This Mother’s Day, Bloom is choosing to celebrate the love-ethic, patience, and multitasking abilities of the wondrous women who choose to be mothers and have so many different layers to who they are and what they are about as individuals. Bloom is celebrating motherhood and all of its complexities. We have spoken to mothers from various backgrounds to help better understand their take on this amazing and selfless commitment.
Tracey Skidmore, living in North Myrtle Beach, SC, is a mother and inspiration to her three daughters: Sophia (6), Grayson (13), and Carley (22 living in NYC). She teaches her daughters that above all, kindness is most important value and she is proudest of them when they do what they love with pride. Between teaching yoga, dance, musical theater, and philanthropy (not to mention the carpool), Tracey certainly wears a lot of hats. However, sometimes being an active member of your community and highly involved parent doesn’t always feel like “enough” Tracey goes on to explain.
“You always feel as though it’s never enough. Never enough time, never enough love, never good enough. Constantly second guessing decisions and just learning as you go. Being a different parent to each child and their uniqueness, but still remaining firm in values. You just have to go with your gut, lead with your heart, and hope it is the right decision. We are human and we fail too.”
This statement goes on to be an underlying theme among all of the mothers we interviewed. The pressure and expectations that sit on a mother’s shoulders are like no other. Between the competitive judgement from other moms to the common lack of appreciation from family members and society, mothers can be left feeling “never enough.”
Tracey has learned to combat these feelings along with those of being spread too thin across her responsibilities with breathing and meditation. “Being a mom, wife, yoga instructor and choreographer, I’ve learned how to say no, which is difficult for me. I make sure I get time for myself, even if it’s just for few minutes to breathe and meditate... balance is key.”
When someone else’s livelihood relies solely on you, its expected to strive for perfection. That being said, after 2 decades of practice, Tracey never claims nor dreams to be a perfect mother, but instead chooses to trust her gut and always try her absolute best; she encourages new and experienced moms to do the same. She states encouragingly, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and choose your battles. Each child is different and make sure to honor that in your parenting. Most of all, be forgiving, to others and yourself.” She continued to explain how motherhood has made her become a better person everyday. Knowing that her daughters are always watching makes her want to set an example of what a strong, compassionate woman should be. Tracey left us with her favorite moral in which she instills in her children...
“Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Before you say it, if it doesn’t pass all 3, then chew it up and swallow it!”
Isabelle M. Ferreira
Born In France to parents of Portuguese decent and then moving to the United States at the age of ten, Isabelle learned the power of language and education at a young age. Always eager to learn more, Isabelle completed numerous years of education including an Associates degree, a Bachelor’s degree in French and Portuguese, a Master’s degree in Language Education, and Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She is certified to teach K-8, French, Spanish, and English as a second language, as well as a certification in Supervisor/ Principal from the state of NJ, where she lives now. Looking back, Isabelle M feels as though education, language, exercise and travel were all very important aspects in raising her daughter, Isabelle A. Ferreria (28).
“I made sure my daughter was fluent in 2 languages. She quickly caught on to learning 2 more on her own. Library trips were frequent and playing outside was a requirement. I hoped to instill the love of reading and exercise. I did not consider traveling a form of spoiling, I felt it was necessary to travel in order to bring the book alive.”
With daughter Isabelle comes her boyfriend Brendan with whom she shares the joys of learning that her mother had instilled in her. Isabelle M. tells us how the three of them love reading and discussing life, family and of course the couple’s adorable miniature dachshund Bowie.“We all travel and discover the world and we are aware of our political environment and world events...we are all avid readers and firm believers in learning new things,” she tells us.
Isabelle M. found that her hardest struggle in raising her daughter, Isabelle A., was making sure that she followed the right track to be a productive member of society. Isabelle M. combatted her daughters rebellious tendencies by being even more difficult than she was. Though it’s easy to blame others for problems, Isabelle M. always taught her daughter to refuse this idea by focusing on exercise for any anxiety. Mother and Daughter continue to share this passion for exercise through biking and just recently completed the annual 5 boro bike tour in NYC.
