When you’re at the end of your day, sometimes it feels like you’re at the end of your rope too. After giving all your energy to your spouse, your kids, your job(s), where’s the energy for you? That’s just what A Motivating Love is helping moms find again. We spoke with founder and executive director Daphne Anderson as well as assistant executive director and director of sponsorships Lisa Gray about how the McKinney organization is using resources, events and venting sessions to give moms the tools for self-renewal with support from others.
DFWChild: Tell me how A Motivating Love began. Daphne Anderson: So A Motivating Love (AML) started off as Always Mothers Luncheon, which was an annual fundraising event to provide entertainment, motivating messages, sisterhood, friendships, networking—something to bring women together so we can pour back into each other. We did three lunches, changed our name and became the nonprofit. The lunch is still our annual event.
Child: What is AML doing for moms? DA: AML really talks about support, emotional and somewhat physical, for mothers. You get so depleted when helping others, pouring into your children, your spouse, maybe your parents or in-laws—you’re trying to help everyone but yourself. Then by 8, 9, 10 o’clock you’re having to get ready for the next day, and you’re totally burnt out and drained. Let us give some of us into you.
Child: Where did this idea come from? DA: It really started with God; he dropped it in my spirit. It was during the time my daughter was going to college and starting her next phase, and I wanted her to know she could find other mother figures out there, and that I’m OK with that because they can pour into her too. Then we took that to another (different) level. Women were expressing how they needed and wanted an organization that spoke to and assisted with the emotional support and help deal with daily depletion of self. We’ve heard mothers say that they sometimes need a safe place to vent and communicate their hearts without judgment. So, we felt the need to really bring it to the community.
Child: What resources does AML provide for moms feeling burnout? Lisa Gray: If you came to us stressed out, and you need a therapist, we have several we can send you to. Or maybe you’re going through a potential divorce—we have an attorney. We have different people that work with us; if you’re having financial issues, we have accountants to help you figure out a financial plan. We try to [think] about where we’ve been, because I know there’s other women like us who have been in the same situation. How can we share the love and help you in the right direction?
Child: What’s next for AML? LG: We’ve thought about having group sessions for new moms with volunteers who are older—grandmothers, moms of 20–somethings—where the new moms can let it all out. Being able to ask older moms, “What did you do when your babies were little?” It’s not all by the book; it’s about sharing knowledge. I just wish I had that when I was younger, [when] I had little kids.
Child: Besides young mothers, who else does AML reach and work with? DA: We’re partnering with other organizations and building connections and relationships with those that align with us. Not just big groups, but small too. We can be great together and support each other. For example, we’re working with Streetside Showers, Hope’s Door, Heavenly Mimi and Dominique Cares. But we [serve] all ages; we reach every age range, from 20s up to 70s—we even had a 16-year-old at one of the luncheons. These older women, they love being able to pour into younger moms. We also have some grandmas that are back in the role of mother again; we have a grandma basically raising a 1-year-old. It all goes back to our theme of support for this year.
Child: How do these themes tie in? DA: [In] the past, we’ve done self-love, self-worth and self-confidence, healing, now support. It’s general support where at the same token it’s mental and physical—even if you have walls that are totally up, at some point you have to trust somebody else, you have to build relationships with someone. You have to let go a little bit; you can’t do it all alone, and you’re not alone. That’s one of our tag lines. We’re a safe place; both Lisa and myself have corporate HR backgrounds so we understand confidentiality. I want our women to know that if you come talk, you don’t have to worry about who else knows [your] business—that’s not going to happen. What’s said there stays there. You’re never going to hear, “Oh, did you hear so-and-so at AML say this?” No, ma’am. We also want to give back to you mentally because everything you’re doing comes from your brainwaves. Whatever’s going on in there is going to trickle down. It all starts at the top.
Child: What do you think is the main thing these moms need? DA: They want to be heard. When they call, I want them to know I actually hear what they say; I’m letting you know I’m listening. It makes a difference versus just saying, “Let’s call this line and hope someone will answer!” The women can call us anytime. There’s enough of us that we can answer the lines. We had someone call around 2 or 3am just to talk things through. LG: Yes, and friends; friends listen. That’s what I needed most when I was younger.
Want to get involved with AML? Here a few ways to help:
- Become a board member or core team member: These are the ones who make it all happen by governing the nonprofit logistics as well as things like the website. Core members may also be seasonal or based on a specific event.
- Volunteer as part of the administrative team: Applications can be found at amotivatinglove.org.
- Collect items: AML is always looking for help collecting items for their partner give-backs as well as assistance with events and programs.
- Donate: Any support helps. If you’d like to donate, you can do so online or by texting EMOTIONAL to 44321.
Interested in learning more about AML’s partner organizations? Check them out online:
- Streetside Showers brings hygiene care to North Texans who are homeless. streetsideshowers.com
- Plano-based Hope’s Door provides shelter and counseling for victims of domestic abuse. hdnbc.org
- Heavenly Mimi supports people fighting cancer through financial assistance and empowerment. heavenlymimi.org
- Dominique Cares provides resources and support for individuals with disabilities and their families. dominiquecares.com
Image courtesy of A Motivating Love.