Moms. They do it all. From working full-time, to keeping us focused and out of trouble, to teaching us some of life’s most important lessons, all while providing unconditional love…they somehow never seem to get the thanks or recognition they truly deserve.
To celebrate moms everywhere, we asked 4 moms about the challenges and wonders of motherhood. Our first featured mom, Sandra Milena, is a mother of 2 who grew up in Colombia.
Let’s start with one of the easier questions. What do you love most about being a mom?
“The best part of being a mom is the satisfaction I get from loving my kids and being loved by them in return. Seeing them accomplish milestones and develop their own personalities is very rewarding too.”
Watching kids become their own person really is amazing to see. What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a mother?
“I have learned to be more patient, understanding and open-minded. I can be a little O.C.D. when it comes keeping my house clean, so I’ve had to learn to chill out and know the house will not fall apart if it’s messy for a couple days.”
Patience is the key to being a mom! When you think back, who was a strong female role for you when you were growing up?
“My mother. She was a strong-willed woman and sometimes stubborn but she was the one who helped me become who I am today. I took the best from her and avoided some of the other things I didn’t want to be when I grew up. She has such a noble heart.”
A little bit of stubbornness and strength goes a long way when it comes to being a mom. What is one thing you’ve tried to teach your kids that was instilled in you by your own mother?
“My mom was a strong role model when it came to helping those in need. I’m big on helping when and where we can. I’ve taught my children that we can never ignore those in need. Growing up, I remember seeing my mom feed a whole family outside on our porch. It definitely touched me and taught me to be more humble. I’m teaching that same message to my kids through action.”
That’s an unforgettable but important lesson to instill from a young age. Having grown up in Colombia, how is being a mom different in the U.S. versus back home?
“Colombia was amazing in so many ways but there were parts you had to endure which weren’t so great—like the unsolicited attention of men, or getting robbed… there was a lot of violence back then to the point where you would become numb to the daily violence in the news.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom. I work full time so I don’t have the opportunity to cook or do a lot of the same activities she could. Cooking is something I don’t get to do beyond meal prep for my kids, thankfully, my husband helps with that.
…Not being able to speak to my kids in Spanish 100 percent of the time is challenging because my husband is American. I really don’t want them to forget mommy’s roots so I try to teach them Spanish. While they’re open to learning, it isn’t easy. Also, not having family support when needed like we did back in Colombia is difficult. My entire family was there so we would have more family gatherings. Here, it’s just us and my husband’s family.”
Do you think it’s harder to be a mom now, or when your mom was raising you?
“Our experiences are different and so are our surroundings, but at the end of the day we’ve both had to deal with crying children, messy children, sick children, sad children, happy children, school, and soon boyfriends, and teenage aches and pains.
I think every generation comes with its own challenges and we just adjust to them. Back in the day, there were no iPads and electronics, but we still had TV and things like Pac Man to distract us.”
That’s true. The pains and gains of motherhood at their core are still very similar from generation to generation. What’s one of your favorite memories as a mom?
“Seeing my kids smiles and hearing their laughs. It fills my heart to see them blossom.”
What about a memory you have of your mother?
“She loves to dance just like me…. she probably passed on the dance gene to me. I am lucky enough to be living her dream of being a dancer.”
Now, let’s imagine you could hop in a time machine and go back to any time in motherhood. Where would you go?
“Nowhere. I wouldn’t change a thing. Being a mom has been the most amazing journey of growth.”
If you could only say one thing to your mom, what would you say?
“I love you and thank you for loving me.”
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