I could not be more excited and proud to announce the winners of my first annual Mom Warrior Awards. To say that I am in awe of these three women would be an understatement. These truly momspiring ladies bring new meaning to the word “momista,” and make me proud to be a mother among them.

But before we get started, I wanted to give a little recognition to everyone else who was nominated and all of the other mothers out there, too. Narrowing down almost 100 submissions to three winners was no easy task. A mom is by definition a warrior. Like I said before, mamas everywhere are juggling midnight feedings and potty training with marriages, careers, personal challenges, and more—and doing it with finesse. And to anyone who still doesn’t believe a mom is a warrior… YOU try carrying another person inside of you for nine months! Ha ha

So, without further ado, here are my 2013 Mom Warriors…

Mom Warrior: Natalie
Nominated by: Her friend, Dawnie

I would love to nominate my friend Natalie for your Mom Warrior Awards. My friend lost her first baby at full term in 2005. She went though genetic counseling to find out what happened and what was wrong. She found out that she has a blood clotting disorder that might have caused her first baby to pass away. Natalie and her husband decided to try again, and during her second pregnancy she had to give herself blood thinner shots daily. Her second pregnancy was going perfect till her 20-week ultrasound where they found that her second baby girl had a no viable tumor, so they induced labor at 21 weeks. She did get to spend a few short moments with her second child before she passed away. Still very strong and determined to be a mommy warrior, Natalie chose to adopt from Ethiopia. She adopted a little girl and was able to get her eight months after seeing her picture for the first time. I don’t how she does it, but she is the most amazing, strong, and beautiful person I know. I don’t know how she made it through everything that happened, but I am very proud to know her and love her. I even named my second daughter Natalie. I know there are many deserving mom out there and it is going to be very hard to choose. 

Mom Warrior: Deanna
Nominated by: Her husband, Steve

I think it’s important to note that not many men have nominated someone, so I want you to see why my wife, Deanna, is one of the 2013 Mom Warriors! I call her story, “Turning Lemons into a Vodka Tonic with a Lemon Spritz!”

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and consequently lost my job after being the sole income provider for my wife and two children. My climb up the administrative ladder in education had ended, and my wife had decided six years prior to stay at home and leave her job as a teacher to raise our children, now ages 9 and 7. So we were at a loss as to what to do… or so I thought.

My wife had a rare opportunity to attend a conference with a girlfriend of hers that she had not seen in years. After the 3 days away, my wife returned with a desire and passion in her eyes I had not seen in years. She was not going to let life give her lemons, but instead was ready to turn them into a vodka tonic with a lemon spritz!

She wanted to find a way to support our family at a time when getting a job in education and back in the classroom was a challenge. She also wanted to continue being the available mom to our to kids and see them grow. She took these two passions and decided to start a business. What about using her classroom skills and desire to be with our children in the same capacity? How could this be done? She then created Heart for Education, an afterschool enrichment program for kids.

While I continued to seek treatment and often times not be able to even get out of bed for days on end, Deanna was busy building something that she knew parents would come to. She created a class called Kinder Catchers for kindergarteners who got out of school earlier than the rest of the students. She would work with the teachers to see what instruction was being given and extend that instruction until the rest of the school was dismissed. This was extremely beneficial for this parents who had children in multiple grade levels! But she didn’t stop there.

My wife soon realized that there were few if any programs run after school by credentialed teachers with an administrative credential as well. Moreover, she concluded that parents could also benefit from additional supervision for their children if parents needed to work later. She then created Homework Helpers providing supervised homework assistance in a small group instructional setting. You would think that she stopped there, but she was just getting started. Deanna began to offer teacher training and staff development to schools, and also provided a summer school program for the entire school district.

After three years, my wife now is organizing teacher training in two school districts, has conducted workshops for teachers throughout the state, and is opening her third afterschool program site this fall! Additionally, she was offered a job to work at another school and coordinate teachers programs, and she took it!

My wife Deanna does all of this while continuing to be at our children’s school, since that is where the initial program began. She still continues to run a smooth house while being an excellent wife and mom. While some men may take this as a shot to the ego when roles are reversed and the spouse provides for him, as I initially did, I see her as my blessing. She has allowed me to focus on my health and recovery while running everything and more!

Please reward my wife Deanna with the recognition of a Mom Warrior, superhero without a cape. If I had just described you, wouldn’t you want to be recognized? I thought so. Thank you for reading and considering!

Mom Warrior: Patricia
Nominated by: Her daughter, Melody Marlay

My mother was not the typical mom. Mother worked a 40-hour a week job, worked on our farm, and took care of our family of five as well. I would see her get up at 2:30 a.m. and begin her day with planning meals and setting out breakfast for my two brothers, my dad and me. As the rest of the family lay nestled in their beds, she would get up, go out, feed and water the cattle and hogs, and then come back inside to get herself ready for work. She did all of this with no more than four hours of sleep a night and never complained.

Mother worked at a factory job on an assembly line. Then she would come home, make dinner, milk the cows, and kept a very clean house. She took pride in her job as a mother and never let the laborious chores or her job get in the way of making our house a very loving home. She also made all of my clothes by hand.

I respect and love my mother more than words can express. Her undying love and devotion, which she taught by example, has stayed with every one of her children. Some women say that they cannot have it all, but I know that my mom had it all and was everything to everyone and still is. She deserves to be honored for all that she is and has been to everyone. My sweet Mother’s name is Patricia.

Congratulations, Natalie, Deanna, and Patricia! You three will be receiving a Mother’s Day gift basket filled with goodies from my store invenTORI.

Did you find these three stories momspiring?

Leave your congratulations for these mamas in the comments below.



Photo: Anonymous Art of Revolution

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