Posts Tagged: mabels labels

Family Day?

Here in Ontario we just experienced our first “Family Day” holiday. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but heck, I’ll take a day off to hang out with the kiddies. There was a lot of confusion around this day. Was it a stat holiday or a public holiday, and what is the difference anyways? Why were some government folks working, and others not? I think the thing to remember is that it was a promised day off in the middle of February during an election campaign. Obviously it worked, but I’m thinking a little consultation with the business community and different levels of government might have helped eliminate the confusion around this holiday. But you Mommas out there know that ‘day off’ is a very relative term. I have more than one SAHM friend whose husband had to work, and nursery school was cancelled so it just meant Momma had to work even harder. Some day off, eh?

We took our gang to that place I have a love/hate relationship with: Great Wolf Lodge. I hate it because it requires re-mortgaging the house to go for a day. The entire time I’m in the pool I can’t stop thinking that I’m having a kid pee bath. At one point they closed the hot tub and I tried to protect myself from finding out why. I’m one of those cheap Mommas who brings the cereal and canned dinner so that I don’t have to give the hotel any more of my money. Long and short, they’re bandits and taking us all for a very expensive ride. The only reason I love it is because the kids do, but that’s enough to keep us going back. Can you say “sucker?”

Whether you spent your Family Day in a germ infested pool, hanging with your kids around the house or going for a skate or a movie, we Mabel Mommas hope it was a good one, and one that kept you far, far away from your office!

Snow Day

For those of you out there who have school-aged kids and live in the Great White North, we are feeling the same pain. In the last week, the school buses in our Board have been cancelled THREE times.

On the first day, we hit the snow hills on our magic carpets, drank some hot chocolate, and generally just hung about feeling good about the found day we got to share together. I’m one of the lucky mommas who has some flexibility to do this every now and again. It means a late night at my computer, but I’m good with that.

Well, I’m good with that as long as it doesn’t start getting too repetitive. Two days later and it’s another snow day. We have another bit of fun but there is some novelty rapidly wearing off, from where I’m sitting.

The next day was a Thursday and it happens again. Good-bye “fun mom”, hello crazy woman who would pull them on a sled for the full five kilometres to school if required. The van doors were frozen shut but I was not going to let that little obstacle stop us. I was determined for them to spend some quality time with the three other kids with psycho-moms who turned up at school that day.

Thursday is my one day I can head into the Mabel’s Labels office for the WHOLE day. We Mabel Mommas were not going to let a bit of snow and ice slow us down. While bad weather may shut down our education system, kids are not going to start losing stuff under our watch!


We all know as moms that the work we do is entirely undervalued. No question. But it can start to wear ya down a bit, wouldn’t you say? Don’t you sometimes have those days you just wonder how someone can work so hard and not get an ounce of credit? That probably happened to you today, likely happened yesterday and sadly I’m not feeling so hopeful for your tomorrow! Deb, who is a cool mom from an online moms group I’m on just posted this and I felt compelled to share with you Mabel Mommas. Something tells me it might just tell some of you that you that you’re not alone!

“I’m Invisible” – author unknown

I’m Invisible It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?”I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, and she’s gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.” In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything .
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

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