“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colours of a rainbow.” - Maya Angelou
“Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism.” - Gilda Radner
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” - Sophia Loren
“My mother’s love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, her intelligence reflected in my daughters.” - Michelle Obama
Today is Mother’s Day! To all the incredible mums and guardians out there - thank you for your incredible courage, kindness, love and leadership. It’s time to celebrate and honour mothers and maternal figures for all they do for us. However, we should remember to appreciate and value mothers and the important women in our lives every day. What defines a mother for you? Is she courageous? Is she kind to everyone around her? Is she loving and caring? Does she protect her family no matter what?
Mother’s Day has long been a part of our calendar, but what is the history behind it? Mother’s Day was first started in the United States by Anna Jarvis who started a campaign for an official holiday honouring mothers in 1905, the year her own mother died, which would lead to Mother’s Day being declared as a national holiday. She was a peace activist who attended to wounded soldiers during the American Civil War.
Mothers are some of the most courageous people we know. The unconditional love and pride they have for their children and the way they shape and define their families is incomparable. Whether it’s your mother, grandmother, a favourite aunt, teacher, or friend, the women in our lives shape and define us in ways both large and small. Mothers pass on their gifts of courage and kindness to their children.
Mothers have been called the glue that holds the family together, although the glue is often under appreciated. Celebrating Mother’s Day by acknowledging the woman who gets it all done not only provides a lift to her spirits, it helps to unify the family unit by pulling us together in a way that Sunday evening dinner does not. The celebration of Mother’s Day allows us to reflect on who we want to be as a family and how we’re all connected to one another—a gift a mother is sure to appreciate no matter how it’s packaged.
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To help celebrate Mother’s Day, here are just SOME of our female leaders who are also or were great mothers.
Prime Minister of New Zealand – Jacinda Arden
Jacinda Arden shows us that you can run a country AND be a great mother. In August 2017 she became the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and then in October 2017, at age 37, became the country’s youngest prime minister in more than 150 years. She welcomed her first child in 2018.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
While best known for her marriage to President John F. Kennedy and her iconic fashion style, as well as being a great mother she also played a historic role during the Kennedy administration—in restoring the White House, supporting the arts, promoting historic preservation, and serving as a traveling ambassador.
Michelle Obama became the first African-American first lady in 2009 when her husband Barack Obama became President of the United States. She graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law and later practiced law in Chicago, she worked at the University of Chicago Medical Center as the vice president of community and external affairs while also raising her two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981 and welcomed two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. She was beloved across the world for being an incredible mum and the People’s Princess. She also devoted an incredible amount of time and effort to a wide variety of charitable causes, which live on as her legacy more than two decades after her death.
While raising her two daughters, Marie Curie was also a scientist and lived during a time where female scientists were rare. She was a pioneer in researching radioactivity, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911. During World War I, Curie served as the director of the Red Cross Radiology Service, treating over an estimated one million soldiers with her X-ray units.
There are some many more women and mothers I could list. All these women embody what a mother or maternal woman should be – they were courageous, they weren’t afraid to stand up for what they believed in, they were committed to changing the world and at the same time being the best mothers they could possibly be. We have so many courageous mothers across the world, some are famous, and some are working hard under the radar providing for their families.
Thank you with our my heart to all of you. I truly understand motherhood os the toughest job you will love and I have been on the motherhood rollercoaster of all the incredible ups and downs. Your courage and leadership is inspiring and you all rock!
By Sonia McDonald – CEO of LeadershipHQ and McDonald Inc. Leadership coach, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, CEO and author.
Sonia McDonald is changing the face of leadership across the globe. She believes we should lead with kindness and courage, from the heart, and is known for her mantra ‘Just Lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her transformational coaching, leadership training programs and cultural transformation for organisations and encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped thousands of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
Sonia is a founder and CEO of McDonald Inc., LeadershipHQ and Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and 2022 Courage Conference. For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of leadership and she is beyond committed to her mission around building a world of great leaders.
She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader. She has been recognised by Richtopia as One of the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is a leading coach, an award-winning published author of newly released First Comes Courage, Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! and has become an in-demand keynote speaker on leadership, kindness and courage.
Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, kindness, empathy and courage as well as building outstanding leadership across the Globe.