We asked our readers to nominate the outstanding moms, stepmoms, grandmothers, aunts and other caregivers in their lives in our 2021 Awesome Mom contest and we were truly amazed, humbled and inspired by the wonderful stories that we received.
Our editorial team had the difficult task of selecting one winner and two finalists from all the nominees received, and we look forward to sharing their stories with you in our May/June issue. We also want to pay tribute to the wonderful moms who were nominated, so we are pleased to share these stories with you, in the words of their family and friends who nominated them:
“Sarah is a hardworking single mother of two boys who works full time and picks up extra time when it’s needed to get the bills paid. After dealing with severe depression, she is a role model for me and many women who deal with postpartum because you never give up trying to get out of that dark place.”
— Melanie C.
“It was really hard on me being almost two hours away from my family. I got a job working at OU and that’s where I met Mama Nita. She retired from OU and kept my daughter while I worked. Mama Nita, her late husband, two sons and daughter-in-law took me in and made me feel like I was part of the family. She has helped raise my children.”
— Antonia S.
“She has worked through the pandemic, leads our youngest daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, helps our oldest who is a senior in college and tries to do something for all five kids at home to make sure they feel special. My wife cares for her parents, who live on our farm in their tiny house, and picks up groceries or whatever they need.”
“Carri Hicks is a dynamic mother of three who advocates for all Oklahoma’s children in the State Senate. She has championed safety for babies and children, better resources for public education and stronger laws protecting breastfeeding. Her fight for better healthcare also targets helping individuals with diabetes get appropriate and affordable care. She has initiated much of this work from her personal experience as a mom [because] her 6-year-old Sawyer has Type 1 diabetes.”
— Julia K.
“She has spent the last 20 years investing in children, youth and teens from underserved communities, treating them like her very own. Mautra’s children are her pride and joy and inspire all she does.”
— Charifa S.
“She has been raising six of her grandchildren for almost five years. She works nights so that in the morning she can do everything that needs to be done for those kids. My mom always has a smile on her face. I am so proud of her and hope to one day live up to a fraction of all the people she helps and cares for.”
— Krystan T.
“This mom, my wife, was dealt a rough hand. After having a child with Down syndrome at the age of 15 due to sexual assault, she stepped up, dropped out of high school to get her GED quicker and worked full time caring for my now stepson. She has been the world’s largest advocate for our boy.”
— Jack L.
“Chelsea lost her 5-year-old daughter Paisley in a car accident in November 2019. She has started The Paisley Project, a nonprofit that helps bereaved families emotionally and financially. She put her own pain aside to help others to honor her only child.”
— Kim H.
“She came here from Puerto Rico for a good life and every choice she has ever made was with her four children in mind. When money was tight, I vividly remember my mother serving us dinner first and eating what little remained. What I love most is my mother has always loved without judgment, and she’ll love others until they understand they are worthy of being loved.”
— Eva A.
“She has been a patient and loving mom to our daughter who had colic, reflux and severe food allergies. She has had to save our daughter’s life twice with an EpiPen. She advocates for food allergy awareness online and met with legislators at the Capitol.”
— Carter S.
“‘Licha, Lichita or Chia’, as all her grandkids call her, it’s a joyful soul!! She is the vivid example of empowerment, dedication, determination and kindness all in one. Licha is a cool grandma who immigrated from Mexico 12 years ago at age 56. She has not only poured love and values into her grandkids’ lives but has also shown them how you can make your dreams come true when you pray and work for them. She was able to see one of her biggest dreams come true in December 2019, when she opened her beauty salon in Edmond. There’s nothing this tiny but might 5’0 woman can’t do.”
— Carla P.
“You know those post-worthy things we do, like the perfect loaf of bread or craft we made? The picturesque luscious tomato we grew or the Afghan we finally finished crocheting? My mom regularly does those cool things that we average folk pin to do later—like in our next life—but she doesn’t shout it or show it. Instead, she enjoys the pure experience of doing & giving. Her mind & hands create & serve. A rare & beautiful person I have the privilege of calling ‘Ma.’”
— Jenny W.
