Our Voice

Using Mom Guilt for Good

Melissa Dunderdale - February 4, 2021

It’s amazing what can happen when you find a way to take something negative and produce positive results.  I’ve suffered from guilt all my life…not feeling good enough…a good enough kid, mom, wife…you name it. I once had a therapist tell me “guilt is a box you put yourself in”.  I didn’t understand it at the time, but I do now, and I’ve been known to quote this to my kiddos now and again. (insert eye roll emoji here) 

When my two oldest went off to college it was a difficult time in my life.  I was a single mom of 4 amazing kids that I had the pleasure of raising as a stay-at-home mom.  Now, it was time for me to work outside the home…and still try to maintain all the things I used to do for my kids…it was a transition for all of us. But…when you are used to doing all the over-the-top mom things…and then you must balance work and providing…something must give.  But, when you are a people pleaser, guilt can feel bigger than a box.

One of the things that I had every intention of doing but couldn’t find the time to do was send weekly cards to my kids away at college.  I wanted to cheer them on each week with encouragement! When I was in college, my grandmother wrote to me every week.  I have those letters…they meant the world to me back then, and even more so now.  I had every intention, but with two still at home…the card writing often got put off.  Most days the cards would sit on my desk a reminder of what I didn’t do.  Uugh!  My saving grace was that my cousin, who also received weekly letters from our grandmother had decided to continue the tradition.  She wrote weekly cards and encouraging notes to my kids and my sisters kids every week! When they needed that little bit of encouragement their mailbox was never empty. And…when they graduated and moved back home…they each had a treasure box filled with all their cards and notes, mostly from my cousin.  A little bit more mom guilt crept in.

But then…my cousin and I had an amazing idea!  What if we created an easy way for parents/aunts/grandparents to send weekly encouraging cards to their college kids? We brainstormed and decided…it needed to be automatic, look handwritten, be positive and encouraging…and most of all easy!  It’s all about helping people find the time to make their intentions a reality.  It took us over a year of development, long hours, planning, pivoting but finally we launched Cards2College in Fall of 2020. (Yep…right in the middle of THE pandemic.)

Everything happens for a reason, and I genuinely believe that. So maybe it’s not the worst time…maybe it’s the best time for parents and students to find an easy way to stay connected!

Despite the current effects of COVID-19 on the college industry, we have managed to create something great out of the negative concept of MOM GUILT!  Now to clean out the rest of that box!