Whether you became a mom in a hospital, at home, in your heart, in a courtroom or in a waiting room halfway around the world, your life was never the same again. We asked local mothers for their thoughts about how motherhood has changed them. Special thanks to Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas ( for connecting us with two of the families they serve.

This Mother’s Day is different, for sure, but our hope is that mothers are still celebrated and that families of all kinds find peace and joy together. 

As a mom, I now think about kids and parents so much more when forecasting weather and especially when tracking storms. I know how hard it can be to keep children calm during scary weather, so I’d say motherhood has helped me relate to that as a meteorologist. 

Motherhood has also “toughened me up” a bit. I don’t fret over the little things quite as much. A flat tire or juice spilled on the carpet is nothing compared to a sick child! 

I’m also more tolerant of chaos. A messy house and loud kids are simply the norm on some days.

Kendra Kent

Chief Meteorologist at FOX Carolina

Motherhood is one of the most beautiful things to have happened to me. It’s definitely not an easy job but one that has taught me so much. My boys always make me see things in new ways and remind me of what it is like to see the world with fresh eyes. They have influenced my artwork to the point that they have even made their way into some collaged pieces! My time with them is just flying by and part of the way I deal with that sad fact is by trying to capture those fleeting moments and make them last forever. Every day, even the hard ones, have changed me for the better.

Barbara Castañeda

Mixed media artist

As an empty nester, I have the vantage point of being able to look back and reflect on how my children have enriched my life in so many unexpected ways, while also savoring and looking forward to the continued joys of parenting adult children. As a mother my heart has “grown three sizes” and at this stage I’ve also gained an amazing daughter-in-law who has expanded it even further. What an added bonus of motherhood!

The blessing of being a mom has certainly made me laugh more, cry more and pray more. It has helped to deepen my faith as I recognized that there were many things regarding my children that I couldn’t control, leading to greater trust in the Lord – through much practice. 

Motherhood has inspired me to step up and strive to use my gifts as effectively as possible and to continue learning and growing, recognizing that our children learn so much by example, no matter their age – and that class is in session 24/7. I have also learned how to be a better encourager, cheerleader, comforter and motivator, essential traits that have enhanced my work life and other relationships, too. My patience has grown and so have my gray hairs!

Being a mom has made me a better partner to my husband, as working together on our two biggest “projects” has definitely required teamwork and strengthened our relationship. It has also opened my eyes wide to all the sacrifices my mom made for me and intensified my love and appreciation for her.  

Janice Baddley

Marketing/Communications Consultant

Motherhood has definitely made me a more patient person. By nature, I am always on the go, always trying to get it done, get it done! Children have taught me to slow down and to be very patient in order to help my children grow. I am still learning. In this COVID-19 world, that has only been accelerated.

Kathy Becker

Mom of sons Colt, 6, and Paxton, 8

Editor’s note: The Becker family was featured in Upstate Parent last September during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Just after his first birthday, Colt was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer most often found in children 2 years old or younger. 

For me, motherhood isn’t just about the sleepless nights, the changing of diapers, the washing dirty, little hands, the struggle to keep them healthy and cooking constantly to keep tummies fed. It’s about having a little person love on you even when you felt the day was a disaster. It’s about watching your once 100 percent dependent-on-you itty, bitty baby become their own little person. It’s about seeing them begin praying that Jesus would heal their boo-boos because they’ve seen you on your knees so many times before. 

Being a mother has made me realize that it’s not always me teaching them, because there are many times where I have learned from them – to love selflessly, to slow down, to be less serious, to remember where my focus should be. Motherhood is something I will always treasure.

Danielle Kalu

Mom of son, Amari, 5, and daughter, Michal, 2

Editor’s note: Amari has battled leukemia through two years of treatment. 

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