photo courtesy of Nicole Marino

There are amazing, devoted, wonderful, deliberate mothers out there, and each week we’ll spotlight one of them here at The Power of Moms. Do you know a mom who deserves a little time in the spotlight? Email rachelle.price (at) powerofmoms.com. We can’t wait to meet her.

Introducing Nicole Marino

How many children do you have and what are their ages?

I have four beautiful girls, ages 20 months to 7 years.

What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?

I love being with my beautiful ones. Their smell, their smiles, their laughter, even their grumpies. They make me a stronger, better, more loving person every day. Even after a rough day, the next morning I still wake up to hugs.

What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?

Never being able to complete a project. Organizing their closets can be an agonizing task. I used to be a very efficient, organized person who was always on time. Sadly that seems to be a thing of the past. Still, I try to keep everybody and everything on track and hope I can finish what I’ve started. Hopefully as the girls become more independent I will become that person again.

What has surprised you about motherhood?

How much I love being a mom. From the very first moment I held each of my babies, it was pure, raw love. They were mine and I was theirs. It was as if nothing else mattered and I still feel that way each and every day! It truly surprises me still how easy it was and is to live without the latest fashion or weekly mani-pedis. As long as I have the love of my family, surface things are not as gratifying.

What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.

I’ve learned that some things are really out of your control. That you just have to believe in life and love and hope because there is no other choice.

Last January my eldest daughter fell ill on the very day we moved into our brand new house. I’ll never forget those words, that Saturday at 4 p.m.: “Mom, I have a headache”.  Throughout the next week I took her to the pediatrician (three times in six days) who said it was just a virus. Finally, on Friday she was given antibiotics (which I was not leaving without) and was told it was “just bronchitis”.  Two days later she was admitted to the hospital with severe pneumonia. She and I were then transported via ambulance Code 2 to another hospital that had a PICU for emergency surgery. Throughout that whole experience I just felt in the depths of my soul that my angel would be well again very soon. I tried to let all of the negativity roll off of us like rain during a spring storm; it was out of my control so I believed and God answered.

What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?

I have a lot of wonderful family and friends in my life who help me keep things in perspective. I have a wonderful husband who is 100% involved in every decision and issue regarding the girls and when I’m alone and calm I pray for strength. I also try to remember to breathe.

What would you say are the most important things a mom can do? What would you say are the most important things for a mom NOT to do?

The most important thing a mom can do is love and hug her children. If a mother is accepting and open for her children they will always seek her. The mother is truly the first love and teacher of a child.

The power we have as mothers is vast and it is also a huge responsibility. It is very important for us not to abuse that power by being too harsh or too critical, but to nurture our little ones through patience and love. Sometimes this is easier said than done.

What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?

Having four girls can be a challenge. They love to talk and the questions are endless. So sometimes I have to lighten them up with laughter. Laughter, I’m convinced, could end wars. Once a child has a smile on their face and a giggle in their throat, their woes don’t seem so bad. Our family loves to crack jokes and sing silly made-up songs. Without laughter, life can get too heavy. Get down and smile at your children: just one smile and one joke is infectious.

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