A Salute to Model Moms - Real and Imagined

Some of these mothers we learned from through personal experience, some others in books and television.


With Mother's Day this Sunday, I thought it fitting to give a shout out to a few of the moms that I admire. While I certainly hope that someday I make an “All Time Greatest Moms” list, right now I’ll settle for “I think her kids occasionally eat a vegetable.” Always a good idea to keep that bar within reach, I say.

Old Mother Hubbard – I mean come on, she lived in a SHOE. She had a more kids than she could count but still managed to feed them, get them to sleep and hopefully enjoy a well-earned glass of wine every so often. While I may not agree with her method of discipline (do we really think that she “whipped” those kids?), something tells me that when one lives with so many children in such tight quarters, one must lay down the law so as to maintain order. And hey, the first mom to embrace shoes in a big way makes her a mom for the ages.

Claire Huxtable - One of the first role models for working moms, she managed to balance a family, career, happy marriage and a great ‘80’s wardrobe to boot. She was funny and well respected by her children and peers, and that’s something that all professional moms strive for. And no matter how great the parenting challenge she faced, she was always able to resolve matters within 30 minutes. Hats off, Mrs. Huxtable.

My friend Kara – One of the best stay-at-home Moms I’ve ever known, she has three kids (ages 2-6), one more due next month and a smile that never seems to fade. EVER. I constantly ask her how it’s possible to get one child off to kindergarten, alternate pushing the younger two on swings with pulling weeds from her perfectly manicured yard (which she does without the help of any professional) and eventually serving her entire family a healthy meal complete with fresh fruit. She balances personal happiness with great parenting and runs her household in a way that would make any great CEO envious. She swears that she does, every so often, lose her temper… but I don’t buy it.

Erma Bombeck – Perhaps one of my all-time favorites not only because she was one of the first “Tireless Moms” to admit that raising kids was not all smiles and Betty Crocker cupcakes, but through her hilarious “At Wit’s End” column showed millions of women just like her that they weren’t alone. In addition to being published regularly in over 900 newspapers, authoring 13 books and writing classic lines like “Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids,” she also raised three wonderful children. Not too shabby for a 1950’s homemaker from Ohio.

Carolyn Meek and Jeanne Shumway – Think I’m sucking up to my own Mom and mother-in-law this week by including them both? A little, perhaps, but they deserve to make my list nonetheless. These two ladies have taught me what it means to be a mom: it’s never-ending, no matter how old your children get. It’s easy to understand the need to protect your kids when they are young, but I watch these two ladies love their babies – both parents themselves now – with a fierceness that has never faded. A really great mom is there for her kids whether she’s changing their diaper, preparing them for SATs or holding their hand as they become parents themselves. I’m lucky to have been able to learn from two of the best.

So from this Mom to all of my sisters out there, I wish you a Mother's Day filled with love, laughter, and if you’re lucky, a nap. You deserve it.

Who showed you how to be a good mother or father? Tell us in the comments section.


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