The 4th trimester should be focused on inner work, deep sleep and restoration. And while it may seem difficult to whole-heartedly give during this intentionally still time, here are some meaningful ways to spread love.
1. Donate Clothes & Toys
Regularly decluttering our space gives me the greatest joy as a mom. Whether it’s clothes our kids outgrow or well-loved items we no longer need. Donating helps support thrift shops, religious institutions and other programs specifically designed to turn our trash into someone else’s treasure.
For me, it’s become a spiritual practice and sign of growth. I used to collect and hoard memorabilia, until I realized things that have served me well can do the same for others. So it’s an intentional ritual in our family to get rid of the old and make way for the new.
If you prefer to give directly to a family — even better. Our neighbors gladly gave us their hand-me-downs for years and we were super grateful.
2. Join A Board
Behind every influential organization are passionate thought leaders.
So when you join a board (with a strong mission you align with) your giving is naturally exponential. Meaning, it’s likely the organization has a team and several processes for getting massive amounts of work done in shorter periods of time.
Take your time when you choose a board. Really think about what you want to contribute. What specific skills, lived experience, and unique perspective you bring to the table that will enhance and/or accelerate the organization's work.
As a mother, your efficiency, resourcefulness, and intimate connection to the future (via our children) are extremely valuable skills needed towards making change.
Being on a board does require one of your greatest assets (your time), so do not over-extend yourself by sitting on too many. I strongly believe in quality over quantity. So focusing on one (or two) during this time is plenty.
3. Create A Virtual Safe-Haven
The digital space greatly needs outstanding digital citizens to enrich this growing virtual world. There are so many digital mediums to choose from. Whether it’s through picture-sharing, blogging, streaming or videos, pick a topic you are really passionate about and contribute wisdom that can make someone else’s life 100x better.
Online can be overstimulating, especially for nursing wombmen. So I prefer blogging. When I’m writing, editing, uploading, or redesigning my space, there are limited distractions. It’s really a peaceful piece of private property that has the ability to serve many.
4. Support Creatives
Patreon offers a subscription model to directly support your favorite creatives. I love the HomeTeam which publishes super thorough videos on "African history, culture and worldview." By supporting him and his team, I'm ensuring that high-quality original and educational content continues to be accessible online.
5. Donate Through Amazon Smiles
Amazon is a strategic partner for our family simply because online shopping saves me time, helps me run our home more efficiently and allows me to be more available to our children. With Amazon Smiles a small portion of your cart goes to a non-profit of your choosing. I chose AHEM (Advocates for Home Education Massachusetts) and now have an even greater purpose behind everything I buy.
6. Donate Cash Back
Some rewards cards (like this one) allow you to donate your cash back to charities. Last year we earned $1,000 in cash back. That’s a nice chunk towards social change, simply by using a charge card.
To benefit from cash back cards, you must pay the entire balance on-time every month or you’ll be giving a lot to the credit card company.
7. Give Upbeat Energy
Having a house full of kids is fun. They are curious, lively, jovial and love to laugh. So bringing that positive energy to other families, elders or your community park is always a very meaningful way to give.
8. Give Liquid Love
You are truly giving back to Mother Nature and huemanity every time you nurse your little one. It’s the ultimate form of giving - the gift of yourself. Additionally, by bringing your child to the breast you are not only feeding your child, but future generations.
Photo: My Darling Doula
From one lactating wombman to another — thank you so much for your service.
9. Bask In Self-love
I’ll end this post with self-love. As a nursing wombman, you must take the time to pamper yourself. You must keep your heart full and overflowing in order to give without feeling depleted.
The 4th trimester is the period where the baby is attached on the outside via the breast instead of the inside via the placenta. And it ends after baby weans. That’s a significant amount of time where wombmen are less mobile and on the surface appear less resourced.
But giving is an act of the heart. And mothers are notorious for giving so much of themselves.
Giving makes you feel good, warm and fulfilled inside. Its an extension of yourself. It allows you to live your life’s purpose by sharing energy that this universe has gifted to you. Whether it’s through your time, your money or your energetic presence.
I hope this list helps you realize you’re already giving a lot and gives you ideas on how to make your current forms of giving more seamless.
What’s your favorite form of giving? Whom would you like to give more to? It's okay if it's yourself ;) Need to schedule a one-on-one? Use code: HEART2HEART.
Until next time...
Love The Journey,