What does Mother’s Day mean to you? For some of you, that question might incite a huge “oh, no” moment and now you’re racing around trying to find the perfect gift for mom. For others, it means a celebration of being the mom to many or just to a few. Some women are moms without giving birth; others have given birth, but decided not to be a mom. Whatever the reason, most of us celebrate the second Sunday in May with someone special. But when did this holiday start and why?
Mother’s Day was not invented by Hallmark or the flower companies and it wasn’t a group of moms who decided that they needed to be appreciated so they decided to create a day for themselves. Believe it or not, Mother’s Day dates back to the annual Spring festival of the Greeks, dedicated to Rhea, mother of many deities. In the Christian faith, a day dedicated to Mary was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent and in England this celebration was taken a little further and was called Mothering Day to include all mothers. But an Appalachian woman, by the name of Anna Jarvis, created what we know as Mother’s Day more than 150 years ago. She organized the day to spread the word about unspeakable health conditions in her area. She thought that mothers would be the best to spread the word and called it “Mother’s Work Day.” In 1914, Mother’s Day was declared a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson.
Cincinnati is filled with moms who make a difference in our community everyday. Some of these mothers work full time while raising a family, others raise awareness for illness or disabilities. Still others take their time to help other moms find their inner strength and beauty. Listed below are seven moms who define motherhood in their own way. I am sure hoards of important moms are being left out of the list (if so, leave us a comment below.) But the best thing about being a mom is knowing that what you do everyday is appreciated even when the words aren’t spoken and people don’t seem thankful. I applaud every mom for being a mom.
Being a mom and a business owner is a daunting task. How does one spend time with their family and run a successful business? These women are shining stars in both their family and professional lives:
Susan Frankel, mom and owner of Fleet Feet. Susan and her husband, Jeremy, own the Fleet Feet Cincinnati store. Frankel can be seen around town supporting many charity events, such as the Rat Race, Tri for Joe, the Heart Mini Marathon and the Flying Pig 5k. Frankel is not only a business owner, she is most importantly a mom. Frankel juggles owning a business, training for a marathon, providing customer service that is second to none and being a mom, all the while helping others reach their running and walking goals. Also, did I mention that she has the best sports bra fitting staff in the world?
Patty Brisben, mom and owner of Pure Romance. Brisben has to be one of the most colorful moms in the area. Brisben’s initial interest in selling fun toys, had nothing to do with a desire to be sexy, but a need to succeed and support her children after a divorce. Brisben had the determination and the will to succeed and her hard work paid off as now, Pure Romance is known internationally. The sales people make a very nice profit selling the products and best of all, some of Brisben’s children work for her.
Mary Beth Knight, mom and owner of Revolution Fitness and president of StrollerFit® Inc. Everyday, Knight and her staff — (myself included) and franchisees locally and across the country — work endless hours to bring fitness to women from Maine to Hawaii. StrollerFit® itself is a workout-with-your-baby concept, but early into her career at StrollerFit®, Knight realized that moms needed fitness long after their children grew out of the stroller. Keeping this in mind, Knight created Restore the Core™, a mat-based pilates class designed to zap the low belly sag. Knight also has created videos using a weighted bar band combination called the musclebar™ that is patented to Knight. Healthy living for moms of all ages and setting examples for children all over the world are the desires and goals behind StrollerFit® and its franchisees. Something must be working since StrollerFit® weight loss success stories have recently been featured in magazines such as Shape, Women’s Health, First for Women and Fitness. Also, they will be featured in future issues of Fit Pregnancy and are currently in BabyTalk magazines.
Many moms turn to philanthropy to help them ease the pain of a loss of a child or the realization that their child has been born with a disability. The women listed below are just a few of the moms in Cincinnati who have taken something not so great and turned it into something wonderful:
Cammy Dierking, mom and anchor of Channel 12 news. Dierking is a stand out in community affairs. In her career she has sat on numerous boards including the SIDS Alliance. She at one time worked with the Hamilton County Foster System to do “Tuesday’s Child,” where she spent an afternoon with a child who needed a home. Dierking is involved with countless children’s charities and works tirelessly to help those in need. There is no doubt that Dierking has helped other moms achieve healthy lifestyles. She has been a speaker at the Speaking of Women’s Health event and she is also heavily associated with the local chapter of the American Heart Association.
Missy Meinhardt, mother of Sophie Meinhardt and one of the brains behind Sophie’s Angel Run. Missy Meinhardt lost her 18-month-old daughter Sophie to a rare brain tumor. Sophie wasn’t able to verbalize to her mom what was wrong or if she had a headache or any of the other telltale signs of brain cancer. Sophie was diagnosed with an ear infection. Missy and her family started Sophie’s Angel Run which raises funds for the brain tumor research at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital, as well as a scholarship fund in Sophie’s name at the school she would have attended, St. Jude. Missy’s love for her daughter has helped other parents face similar diagnoses. Hopefully, with the help from the money raised by the Meinhardts, no child will be lost to brain cancer in the future.
Jennifer Gerstle, mom, school teacher and board member for Tri for Joe, a multi sport athletic event benefiting the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC). Gerstle’s first born, Joe, seemed like a healthy baby at birth, but only hours after the joyous occasion did Gerstle and her family find out that her son had not only Down Syndrome but a multitude of heart defects. The DSAGC was and still is a tremendous help to the entire Gerstle family. That is why Tri for Joe was created to help pay back DSAGC and provide awareness about Down Syndrome. In the first two years of the event, Tri for Joe has raised more than $25,000 dollars for the DSAGC and hopes that this year’s event will set a record donation amount.
All moms should be considered heroes, but some are heroes to more than just their families. Some moms run into burning buildings to save lives and to help other families get out safely that is why I couldn’t forget Captain Robin Broxterman of the Colerain Fire Department when writing about important moms in Cincinnati. Robin’s job was to be a hero not only to her kids but also to the entire community. Robin’s dedication to her job saved countless lives. Robin is the definition of a hero.
This Mother’s Day, remember to give all the moms in your life a hug and tell them how much you respect what they do. Moms don’t ask for much, but a little recognition is always appreciated.