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July 16, 2008

I Just Don't Get It

Confused_2 "What's the point, Aviva?" my mother asked me after going to the Mom Road Trip site. "Why are you doing this?"

I had no immediate answer for her other than, "Because I can." After several hours of contemplating the question in the car, though, here is what I have come up with... so far.

1. A Good Time

There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting out and having some fun with friends. Devra and I are often asked if we really do the things we talk about in our book and at our presentations. YES! Part of being a parent means doing things you love to do - even if some of those things mean your family is not physically with you.

2. A Good Cause

I constantly rant about how sports and entertainment has way too much money thrown at it while child care, health care and education struggle to support our future (by "our" I mean human existence itself). I figured this is my chance to do something about that. If large corporations are willing to foot the bill and give us "toys," then I am going to use them to bring as many people as I can to the blogosphere where parents are talking about these very struggles. Perhaps a few of these corporations, and others who are watching to see if they should try something like this, will be inspired to put more of their advertising dollars into marketing forms that can help people and places outside of the sports and entertainment world.  Maybe we could even inspire a few more athletes and actors to spread their wealth a little more or even ask for less to go directly to them and more to go to the general population. I know there are lots of businesses and individuals who do help others, I also know there is lots more money to go around. I also know ALL of us are guilty of misdirecting our funds at times.

You see, the fact is, we all like to be entertained. And what could be more entertaining than watching 4 moms (without their families) travel across the country? Right. If people come for the fun and even  one of them manages to get involved with a cause like Flashes of Hope because they see it on our site, or InfantSee because they read about it here, or Komen, AIDS awareness, or any one of the hundreds of other amazing programs the women at SV Moms and other sites write about, then all of this has served a real purpose for me. If people just come for the fun, well then, that's their right as well!

3.  Social Media:

General Motors offered a car and money to cover our expenses. Fine, they would pay for our adventure in exchange for some screen time on line. Zune and Sony jumped in with gadgets, again in exchange for screen time. Great!  I'll never turn down a good gadget or two. Weight Watchers offered snacks for the road. OK - no problem.

"What do they want from us?" I had to wonder, thinking there must be some catch. We were assured they just wanted to be a part of the exposure. We weren't required to mention them a certain number of times and we definitely were under no obligation to say wonderful things if they weren't true. To be honest, no demands were placed on us by any of the participating companies. They really just wanted to be included and left the "marketing" or not, in our hands. I must admit, I really didn't get it myself, but the more times I was asked to explain the trip to others, the better I understood it myself. My favorite analogy was to compare it to seeing only Coke products in a movie. You know Coke paid something for that but it's subliminal advertising - you just keep seeing the product, the actors don't have to mention it.

So, whether you are here for the education, the fun, or both, we're glad you decided to join us and we hope you get out of it exactly what you want!

Aviva reflects on lots of things her mother may not get and many she learned from her mom at Parentopia


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