It’s Mother’s Day weekend!
The sun is shining!
We’re baking loads of sweet treats!

AND we found our Top Mom!

Marlynn Schotland was nominated for our Top Mom award by her super sweet husband. We love that she’s a busy mom juggling a thriving business A N D she’s out there helping other moms everyday!

Here’s what her husband had to say about her:

My wife is everything a great mother should be: loving, kind, selfless,
patient, and more. Whenever one of the kids’ birthdays is coming up, she’s already been working for weeks planning out the theme with them, designing cards and giftbags, making up games. She volunteers for the school PSO and in the kids’ classrooms, and is always there to pick them up from school.
All that on top of a full-time job.
But it’s her willingness and enthusiasm to help others, especially other
mom’s, that is truly inspiring. A few years ago on Mothers Day, she
launched the networking organization Portland Mamas, Inc., to help bring mom business owners together and share with each other what they’d learned. Over the years, the group attracted more than 200 local members and held regular meetings, workshops and events to help draw attention to mom-owned businesses. This resulted in many long-lasting friendships and business relationships, and through it all, she never lost sight of what’s most important to her: her family. 

Clearly, I think she deserves to be TopMom, but I thought it may be
helpful to read some of her own words on the subject. Below is a blog post she wrote recently, about what she feels it takes to be a loving mother:

We moms are often the last to forgive ourselves, aren’t we? We are laden with guilt, heavy with “if only I had done this” and “I shouldn’t have said that.” We live in the no-win zone daily, and we reserve the harshest judgment for ourselves.

But if our kids forgive us so easily, so too should we.

Lately, I haven’t been feeling like the best mom in the world. I’ve been exhausted to the point of constant physical pain, which has made me cranky and impatient with my sweet children. I’ve been busier than busy, and definitely haven’t given my kids my full attention.

It’s funny, how kids will give exactly what they get. Impatience. Attitude. Crankiness. They are the reflective mirrors of our parenting triumphs… and our parenting missteps.

Today, I listened to my gut, and my kids. I turned off my phone. I closed my laptop. We talked, a lot. We played games. We joked around as we do best, and laughed. When I asked them questions, I looked them straight in the eye and waited patiently for an answer, and they delivered answers excitedly, talking non-stop. I sat with my son while he did his homework, answered his questions with a smile instead of impatient pleas for him to hurry up because it was bath time.

My kids were pretty amazing today. They were their normal happy, silly, giving selves, but they also listened and followed directions, they shared excitedly, they laughed heartily. I worked hard to give them my full, undivided attention (which is not the easiest thing in the world, whether you work or you don’t), and they gave me theirs.

It really is true: in parenting, as in life, you get what you give. 

The trick now, is to forgive myself when I am not giving at the level I think I should be. To allow myself to have those days where my patience is short, my attention span is divided, my ability to fake my enthusiasm for made-up Pokemon card games is non-existent. There is no perfection in parenting. It takes effort and love, and I have to remind myself that as long as I continue to try, as long as I do what I do and say what I say with love, and apologize for times I do not, it makes a difference. It all makes a difference.

So I write about the good days – days like today – to remember that with kids, there is always another chance to make things right. To give them my all, when I can, and know it’s okay if it’s not 100% of the time. At least now, while they are young (and not apt to run off to Paraguay just to spite me), I am still forgiven and, always, loved.

We need to be kinder to ourselves, fellow mamas. Hopefully our children will learn self-forgiveness and remember this important lesson when they are grown and in our shoes.

I say amen to that!
As a mother of a young kid myself, I understand these thoughts so deeply that I could have written these same words. Marlynn, you’re an inspiration! And our Top Mom!

As our Top Mom Marlynn will be receiving an extra special delivery of breakfast treats and sweets on Mother’s Day. We hope you stay in your slippers and robe all day Marlynn - you deserve a break (and a load of delicious goodies!)