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Celebrating the two mothers in my life

I have lived with two amazing mothers.

For my first 19 years, I had the privilege of living with my own incredible mom. For the past 19 years, I’ve enjoyed watching my wife be an outstanding mom to our two children.

These two women couldn’t be more different.

by: FILE PHOTO  - Dave HuntMy mom lost her mother to leukemia at age seven and was raised by her single dad. Mom left college to work while my dad attended seminary — and then left her job to be a full-time stay-at-home parent for my brother and me. She only went back to college and then the workforce after we left for college. My mother can rarely sit still and is one of the most frugal people I know.

By contrast, my wife has had a mother her entire life. She finished college and then graduate school and joined the workforce. My wife did cut back her work hours when our children were very young, but she has always been employed outside our home. My wife relishes a nap and is not one of the most frugal people I know.

At the same time, my mother and my children’s mother are amazingly similar.

They have both devoted their lives to caring for others as wives, mothers and professionals (a social worker and nonprofit leader, respectively). They’ve sacrificed career advancement and compensation in order to provide caring homes for their children. They’ve shuttled thousands of miles and kept their kids in church, in school, and (mostly) out of trouble. They both consistently think about the needs of their kids before their own needs. My mom and my wife both love and support their children unconditionally.

Despite the fact that their husbands’ careers have often overshadowed their own work, both of these mothers have transcended traditional behind-the-scenes roles and demonstrated significant leadership success. For example, my mother founded and presided over a League of Women Voters’ chapter in Utah in the 1970s. My wife raised millions of dollars to build the new child abuse-assessment center in Clackamas County.

In a world where “balance” is so difficult, the two mothers in my life have done an incredible job achieving success both at home and at work. They’ve not only made life better for their own kids, but for so many other children in their communities.

Too often we hear about mothers abusing, neglecting, or abandoning their kids. Perhaps we should spend less time talking about mothering by Kris Kardashian Jenner, Courtney Love and Britney Spears — and more time celebrating the thousands of moms in our lives and communities who love, support, and protect their children every day of every year.

On Mother’s Day, I’m going to tell the two incredible mothers in my life how much I recognize their accomplishments and appreciate their success. How about the mothers in your life?

Dave Hunt is a former Oregon House Speaker and current Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition executive director. His mother. Karin Hunt. has two children, four grandchildren and lives in Seattle. His wife, Tonia Hunt, has two children, is Children First for Oregon executive director and lives in Gladstone.



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