We all would probably agree that the opportunity to be a mother is a tremendous privilege and honor. Yet, being totally honest, it is also a journey that often challenges and depletes inner-most reserves we take for granted. The greatest angst I felt as a mother while raising my two sons over the years resulted in times of isolation and self-doubt, believing my experience was unique to me. The occasions when they made poor choices or explored avenues contrary to what my husband and I deemed acceptable, led me to create a cocoon for myself, shielding me and my children from shame, embarrassment, and humiliation from others’ judgments. Consequently, it also left me without support, compassion, kind-heartedness and inspiration from wise women who also endured similar experiences with their offspring. Living in my self-imposed isolation were the darkest years of my life. It was then I made a commitment to myself to do whatever I could to ensure things were different for other moms experiencing similar difficulties and similar loneliness.
After years of contemplating ideas for how best to achieve my idyllic goal of bringing moms together, MomsMentorMoms was created. My plan was to sponsor safe gathering events where mothers of all ages could meet to share and unburden their hearts without fear of judgment, against them or their children. The wisdom and guidance would arise from others who shared their stories of similar experiences but eventually endured and overcame. Recently, I ran across a concept that depicts my vision so perfectly. It’s called holding space. It is explained as accompanying someone during an extraordinary life experience and providing the companionship and unconditional support she needs without judgment or condescension. MMM’s mission is to provide events for moms to gather and simply hold space for each other. It is my strongest hope that through friendship and camaraderie, we will generate a shared energy that preserves who we are as individuals while undertaking this extraordinary mom experience. I encourage you to join us!
KATHY CRAWLEY SMITH
Kathy is the founder and visionary for MomsMentorMoms, bolstered by a team of remarkable women who serve as advisers. She is a native Californian and has been married to her husband, Ed, since 1979 when they married after their sophomore year in college at Santa Clara University. They are the parents of two adult sons, both married to extraordinary women, and the grandparents of a beloved grandson with another expected in July 2018. After several years of volunteering in various organizations as a stay-at-home mom, she began a professional career in public policy and is recently retired. She has returned to real estate working with her family real estate business in Sacramento, ECS Realty, as a real estate consultant. A percentage of the business revenue is dedicated toward MMM and expanding its vision and mission. Kathy is committed to using MMM as a resource that provides opportunities for moms to interact and receive support and encouragement from each other on this phenomenal and extraordinary journey they share.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE TEAM
I have been a legislative and policy advisor on the state and federal level for over 20 years, and a working mom for almost 9 years. I have a son and a daughter, both of whom are active, engaging, and keep me on my toes. As with every other mom, I find myself torn on a daily basis between my professional life and my desire to be all things to everyone in my life. Trying to find the right balance is my goal, and MMM is a resource that really helps.
FLORENCE BERNAL RAMIREZ
I have been a working mother for nearly 14 years, with four children ages 4, 8, 11 and 13. I also assist in caring for my elderly parents. Often, I joke that I am a single mother as my husband commutes from Sacramento to work in the Bay Area every day. I am currently employed as a Chief Consultant of Health, Human Services and Natural Resources for a statewide constitutional officer and have been a legislative staffer for 17 years. MomsMentorMoms is truly an exciting new endeavor. I look forward to sharing the experiences of other "sisters" who are navigating their way through the complexities of motherhood, a difficult and rewarding journey that I would not trade for anything.
Women in recent decades have faced tremendous pressure to be the “best” in every role they assume, which has left them feeling depleted, resentful and unhappy. After graduating from college, and like most women in my generation, my goal was to be successful in my career. I had the opportunity to work in prestigious organizations and study at some of the best universities. When I became a mother to two beautiful children, I realized that my desire to be the best at work was hindering me from being the best at home. This not only led me to re-evaluate the way that I look at life and career, but also who I am as a person. I ended up quitting my job and focusing on creating new beliefs and habits around career and parenting that value being fully present and engaged in anything I do more than being the best or being perfect. As a life coach and advisory committee member for MMM, my desire is to help mothers realize that being the “best” model possible to their children is not about holding the best jobs or earning degrees from the best schools, but more about being fully present and engaged, as well as embracing being imperfect.
I am a professional woman who is blessed with three sons, two of which are twins. My husband, Bobby, and I have a very busy life navigating a hectic schedule filled with school and sports activities, and finding time for family.
I am a 74-year old mother of two, grandmother of five, and great grandmother of three. I have spent my life appreciating, nurturing, and empowering my younger siblings, my offspring, my students, and a host of young people. These attempts have provided the most delightful, terrifying and rewarding experiences on my own personal journey. Bon Voyage!
I have worked in higher education for over 35 years with a passion for learning, which has included mentoring many others in pursuit of their life dreams. My husband, Michael, and I have a 29 year old son who has challenged us to value non-traditional thinking and question many of our society’s pressures and expectations. I’ve learned that I am most at peace when all is right with these two men in my life. My engagement with MomsMentorMoms is all about finding and giving comfort, strength and hope to each other as we travel on this journey of motherhood.