Did you know one in three American mothers can barely afford to diaper their own kids? That's a staggering number, isn't it? To help in their struggle, Huggies has launched a diaper drive called "Every Little Bottom," with the goal of providing moms and babies in need with 20 million diapers.
To raise awareness for this very worthy cause, new mom and "Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo was more than willing to assume the role of brand ambassador. During the "Every Little Bottom" kickoff event in New York, we had a little chat about motherhood and learned how we can help Huggies along in their efforts.
momlogic: What inspired you to get involved with "Every Little Bottom"?
Ellen Pompeo: Huggies approached me and educated me about diaper need, and it seemed like a very simple thing to get involved in. The easiest thing to do is go to a store and buy specially marked packages of Huggies -- they have a yellow stripe across them that you can't miss -- that say "Every Little Bottom." And for every package sold, Huggies will diaper a baby. If you can't make it to a store, go to EveryLittleBottom.com. There is a link to an Amazon wish list and you can get your credit card, click on the list, purchase them and have them shipped to a diaper bank.
ml: Wow -- that's a no-brainer!
EP: It's so easy to do. Diaper need is clearly a very serious issue. People think about food need, they think about healthcare for children, they think about nutrition for children, but diapers can't be purchased with food stamps or through the WIC program. Families that need federal or state assistance can't get it for diapers, and they need diapers just as much as they need food or healthcare.
ml: Whoa -- I'll bet a lot of people aren't aware of that!
EP: That's why we're here -- to bring the issue to the forefront. I didn't know about it, but one in three is a pretty staggering number, considering how much wealth there is in this country. And there are other issues that tie into this. There are mothers who have to work and have to drop their kids off at daycare. When you drop your kids off at daycare, you have to have a day's supply of diapers or they won't take your child. A lot of mothers can't swing that. People will say cloth diapers -- well, a lot of people don't have access to a washer or dryer. And if you aren't fortunate enough to have your own washer and dryer, public laundromats will not let you wash diapers. It's a public health and sanitary issue. So women who don't have access to their own washer/dryer can't use cloth diapers. There are several factors as to why diaper need is such a big issue and why it needs to be addressed.
ml: How do you juggle working and being a new mom?
EP: I'm very blessed and I have great help. I'm in a very cush situation and I don't know that I know what struggling is. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I don't want to say that I'm struggling when there are mothers and fathers in this country who are really struggling.
ml: What lesson have you learned in life that you'd most like to impart to your daughter?
EP: I think that it's better to wait to have children and get married. I think women feel this intense pressure to have children and get married by the time you are 30. And I think that's something our male-driven society has put on women. I don't think that's necessarily the case. The older you get, the wiser you get, the better you know yourself, the better mother and wife you'll be, because with age comes wisdom. The more you wait, the better. You're a completely different person at 40 than at 20 -- that's why the divorce rate is 50 percent. If you marry someone at 20, by the time you're 40, you're a completely different person who has nothing in common with that person. At 20, you can barely figure out what you want for dinner, let alone in a life partner!
ml: So true! Your character is struggling with motherhood now ... I know you can't give too much away, but is there a glimmer of something you could share with our readers?
EP: To be honest, I really don't know that much. We only know the scripts a week in advance. So I can't even really say, because I don't really know. But I know the first half of the season is about Christina's struggle to overcome her PTSD. That's a compelling storyline and Sandra Oh's great in it. It's more about the people in the hospital putting the pieces back together after the shooting.
ml: How would you feel if your daughter Stella said she wanted to follow in your footsteps and become a performer?
EP: I want my daughter to do whatever she wants to do. But I wouldn't help her until she got to a certain age. Whatever she wants when she's old enough ....
ml: Like a tattoo? "If you still want it when you're 21, I'll take you"?
EP: Right! I wouldn't encourage it too young in age. Fame is the least healthy thing I can think of for anyone -- let alone a child.
Want to know how you can help diaper "Every Little Bottom"? Huggies has made it so easy:
- Buy specially marked packages of Huggies diapers or wipes, and Huggies will make a donation.
- Buy your diapers at retailers like Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger or Ralphs; they'll either match diaper donations or offer collection events.
- Visit EveryLittleBottom.com and locate a local diaper bank by entering your zip code.
- Attend local diaper drives held by Every Little Bottom partners such as the United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
- Learn how you can host your own diaper drive at EveryLittleBottom.com.