One of Isabelle favorite memories from motherhood involves she and her daughter exercising together. “Once when I was riding my bike next to 27 year old Isabelle A. while she was running. I was reminded of the time that I was 27 years old and running while she rode her bike next to me at 6 years old. This marked me in a couple of ways. The idea of time switching roles, and having taught her to exercise and the importance of keeping yourself healthy.”
Where Isabelle M. claims that she is not the most nurturing person in the world, she always strives to do the right thing. As a teacher by profession, her goal has always been to inspire young children as well as the less financially and emotionally fortunate in the community and beyond. She feels as though having an adult child does not let her off the hook when it comes to doing the right thing. “Striving to be your best can be in your professional life, family, and community. Being considerate of others is always a plus,” she explains. Isabelle M. believes that her daughter’s habit of striving for perfection and success could be a mix of good and bad. In the end, she hopes that her daughter is happy with her choices because as her mother, Isabelle M. surely is.
Like Tracey, Isabelle M. also finds that balance between her career, motherhood, and personal life imperative. She finds this possible by playing it day to day.
“Time goes by so fast, so enjoy whatever it is you are aiming for and make time for the little things...Each day will be different, making decisions difficult but necessary, even if everyone isn’t happy about it.”
Isabelle is most inspired my HER mother who is now 77 and still so physically strong and hardworking. After helping to raise her siblings and immigrating from Portugal to France to the United States, her mother always taught her 3 children that responsibility and duty go hand-in-hand. Isabelle M. states admiringly, “My mother is a phenomenal woman.”
Kimberly Perrone, owner of Bloom, lives in Hudson Valley, New York and has a professional background in fashion, art, English, and history. She also lives for music, design, reading, and photography, all of which shine through the Bloom brand and retail store. She strives for excellence within her company, craft, and the people around her. Kimberly is a mother to 2, Maximillian (14) and Ava (12).
As one can imagine, living upstate and commuting to her store in NYC can be quite the commitment. “I commute 4 hours each day. We live in a beautiful place and I prefer to leave work and be in that part of the world with my family each evening. However, it does present challenges” she states.
There is a feeling that entering motherhood can at times feel like a rebirth. Kimberly elaborated...
“Being a mother totally changes you. Your priorities in life are different. You become wiser, more patient, and certainly recognize what is of the greatest importance and what is not. Your instincts are sharper and empathy sinks deeper. You must become more selfless to gain a greater understanding of yourself and what it means to be truly human.”
She went on to explain how becoming a new mother causes you to give up the “old you” physically, mentally, and spiritually. Although she often felt the need to be the perfect mother, she found comfort in the fact that there is really no perfection; the illusion of perfection has been learned as an as an ideal standard that doesn’t really exist. “When you accept that, you understand that all you can do is your best and give all the love support, and guidance that you can muster, then you can be at peace with all the dichotomies that confront and ensnare you. It is sometimes not easy but neither is reality.”
Kimberly never focuses on one single proud moment with her children, but instead praises their growth and appreciates the moments that surprise her with their next incredible action. She feels that motherhood has helped her better understand her humanity through her children. Much like Isabelle M., Kimberly also pauses to take into account the key-role that time has in the childhood vs motherhood dynamic. “You have the memories of your childhood from a child’s eye and then suddenly you are a parent with a whole new perspective...It tests you in every way but also connects you to the deepest parts of yourself.”
When guiding her children with her core values, Kimberly always tells them to listen and trust their inner voice because that will steer them to make the right decisions. Regardless of all the noise and distractions in the world, she continues to teach them that the best decisions are made with their gut, mind, and heart.
This year, take a moment to truly consider the amazing gift which each incredible mother has bestowed upon on us.
Bloom appreciates, honors, and celebrates all mothers from all walks of life.