Become a Beloved Backer

Mama’s Comfort Camp is seeking support from businesses who care about the comfort of mothers. 

How would you like to have your product or service shared with hundreds of mothers at their most comforting gathering place?
And how would you feel if the mothers viewed your information with gratitude-fueled curiosity, rather than the usual annoyance with ads, because you chose to become a Backer of their favorite resource?

This is exactly what becoming a Backer of the Mama’s Comfort Camp online support community gives you the opportunity to do.

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Why Moms flock to the Mama’s Comfort Camp:

Motherhood ain’t easy on the mom. We need all the support, community, and comfort we can get, and we need a safe space to talk to each other and discover none of us is weak, lazy, or stupid for having a rough ride. Mama’s Comfort Camp is a support structure and a refueling station where mothers from around the world can use social media to find each other and offer emotional peer support online and, whenever possible, mutual assistance in real life.

Mama’s Comfort Camp started with a handful of friends from the internet, and keeps growing organically.  We don’t need to advertise; the Mama’s Comfort Campers just keep bringing their friends over. Here’s what the mamas are saying:

Mama’s Comfort Camp: a place where you can show up as you really are on the bad days… exhausted, stressed out, feeling guilty over your very imperfect parenting, besotted with your kids, enraged with and resentful of your kids, with dirty dishes piling high, those phone calls unreturned, your hair way too dirty and just a little bit of baby spew on your shirt. And people will hug you and be nice to you. And on your good days you get to return the favor!

~ Claire M, Melbourne, Australia.
www.themakingspace.com

Thank you Mama’s Comfort Camp! I have never felt so encouraged, loved, free from judgment, and just so NORMAL, and that alone is truly priceless, because nothing else compares to the support of having a group of caring Mamas who truly GET YOU.

~Katherine M, Evansville, Indiana.

I keep coming back to Mama’s Comfort Camp because it reminds me that everyone has problems. We all have our crap going on behind closed doors, and most of us are afraid to talk about it in the “real” world. This is a great place to come to get out frustrations, or just to remind yourself that you don’t have it SO bad. So, thank you Yael for starting this group and keeping it up and doing EVERYTHING that you do because it’s awesome. As in awe-inspiring, not just really really cool.

~ Heidi B, Ithaca, NY.

 

You’ll find more raves about the Mama’s Comfort Camp on this page.

If you are new to the Mama’s Comfort Camp, here is some background for you. But if you already know you want to become a Beloved Backer, click here to jump to the program details.

 

The Scoop about the Group:

Who we are:

  • We are hundreds of moms (over 2,000 in the international group, about 1,100 of us are from the Ithaca, NY area).
  • We are moms of kids of any age: new moms to grandmothers and everything in between.
  • We are many kind of moms: biological mothers, stepmothers, adoptive and foster mothers.
  • We have straight and gay moms, stay at home moms, work from home moms, and moms who go to work.
  • About a quarter of the group members are bloggers.
  • Political views vary, but we keep politics out of the discussion. During the election season we didn’t have a single political debate inside our group: members never brought this up; we didn’t even have to ask.
  • We don’t collect socioeconomic data about our members and even if we had this data we wouldn’t be sharing it.

 

What we do:
We use social media to break the isolation many mothers feel, to normalize asking for help and getting it, and to have conversations that dissolve the power of the impossible and competing cultural expectations mothers are faced with.

All of this helps with (or prevents altogether) anxiety, depression, self-judgment and perfectionism, and replaces these painful things with a sense of community and empowerment.
In the Ithaca area, we have enough local mothers that when someone asks for help online, she can get mutual assistance in the real world. We hope to replicate this in other communities as the Mama’s Comfort Camp grows.

What we talk about:
We discuss many parenting choices and styles without judgment (the only parenting style we are opposed to is corporal punishment), and our group culture is so steeped with kindness that mothers feel safe enough to talk about the darker sides of motherhood: the anxiety and worry, postpartum depression, guilt, perfectionism, PMS and menstrual woes, lack of interest in sex, relationship struggles…

In short, we get support for all the thrills and curve-balls that motherhood throws at us. Members’ posts are met with understanding and validation, and zero unsolicited advice: we feel strongly that unless someone is specifically asking for advice and resources, we don’t try to fix her or the situation, we just love her up. When advice is asked for, responses show up quickly and lots of different points of view are shared and respected. Our group culture is uniquely nurturing, and we support each other in our journey to applying oxygen-mask self-care and practicing self-kindness.

Where we are:
We are everywhere! Thanks to the magic of the internet… With hundreds of mothers from around the world support is available 24/7/365. When a mama in NY is plagued with self-doubt at 3am, the mamas in Australia and Europe are available to support her in real time. And vice versa, of course. Almost any time someone posts an update, responses show up within minutes. Overwhelmed moms who are about to go nuts for the lack of sleep, privacy, or adult conversation report that this sort of support is extremely valuable in preserving their sanity and overcoming moments of hopelessness.

