Mom Power!

8 May

This Mother’s Day, instead of sending a card, I thought I’d share a little bit about how my mom has empowered and inspired not just her three daughters, but so many others…

I was brought up in my parents’ martial arts studio from the time I was born. My mom was proctoring black belt tests while she was pregnant with me. You know how little kids don’t realize right away that their moms have another name besides mom? Well, it took me even longer because all I ever heard anyone call my mom was ma’am. “Yes, ma’am!” “No, ma’am!” They didn’t want to have to do extra push ups! Basically, I had the coolest mom ever. When I was three, I told the neighbor boys (whose dad was a cop) that my mom could totally take their dad in a fight. As an adult, I now realize that, although true, that probably wasn’t a very nice thing to say … but I was just SO proud of her! Even at three years old, I recognized that it was something special to see a woman with a black belt– let alone running her own school!

Growing up studying martial arts, especially as a girl in a school with female leadership, I developed a strong foundation of self confidence that carried me though to adulthood unscathed by bullying and poor body image, cattiness and cliques. I owe it not just to my training, but to my teacher: Master Mary Murphy Edwards, 7th degree black belt.

This is my mom. Wouldn't you be inspired?

Once at Take Your Daughter to Work Day, my mom took me out of high school to the UW-Madison campus to watch her do a self defense demonstration at a Sex Out Loud event. I was used to seeing my mom teaching martial arts and throwing people around, but I wasn’t used to hearing college kids say in awe: “Wow, that lady kicks ass!”

My mother always told me, “It’s not the size of your muscles, it’s the size of your backbone that counts.”

When I was a teenager and started disagreeing with my parents, my mom stood up for me and said,

“I don’t want my daughters to back down to people just because they are older than them.”

Then there are the basic life skills– a different kind of empowerment. I complained bitterly growing up because my mom made me do chores. Now I know how to clothe, feed and clean up after myself and do household repairs and when I see other adults who don’t I think, “Wow. Thanks, Mom.”

In 2007 my mom moved to Texas, leaving me to run her martial arts school (can you say, “big shoes”?!). I still receive e-mails from students who studied under her years ago and want to get back in touch. And I still call my mom first when I need advice… about anything.

I guess what I’m saying is, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Mom power!

Happy Mother's Day!

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