Introducing Debbie, a mother who never stops learning and a nominee in Saving Mothers’ “Mother of the Year” contest.
Tell us about her: My mom is spunky, smart and nurturing. She grew up in Iowa. Her dad was a farmer and she was the captain of the cheerleaders. She worked very hard in school and studied math for her undergraduate degree. In her twenties, she moved to California to start working in tech. She was one of the first female engineers in Silicon Valley! While me and my siblings were growing up, she worked part-time and volunteered doing website development and database management. After we all left for college, she went back on the job market and found an amazing job in a tech research lab at Stanford. I’m so proud of her because she’s so amazing and never stops learning!
What is your favorite memory of your mother? During college, I volunteered on a community service project in northern Southeast Asia. My mom decided to come meet me for a vacation there after the project ended. My favorite memory from the trip happened in Laos. We hiked through a beautiful jungle all day with a native guide. Some leeches climbed on us but luckily they didn’t latch on. We narrowly avoided stepping on a poisonous snake. We ended the hike at the top of a beautiful waterfall and then swam in the pools below. I felt so lucky to have such a fit, fun and fearless mother!
What is your favorite piece of advice? When I was single and complaining about going on bad dates, my mom told me, “You’re a ten, and sometimes it takes a while to find another ten.” She wanted me to know that even though I felt dejected I should keep valuing myself and keep looking for someone amazing who valued me as well.
Why do you think it’s important to save mothers from pregnancy-related complications? Having a mother (or a mother-equivalent) is the single most important thing that will ever happen to a child. Children’s brain development depends on their environments. Critical neural circuitry is being laid during those first three years. Knowing that there is someone who loves you unconditionally and can understand and fulfill your needs is crucial. Improving maternal health is a crucial piece of making the world a better place for everyone. Go Saving Mothers!
Why does your mother deserve to be Saving Mothers’ “Mother of the Year”? My mother deserves to be Mother of the Year because she always did what was best for her children, even if it wasn’t easy at the time. Despite our constant attempts to rebel, she taught me and my siblings to eat healthy, work hard in school, love nature, exercise regularly, and be kind to others. I hope that I can pass on half of these values to my own children.