“I think of my mother every single day,” DeVore said. “I always go back and ask myself what she would have done in a situation, and it always works.”
American Mothers, Inc. is a New York-based nonprofit that has recognized and celebrated the art and labor of motherhood since 1950. The organization’s roots, however, stretch back to the Civil War, when mother Anna Reeves Jarvis sought to heal the damage done to families caught in the conflict by organizing a day of love and friendship across battle lines. Her efforts would lead to the first nationally recognized Mother’s Day, for which American Mothers is the official sponsor.
This year’s recipients are women who embody the spirit of love and positivity. Nelson, who raised five sons and five daughters, has also been a foster mother, published a book of poetry and served as a leader of multiple children and youth organizations. She believes that while children essentially want to be good, a mother must work to maintain the values she holds dear. Nelson recommends making dinnertime a daily ritual that unites the family and encourages new mothers to trust their own instinct.
“There will be too many voices when you begin,” Nelson said. “You must, after considering all you have learned, make your own decisions about what is best for your child. Study your child. Study your heart. The answers are there.”
HoChing is the mother of six sons and one daughter. She has been married for 17 years and has shared her cultural experience of living in American Samoa with her family. HoChing wears many different hats, supporting her children in school, scouts, sports, coaching, dance and music. She realizes that moms today have a special challenge to keep up with a fast-paced and ever-changing world, but believes going with the flow is the best way to stay positive and focused.
“Enjoy the journey,” she advises moms. “Take each day one day at a time and welcome each morning with a smile. There will be good days and there will be bad days, but when you learn to enjoy each day and what comes your way, your children will see that and will smile right back at you.”