Because the group’s founder lives in Ithaca, NY,  over 700 of us are local. This means we can do great things in the real world:

Our Ithaca Offerings:

  • A free monthly postpartum depression support meeting where issues like anxiety, sleep deprivation, and guilt are discussed freely and addressed with coping skills, support, and hugs.
  • We have ongoing easy-on-the-mom play-dates, especially during school breaks.
  • Mama’s nights out, once a month at yummy local restaurants, and a crafty excuse for a night off: knitting, scrap-booking, good conversation and comfy couches…
  • Cooking/canning/pickling/baking parties: pasta sauce, apple sauce, kombucha, sauerkraut, cookies, so much more fun when there’s a bunch of mamas in the kitchen and the kids play together.
  • Occasional classes and afternoon retreats related to self-care and self-kindness.
  • Ongoing mutual assistance: when a mama needs help, other mothers step in: with a meal, a ride to the doctor’s office, help watching the kids, you know, the “it takes a village” concept at its best.
  • We are also exploring ways to communally address regular parenting stressors by swapping childcare, sharing cooking and grocery shopping, and generally helping each other out, online and in real life. We aim to create guides for replicating such local mutual support structures in other communities.
  • Other creative fun things: the week before Christmas we met at the Unitarian Church for a play-date with the big pipe organ. A mama Camper is the church organist, and very loud fun was had by all. More creative and educational nontraditional play-dates are in the works.

 

This is why we need Backers:

Mama’s Comfort Camp membership is free. Most of our events are free. When we hold classes we price them to be accessible to as many mothers as possible.

Mama’s Comfort Camp is my life’s work. Sourcing and monitoring the safe space for such a large and active 24/7 group, holding the monthly Ithaca postpartum depression support group, and the rest of our programs is a full-time job. A job I am committed to doing without charging mamas to become members of our sharing environment, because I feel strongly that every mother (Everywhere! Anytime!) should have free access to a safe space to show up with all of her vulnerability and glory and find peer support.

Which is why I am turning to the business community: your investment in our group goes towards paying our expenses: web hosting, printing, etc., as well as towards supporting me, the Founder and Keeper of the Mama’s Comfort Camp, as I dedicate most of my time, creativity, and energy towards this much needed growing community. 

 

If you have a product or service you would like to share with our community please consider the following:

  1. Mama’s Comfort Camp is an emotional sharing safe haven, a sacred space. We are very careful about introducing commercial interests into our group, and do so sparingly, in a clear structure that was discussed and agreed upon by our members.
  2. We will only work with carefully selected businesses who we feel are congruent with our mission.
  3. Your product or service must pass the “best friend test” meaning that it needs to be something we’d be willing recommend to our best friend anyway, not just because we get paid to do so. If we choose to work with you, it’s because your product or service totally rocks.
  4. In order for item 3 to be true, we must be familiar with your product or service, so in some cases sending us samples would be required.

Your Investment Options:

Option 1: Support us by the month.

What you get:

1. A sidebar ad on this website (see “Our Beloved Backers”, on the right).
2. Weekly mention in FB our group, where you get to present your product or service to our group members, and if you wish, interact with them by starting conversations.

 This weekly backer messages are the only commercial mentions allowed in our main gathering space, so Campers are not inundated with links and ads. This preserves our safe space while increasing the likelihood of our members clicking on your link.

Backers located in the Ithaca NY area have the option of having their local events or promotions shared in our local facebook group (over 1100 local mamas).

Monthly Rates:

Backers’ fees follow a sliding scale: 
We give small businesses a discount because it wouldn’t make sense to charge a mama making soap in her basement the same amount as an established biz, now would it? Nor would it be fair to charge an independently operated local bookstore the same amount we would charge a national chain.

These are the Backers categories:

  • Tiny Biz: crafty mamas, artists, life coaches, etc.
  • Local Biz: an established operation, usually with a single physical location, like local restaurants, spas and salons,  schools & after-school programs, art/music and other enrichment programs, day care centers, healthcare practices, stand-alone shops, etc.
  • Online and internet companies: for companies offering online services or mobile apps.
  • Big Biz: Chain stores, hospitals, banks, car dealerships, national brands, etc.

 

So, how much?

Tiny Biz:  $40-$75 a month
Local Biz $85-$125 a month
Internet based services and apps: $100-$150 a month
Big Biz: $150 and up per month. Let’s talk.
Get 4 months for the price of 3 if you pay in advance.

Add a blog post or an article to be published on this website:
You provide the post content: $100
We write a review of your product or service: $200
Here is an example of a product review. 
We could also plan a giveaway for Campers. We are going to be very discerning about this option, but for the just right product or service, this could be fun for everyone involved.

It wouldn’t hurt to ask about barter (for example: Avital’s soaps and honey are sweeter than money! Well, actually, her awesome soap is salty, but you get it). When backers trade with products or services rather than cash, the dollar equivalent is 50% higher for barter: so for example $40 in cash =$60 per month in product barter (or one unit of your services, say a massage or an acupuncture appointment).

 

Very Important:

What Backers Don’t Get: The privacy of the Mama’s Comfort Campers is our highest priority, as is maintaining the sacred space we have created: our facebook refueling station is an emotional sharing space, not a marketplace. Unless a Backer is a mama who is a Camper herself, Backers get no access into our group at all. Even when a Backer is a group member, she may not promote her product or service outside of the weekly Backer’s thread.

So, what do you think?

If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, please email yael (at) mamascomfortcamp (dot) com.

If this is not the right time for you to become a Backer, please consider sharing this page with people you might know who could benefit from Backing the Mama’s Comfort Camp.

Whether you choose to work with us or not, I thank you for caring and thank you for reading.
Truckloads of love your way,

Yael