Today we bring you a pair of moms we think are Chambana moms to know — and in honor of Mother’s Day, they also happen to be mother-daughter. Betsy Holder Bradley is a Champaign native who returned home after finishing college and law school in Vermont. An attorney who practices in the area of civil litigation with Phebus and Koester in Urbana, Bradley is an active community volunteer, including serving as the current president of Mother’s Morning Out, NFP. She and her husband, Ryan, are the parents of two beautiful little girls, 3-year-old Babette and 11-month-old Lilly. Betsy’s mother, Ginny Holder, has been married to husband Daniel for more than 30 years. In addition to Betsy, the couple also has two sons. Ginny is a Champaign native and University of Illinois graduate who also has a law degree, although she currently is one of the principals at a local wedding and event planning firm. Among the many organizations Holder has devoted her volunteer time are the Champaign County YMCA, Champaign Unit 4 Schools, and Junior League of Champaign-Urbana.
See why we think Betsy Holder Bradley and Ginny Holder are Chambana moms to know.
Q: How did your mom influence the way you parent?
Betsy: My mom was, and still is, very influential in her parenting. My mother is strong willed and goes to the beat of her own drum. One of the things that I try to emulate is parenting with confidence. As mothers, I think that it can be easy to second guess ourselves, look around, and wonder if we should be doing something differently, whether it is where we send our children to school, what extracurricular activities we enroll them in, or how we discipline. My mom parented with blinders on, to a degree. She has always done what she has thought is best for her children, even if her parenting style was not consistent with the norm.
Second, my mom has high expectations for her children…maybe not quite to the level of the “Tiger Mother.” This is something, I did not fully grasp until I was a mother myself, and something I probably resented as a child. I’d imagine she may have been viewed as an overbearing parent when I was growing up. However, in pushing her children to achieve their goals and reach their potential, she has opened doors of opportunity and experiences for her children that might not otherwise be available had she not pushed us and something that we were not able to recognize or appreciate until we were adults. While my children are still young, I have no doubt that I will have a similar parenting style in this regard.
Finally, my mom has influenced my parenting by the values she instilled in me growing up. Most notably, she inspired a strong appreciation of education, not just in the classroom but through experiences, and a desire to give back to the community through service. This is something that I hope to instill in my daughters both through exposure and through the example I set for them as a mother.
Q: What are your biggest challenges as a mother, and how are you addressing them?
Betsy: My biggest challenges as a mother, and I think this is true with all mothers, whether they choose to work outside or are stay at home moms, is juggling everything while keeping their sanity. There are times when my job can be very overwhelming and stressful as well. I have a wonderful network of caregivers for my children when I am working and an extremely supportive husband, who is always chipping in with the house work and carpools. He and I work at the same law firm, so if one of my children is sick and I have to stay home, he can cover a Court hearing or deposition for me at work. This allows for a lot of flexibility. My parents will also help out if I am in a bind.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do with your mom and why?
Betsy: My mom and I both love to entertain, from cooking, to setting a formal table, to putting together a centerpiece. It is a tradition that has gone down through the generations of women in our family and something that I hope to pass on to my daughters. I also very much enjoy Sunday dinners at my parents’ house, traveling, and shopping with my mom. Although, she does not have the patience for shopping that I do!
Q: What is it like to watch your own daughter become a mother?
Ginny: It is almost a surreal experience to witness your own daughter give birth to your grandchildren. She is still your child, and as such you become a mother lion re her safety and well-being. Your first priority in life will always be your own children. Your grandchildren are truly the bonus, but they are not your children and every grandparent should keep a healthy perspective, even micro-managing ones such as myself.
Q: You are a very active grandmother. What is the best thing about being a grandma?
Ginny: The best thing about being a grandparent is that you mostly experience the joy and the special bond of being a grandparent, and unlike with your own children, the daily maintenance and mess is left to your child who is now the parent. As a grandparent, I am at an entirely different stage in my life. My schedule and obligations no longer revolve around my children.
Q: You mothered in a different era. Is there anything current mothers enjoy that you wish you had when you were raising your kids, or anything that you wish was the same as at that time?
Ginny: I am most envious of the modern equipment and technology. From the nursery monitors, breast pumps, strollers, toys, and computers for Skype, picture uploading, and communication, this generation has an entirely upgraded scenario at their disposal. On the other hand, there is so much readily available information for new parents and ever changing medical studies, that sometimes I truly believe today’s parents lose sight of good old common sense. Our children survived without all of the luxuries and knowledge of today, and most are thriving. Common sense goes a long way, and it certainly is not terribly confusing.
Q: What does Mother’s Day mean to you now?
Betsy: Mother’s Day has taken on a new meaning since I became a mother. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs out there, but it is also one of the greatest blessings. I am thankful every day for my own mother and for the opportunity I now have to be a mother to my two wonderful daughters, no matter how many tantrums the 3-year-old may have in one day.
Ginny: Coming from a family which is (with all due respect to the husbands and fathers) matriarchal in nature, Mother’s Day is a time of reflection. I remember my mother and grandmother and their many accomplishments as scholars, visionaries, athletes, wives, and mothers. They set such a high standard for me that I doubt I will ever totally live up to their examples and their legacies. As a mother myself, I have always tried to lead by example and guide with love, class and a sense of reason. Being a grandmother allows me to see life as “full circle.” By its very nature being a Mother is imperfect, but all-forgiving. A Grandmother is a best friend, a shopping buddy, and the very person a little girl or boy can count on when their own Mom is not behaving properly!
Do you know of a Chambana mom we should profile? Contact us.