Monday, October 10, 2011
Today’s mother is a wonderful combination of smart, savvy and sweet – everything a Southern woman is made of. Meet this week’s mom of honor, Connell Branan from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I have had the distinct privilege of getting to know Connell the past couple of years and I stand in awe of everything she contributes to her community and our nation.
Connell and her husband, Cliff, have two children, Ford, age 15, and Langley, age 12. Connell is tireless in her contributions outside her home, but her first priority and mission field is always her home. She is a dedicated supporter and worker alongside her husband, who is a State Senator, and she is the President leading a national organization for mothers.
I asked Connell to share more about what she does, as well as the normal Monday questions. I love seeing such different, but equally wise and enlightening answers from the different mothers each week. Connell is no exception.
What do you wish someone had told you before you had children? I would have loved for someone to have told me that my entire life was about to change. Sure, I had heard those words countless times while I was pregnant, along with all of the usual bits and pieces of advice from veteran parents and grand-parents. In fact, I can vividly recall being asked over and over again, “Are you ready?” However, I’m not sure I really knew what that meant, nor did I truly understand the magnitude of what was about to happen. I’m not sure anyone really can. Parenting is such a selfless act of unconditional love. It changes your entire perspective and the lens through which you look at the world.
What drives you crazy? Too many cooks in the kitchen! One of my biggest dilemmas as a wife and mother has been accommodating the different culinary preferences of my husband and two children. I have pretty much refused to cook four separate meals every night, so ensuring that everyone has been adequately fed has been one of my greatest challenges. And, I can always tell when they haven’t, as too many cooks end up in the kitchen!
What are you most passionate about concerning being a mother? I hope that my children, and all children for that matter, know that they are precious gifts from God and that they are loved by Him unconditionally. As parents, my husband and I try to instill this in our children and to show them our great love for God and for them. It would be my sincerest hope that ALL children can know this unconditional love. I think if they did, it might solve many of the worlds problems.
How do you feel about your role as a mother? If you had told me 20 years ago that I would love being a mother, I would have laughed out loud. Today, I am laughing, but only because I am loving every minute of it! I am so incredibly humbled for the opportunity to be a mom. Truly, one of life’s greatest blessings.
What is the one thing you would tell a new mother? Sleep now and sleep often, because you will never sleep the same again! I would add that you must take care of yourself. Take care of your mind, your body and your spirit. Being a mom requires all that you’ve got; so why not give it your best?
Many people wish they could instigate change around them, but just never get started doing it. Not only has Connell dedicated her life to making a difference in our world, she is teaching her children this same value to give to their community and serve those around them. Her service is not only making a positive impact on this generation, but she is creating a legacy that will continue to make an impact.
Being a mother is often times a thankless job, and seldom is it a glamorous one with wiping noses and bottoms, trying to overcome the mountains of laundry and toys, and playing chauffeur each day. Connell seeks out these mothers that are deep in the trenches and honors and recognizes their achievements that are so often overlooked. She advocates for mothers, children and families without ceasing, and I know she inspires me that there is always something I can do for others.
To a woman who seeks to recognize and honor others, I appreciate you Connell, for letting us honor you today. You are a wonderful example for all those who know you. I love your perfect Southern blend combined with a warm smile that makes everyone who meets you feel like an instant friend. Thank you, Connell, for all you are doing that will impact my own children and grandchildren. You definitely have my vote.
(If you would like to learn more about Connell’s journey you can follow her blog at http://www.thesenatorswife.net. If you have an outstanding mother in your life you would like to nominate to be honored with American Mothers, Inc. you can visit their website at http://www.americanmothers.org for more information.)