday season that you, along with us, would consider who and how your next purchase will impact someone else’s family in 2019.
Will it restore hope and value to a woman who's never had the opportunity for a higher education?
Will it send a child to school who wouldn't have been able to go otherwise?
We hope so.
Because in order to see lives changed and families transformed, it might just take a little more than a thankful heart this Christmas.
It might, it just might... take one strong momma like you, to make a world of difference.