DANIELLE POPE: We never stop needing her

It’s that hug before the tears come, the smell of her shoulder, the way her brow furrows when I know she’s really listening...

It’s that hug before the tears come, the smell of her shoulder, the sound of her laugh, the way her brow furrows when I know she’s really listening, the time she takes to write me love notes, the meals she spoils us with, the way she dances around the living room when she’s being silly, the way she purses her lips when she’s not — the fact that she’s still the woman I go running to every time life scrapes up my emotional elbows.

My mom is my hero, and as Mother’s Day rounds the corner, it’s as good a time as any to come clean about how proud I am of the incredible women I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life — as well as the incredible moms we are lucky enough to have in this city.

This week, I had the chance to get a little closer to five Victoria mothers who happen to be the masterminds of their own business models. Some had to quit their high-paying day jobs, others had to crawl their way out of depression, face rejection from friends or leap into unforeseeable risks, but all unleashed these long-lived dreams after having children.

There is a rumour I’ve heard amongst my peers that kids change your life. From burlesque queen Rosie Bitts to business icon Carolyne Taylor, the moms I spoke with agree: their kids have become the centre of their world. But while the lucky not-so-little ones have the primary attention of these incredible leaders, so does the community. As my mom always told me — especially when my little sister arrived — your heart just expands to fill the need. Our 2013 mothers have more on their to-do lists than ever before, along with all the distracting gizmos, online upkeep, working goals, business plans and of course the things that never change, like wet diapers and soggy teenage mascara.

So maybe it’s just due to that ever-expanding heart that thousands of people now attend Alice Bracegirdle’s Bellyfit® classes and Taylor’s yoUnlimited conferences, or that women around Victoria are learning to love their bodies with Bitt’s workshops and are exploring their sexual health questions through Michele Powell’s TellMia, or that moms like Jo-Ann Way make it look easy to follow artistic dreams by involving the whole family crew.

But mom doesn’t have to be a designer of great deeds to be the most impressive woman a child can know. For all the women who have read to their kids, tucked in the bed covers, stayed up way too late with that college-problem phone call, served a bowl of soup to cure a cold, kissed a skinned knee, took time for a hug, admired a school project, a crayon drawing, a published article — thank you. Thank you.

And to the moms who have done all that and have managed to take time for themselves to fulfill their dreams in front of their kids, your modeling is invaluable.

To the one woman in particular who I know will read this, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. M

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