Remembering Maddie

Mom bloggers are a powerful community; their narratives of home births and sleepless nights and potty training have changed the way an entire generation of young — and not-so-young — mothers approach their jobs. But parenting isn’t all about birthday parties and sticky goodnight kisses; sometimes being a mother means facing the worst. But it can also mean turning the worst into something good.

Friends of Maddie

In the past few years, the mom blog community has risen to the challenges posed by various tragedies. In April of 2009, Heather Spohr lost her 15 month old daughter, Maddie. Maddie had been born prematurely and had severe scarring of her lungs. But she was a bright and beautiful baby.

Her death was devastating not only to the Spohrs but to Heather’s online community. Together, they founded Friends of Maddie, a non profit designed to provide support to families of critically ill babies. Friends of Maddie provides support packs to NICU staff across the country, for distribution to families of critically ill infants; they assist with lodging for families facing long NICU stays for their newborns; they have created a network of former NICU families who are available for counseling and support.

Tutus For Tanner

Heather Spohr isn’t the only mom using her blog to change the world. When blogger Catherine Connors’ nephew Tanner was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, his family was stunned. Duchenne’s is terminal; Tanner, who is 10, has only a limited time left to live. Connors made it her mission to do whatever she could for her nephew — she focused particularly on fulfilling Tanner’s wishes: to be a cowboy, to see a dinosaur, to be on television. Connors wants to do the things that any mother would do for a child she loves — even when that child isn’t hers.

Through a series of events, including a program called “Tutus for Tanner,” Connors has been raising funds to make her nephew’s last days the best he can possibly have. Her readers — other mom bloggers — have followed her lead: they have run races wearing tutus in order to help Tanner see all his dreams come true.

The mom blogger community is one to watch because it is a true example of the power of social media.  Social media, which includes blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more, is about finding a community that feels like home.  It’s a place online where like minded people meet, share personal stories and opinions, and walk away knowing they have a connection and support.   Some say spending so much time online makes us disconnected from the rest of the world.  We at Creative Concepts believe quite the opposite…our online friends help make each day a bit brighter knowing there are others around the world just like us.

Image via Friends of Maddie.