Our celebration of moms continues with Eugenia Valenzuela, a mother of three. Originally from Mexico, Eugenia shared why being a mom has changed her approach to life, keeps her motivated, and how the simplest gifts from her kids mean the world to her.
Since Mother’s Day is almost here, let’s start by focusing on your mom. What’s one of your favorite memories about her from your childhood?
“My favorite memory growing up was every Friday, my parents would take us to eat McDonalds at the park and then we go to the drive-in movies in my dad’s station wagon.
I’ll also never forget my mom hand making dresses for me and my sisters. It would take her about 2 weeks to sew but she would dress us alike, in the exact same patterns. I specifically remember loving to wear this black and white polka dot dress she made.”
It’s always so adorable to see siblings in identical outfits and I’m sure as girls you loved matching too. Are you still close with your sisters?
“Yes, we’re very close to each other. Now, we talk about the importance of creating the same happy memories with our own kids, just like our parents did with us.”
Raising three girls, while incredibly rewarding, was also probably a handful for your mom but I’m sure you can relate as a mother of three. What’s one of the most important things you feel you’ve learned as a mom?
“I’ve learned that what I do and say will make a difference not only in their lives, but in the lives of others. And that family values start at home.”
Is there anything you were you taught by your mom that you’ve tried to instill in your kids?
“My mom raised a family of six, making ends meet only with my dad’s income. But despite it all, we had a really happy childhood. She taught us all to believe in ourselves—that supportive ‘you can do it’ belief is something that’s stuck with me.”
That “can do” attitude is crucial to have from a young age, as it helps set children up for success. Especially when they feel loved and supported, no matter what. Do you think it’s easier to be a mom now, versus when your mom was raising you and your sisters?
“Times have changed. We now face many more challenges in society versus when I was growing up. Technology has taken over and children have access to a lot of information, especially in terms of what’s going on in the world.
I think one of the biggest challenges is keeping them safe and helping them understand that, no matter who we are or where we come from, we’re all equal.”
Teaching them that we’re all equal, regardless of where we come from or who we are is such a great life lesson. Speaking of great, what’s your favorite gift your kids have ever given you?
“I love the handmade crafts from school that were made specifically for me. My son’s daily journal during third grade is one of my favorites. He was having a very hard time missing me while he was away at school. So, I placed a photo of myself in his backpack and told him he could look at my picture whenever he felt like he was missing me the most.
To my surprise, at the end of the schoolyear, he brought his journal book home and every single day, he wrote “I miss my mom”, along with a different story about me.”
What a sweetheart. When you look at your children side-by-side, how are they the same? And how are they different?
“Well to start, they all know I will react to any situation and know exactly what to say. They know me well. What’s funny about them is they all miss each other when they’re not together, so that’s another way they’re similar. My two boys are so different in how they see any situation. My oldest, Joseluis, is always serious and worries about everything, just like I do. Sebastian, on the other hand, will joke around and always find the funniest solution to any problem. My daughter Camila is very shy, compared to both my boys.”
What’s one of your favorite memories so far as a mom?
“Just the joy of giving birth to each of my kids, and knowing they were born healthy. Also, all their firsts. Their first words, their first step, even their first smile. As a mom, I get to provide unconditional love. It’s the only motivation I need to start my day.”
What’s the hardest part about being a mom?
“Knowing sooner or later, my kids will be on their own. I hope I did my best in preparing them for any of the challenges they might face in life.”
Looking back, do you wish you might have done some things differently?
Not at all. To this day, I continue my motherhood journey and I know that as my kids get older, I will have to change the way I approach whatever situation arises. What I will never change is the amount of the times I say ‘I love you’ to them every single day.”
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