A message to mothers this Mother's Day
Let’s be honest: motherhood is truly wonderful, but it can also mean that time, money, sleep, work and family are in constant battle. Holding on to your passions and creativity can do more than fulfill your future. It can serve as an example to your children of how to make an impact on the world.
Celebrate Mother’s Day with these three mothers who are doing just that. All have joined their individual pursuits with their efforts to leave a mark on their family and their community.
Kipra Anderson has taken a small kernel of inspiration and turned it into a nonprofit organization that is having a profound effect on families in the Upstate.
Anderson founded Let There Be Mom in 2007 when her own children were ages 4, 6 and 8.
“Let There Be Mom is a local nonprofit designed to preserve the legacies of local moms and dads who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses and who have at least one child under 18,” she said.
Let There Be Mom representatives meet with the parent and determine personal, tangible ways they can leave a legacy for their children. That might include a scrapbook, a recipe book, a thumbprint charm necklace, letters to be opened at future milestone dates, videos and more – typically 12 – 15 gifts per child.
“It provides the mom or dad the opportunity to show up throughout their child’s life, even if they lose their battle with their illness,” Anderson said.
Anderson was dusting a picture of her children when she felt divinely inspired to launch the project.
“I was overwhelmed with the feeling of what would they remember if something happened to me,” she said. “I could imagine myself in that spot.”
Anderson’s own children have been a part of the organization from the beginning.
“My children love Let There Be Mom and what I get to do,” she said. “They love talking to people we get to serve. It’s had an impact on them from the service standpoint. They all have a heart for service in their own way. I feel like all kids do.”
Anderson said she hopes opportunities such as school service requirements are impacting children in a way that will encourage service for a lifetime, no matter what their careers or life circumstances. After all, her inspiration came while cleaning the house.
“This generation wants to change the world and that’s a good thing,” she said. “They just need to know they can do that anywhere.”
Learn more about the work of Let There Be Mom and how to volunteer at https://lettherebemom.org.
Cynthia Robinson is a mom to four children ages 3 – 16 and is the Chief Communications Officer Spartanburg County School District Six. With a lot of late night computer time, she is also the author of her first book, “Surviving Motherhood: 50 Lessons from the Heart.” The book promotes authentic connection with other mothers in a way that is universal.
“My mom always made motherhood look so easy,” she said. “I had no idea how challenging it would be. When I started raising my children, I thought something was wrong with me. Because of the age range, I had gained a lot of experience from toddler age to high school age. I wanted to share that with other mothers so when they are having bad days, they know this is just a normal part of motherhood. Motherhood is wonderful. It’s rewarding. But it’s very challenging.”
Comparison to others, especially on social media, can make anyone feel inadequate.
“People are more willing to post the positive things going on in their lives,” Robinson said. “If you spent one day in their shoes, you would realize their lives are just like yours.”
Robinson credits her husband of 18 years, Roc, with being an encouraging partner in all aspects of her life.
“I really don’t know how I would do all that I do without him,” she said.
The idea for the book – as well as the time to write it – resulted from Robinson’s insomnia.
“I have difficulty sleeping sometimes because my mind tends to race at night,” she said. “I was just thinking about some of the challenges I was facing as a mom. It just came to me to share that with other mothers.”
Robinson picked up her phone and immediately typed the first two chapters in her notes app. The book covers those conversations that mothers often leave unsaid – not being a perfect parent, patience (or the lack thereof), the importance of self-care, surviving miscarriage and more.
“I think it was inspired,” she said. “As mothers, we have so many things in common. If we were willing to share those experiences and lift each other up, how empowering would that be?”
To order Robinson’s book, visit https://www.lessonsfromtheheart.net.
Adrianne Walker’s journey back to the Upstate by way of Tennessee and California came because she wanted her son, Xander, age 2, to grow up close to her family. But she is now feeding the Upstate well and giving other families time away from the kitchen to pursue their own dreams.
Walker’s company, Chef A'Bella, provides the services of a personal chef to professional athletes and the convenience of homemade meals to local families. Walker graduated from Woodmont High School before heading to college at Tennessee State. It was while she was at college that friends began to pay her to cook for them. Her plates soon had friends encouraging her to turn her talents into a career.
“I ended up going to culinary school in Los Angeles,” she said.
Walker worked as a sous chef in California and also did an externship at a senior living facility, where she learned to handle all sorts of dietary needs, a skill that comes in handy as a personal chef. When she was expecting her son, she decided to come back to the Upstate and begin Chef A'Bella.
“Every Monday and Thursday, I have clients that I meal prep for,” she said.
Some of those clients are trying to gain or lose weight, while others want to fit the quality of a homemade meal into a busy family schedule.
Walker also caters events of all sizes and serves as short-term chef to professional athletes during training or travel.
“I like cooking for everybody,” she said. “It keeps me on my toes with different types of food. One day I cater for 325 people and the next day I cook for two people.”
Walker’s services have become so popular that she was able to make Chef A'Bella her full-time career in late 2018. Her son is her inspiration. The pair often travels together, and Xander has developed a taste for all kinds of food, from crab to lamp chops.
Walker dreams of one day opening her own restaurant and seeing her Chef A'Bella meals available in stores. For her, it is about hard work and focusing her energy on food, family and concrete steps to achieve her goals.
“A lot of people write me on Instagram to say, ‘You inspire me. You’re a single mom,’” she said. “You really create the life you want to live. Everyone goes through things. I’m excited about the future.”
To learn more, visit http://iamabella.com or https://www.instagram.com/chef.abella.