When you look at the circle of moms within your children’s school, your church, or neighborhood, you know they are all remarkable. But sometimes you don’t realize just how amazing they truly are.
Today we feature three women who have so much more going on in their lives than meets the eye, and they juggle it all with grace and kindness.
I am happy to introduce you to Lavania, Betsy, and Suzy …
Lavinia has an amazing story to tell. Through many trials and tribulations in her life, she never gave up hope for a better future. There is no possible way I could include all of her life’s details in this write-up, but will try my best to summarize in order to give you a glimpse of the remarkable strength of this woman.
When Lavinia was younger, she thought that marriage was going to fix her lack of income, lack of housing, just lack of everything. But instead, it birthed a child and a divorce. Lavinia knew she wanted and needed more. The Coast Guard called and she answered, by leaving her two-year-old with her mother. Soon after training, she was reunited with her daughter and lived in Boston. They had a wonderful life until the unthinkable happened and Lavinia was raped. She was now trying to handle divorce, single parenthood, military life and post-traumatic stress disorder.
As the years passed, Lavinia’s enlistment in the USCG gave her three children and an honorable discharge. She went in divorced once, and left out divorced twice. Her youngest daughter has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones. Lavinia ended her career to give her daughter adequate care. She now works part-time as a single mom. She spends much of her time raising awareness about OI and working to make her life fit somewhere in the spectrum of normal. She is currently organizing the OI ball which will take place on May 3, 2014 in Greensboro.
Through all of this, Lavinia has kept on pursuing bigger and better things for herself and for her children. She says, “No, we don’t have everything that others have and yes, there are days, like today, when all I want to do is cry. Then, I think about my life and how rich it’s been. I am there for the moments that make my children proud. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
If you know Betsy Brown then you know she is usually running 200 miles an hour as she juggles her marketing brand management job, her role as head buyer for the Bee’s Nest boutique within their Ace Hardware stores, running her household, tutoring children using her Orton Gillingham training to help kids with reading difficulties, volunteering for her three kids’ schools, garden clubs, local charities, and occasionally making a bit of time to go running or biking. However Betsy admits she thrives with a lot going on and gets restless when not being challenged to fit 20 extra things in her day.
Betsy and her husband Doug both earned their MBAs from WFU and worked for Hanes Brands for a number of years before stepping out of the corporate track to own and operate their own Ace hardware stores – They have a store in Greensboro in the Village at North Elm and Cloverdale Ace in Winston. Doug runs the day to day and Betsy is the creator and head buyer/merchandiser for the boutique within the stores called The Bee’s Nest.
Recently, Betsy took a consulting job in marketing helping launch a new brand in the apparel industry. As Betsy says, “Being able to utilize my marketing skills as a contractor allows me the flexibility to still be there for my kids after school every day. It is the best of both worlds.” She recently finished her Orton Gillingham training and is passionate about helping children with Dyslexia and other reading difficulties. “I essentially have three jobs right now … running the Bee’s Nest and helping Doug with our stores, working on the exciting new brand launch, and using Orton Gillingham to tutor, but above everything I am happiest when hanging out with Doug and our kids Bailey (13), Logan (10) & Keegan (7)!
As a single mom, Suzy knows the struggles and joys motherhood can really bring, and aspires to provide insights from her experiences to help other local moms through her freelance writing. In addition to writing for local magazines and blogs, she writes for Examiner with articles specifically for working moms. While Suzy’s passion is writing she also enjoys her career in marketing at The Hayes Group International, which is an organizational consulting firm.
Suzy is a native of Winston Salem and strives to give back to the community. She volunteers on the marketing committee of the Children’s Museum of Winston Salem. Recently, Suzy and her sister Sandy started their own marketing & public relations business on the side, Across the Horizons, and enjoy helping local organizations with their marketing efforts. This gained her a recent appointment as the VP of Public Relations on the Board of Directors for the Lewisville Clemmons Chamber. Suzy is looking forward to working with the Chamber and local businesses to help build the Clemmons & Lewisville communities.
While being a single parent is sometimes a struggle, Suzy enjoys every minute with her bright and enthusiastic seven year old daughter, Sarah. Her daughter has severe allergies so another passion of Suzy’s is spreading the word on this important issue. Suzy wanted to share this, “If I’ve learned anything as a mom it’s these three things: you can never tell your children you love them too much, don’t worry about the little things, and look to other moms for support – we are all in this together and can learn from one another!”
If you know an amazing mother, email Rachel@triadmomsonmain.com to nominate her as a MOM on the MOVE!