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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Teaching kids to give back

Meet "Piggy". Piggy is part of our family and is helping us teach our young son the importance of giving back.

Piggy was a gift from my friend Kelly at my baby shower. Eight months pregnant at the time, I felt a lot like Piggy. But alas, Piggy was a gift for my son. He's been in our boy's bedroom since before he was born and does his best to blend in with with changes to decor over time.

He's currently half full with silver coins with a few paper dollars mixed in. Our son is saving for gifts that he will donate at Christmas time to the "kids who don't have toys to play with". He's very serious when he talks about Piggy and knows exactly what Piggy stands. Everything inside Piggy is his to give back.

We also teach our son about giving, by doing just that. He's helped me donate clothing items, baked goods, gently used baby gear, books and just about everything else we aren't currently putting to good use. We also talk about the beauty in receiving. For back-to-school, we bought a pair of TOMS shoes together online. I showed him what the purchase of my son's corduroy lace-up shoes means to a boy in Haiti or Cambodia or South Africa. A pair of shoes. "You mean he doesn't have any shoes, mom?", he asked. It's a fact of life I feel compelled to teach our young child. We are very fortunate. Others are less so.

Today he asked to shake Piggy when we added the money he earned at our recent garage sale. "There's a lot of money in there, mom".

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