“The first time away from our 11-month-old since she’d been born… About 10 minutes in, I notice tears in Hannah’s eyes. When I asked what was wrong, she replied, ‘I just miss her so much.’ This scene perfectly encapsulates who Hannah is. She was made to be a mother and when she’s not actively serving her child, she’s wishing she was. A lot of parents talk about how they need a break or they can’t wait until the empty-nester stage, but not Hannah. Through the ups and the downs, she is the most joyful person on the planet and is never more full-of-life than when she is caring for the needs of others. She’s not just an awesome mom, but an awesome wife, an awesome daughter, and an awesome friend to anyone she meets. Regardless of whether or not she wins, she’s the best mom ever in my book.”
— Jacob S.
“Mother of six beautiful children, Jessica underwent back surgery in November and experienced paralysis from the neck down. She was transferred from OKC to Denver, CO where she spent almost 3 months away from face-to-face contact with her children. She kept in contact and prayed each and every free moment for the opportunity to be back home with her kids. Because of Jessica (and her husband Brent’s) amazing parenting skills, their children (aged 2 years to 13 years) are doing well and have incredible attitudes despite missing their Mom. Jessica is being released from inpatient therapy and has made major strides in the movement of her body. She is praying for the ability to hug and play and run with her kids again. She is a model of strength and love and endurance. All of her prayer requests have been for her children and their well-being during this time.”
— Julie L.
“My daughter is an awesome mom and deserves to win! She is 22 and a single mom to a 2-year-old boy. The last two years have had some bumps in the road but she has handled so well. She is now living on her own, working full time, going to school full time and coaching volleyball, all while being a great mom. She is the greatest mom.”
— Kathleen T.
“Kelli is an amazing wife and mom to her four kids. She works a full-time job to help provide for her family, and they are homeschooled as well! She is such a kind, patient mother. She is the kind of person who goes out of her way to make sure you feel loved and special.”
— Sherry S.
“My mother raised my brother and I alone our whole lives. She often would sleep on the floor or without a room to make sure what we each had our own room and bed growing up. There were many meals where she would say she wasn’t hungry so that we could have enough to eat. Then as adults, she selflessly put aside her own needs to continue to help us. Her love knows no bounds and her giving no limits. She is the definition of motherhood.”
— Jessica S.
“So besides my mom being selfless, loving, kind, and all the other traits we expect in a mom, there are two things that I love telling others about her: She is always rooting for the underdog and she is an amazing artist. She’s always been a fun mom and now, watching her be a fun Grandma is one of the greatest gifts I have in my life.”
— Annie D.
“I often cry at the thought of my mother. She has been through so much trauma in her life, but you would never know by her loving kindness and warm smile. Life has not been fair to her, but she loves it the best she can with an optimism I wish I had. She is the most deserving woman and I wish I could give her the world!”
— Patience G.
“She not only works 40-plus hours a week, she comes home and does anything possible for our child to grow, being new parents to our adopted daughter.”
— Justin A.
Donna is an amazing, strong, and dedicated woman!! She has endured so much over the years as a mother. Donna has raised many children so far. She has two biological children of her own that are now adults. In her early 50s, Donna and her husband made the tough choice to take on more children. They decided to adopt their grandchildren Four years ago, Donna lost her husband unexpectedly. This tragic event was devastating to the family, leaving Donna, a widower with three teenagers all in high school at the time. During these trying times, Donna has continued to uphold her role as provider and homemaker. She is an inspiration to us all.” — —
— MoNica W.
My Mama is the most beautiful and loving person. She is the type of person who will put herself last and others first. I have always looked up to my Mom. So many people say they don’t want to grow up and be like their moms. Well, I do. I love her so much.”
— Lauren V.
Asia is a great candidate because she is a 23-year-old mom of two sets of twin micro premmie babies. They will soon be turning 3 and 4 and she always goes above and beyond for them as well as everyone she loves. Asia drive to be the best mom to her four children is unmatched.”
— Travis D.
“Miranda is an awesome mom to two spunky and smart kids. She fought hard for years to become a mother. She is so selfless as she tried to postpone her crucial brain surgery until after basketball season so she would not have to be away from her important role as coach for her daughter and team. At the moment, she is doing all she can to recover quickly so she can be back at work, home and on the court to lead and cheer on her kids. I am honored to call Miranda a sister-friend who I look up to as a role model.”
— Breanna M.
“Robin is quite frankly a super mom. She and her husband Phil took in his niece’s son and adopted him when he was 3 years old. They started noticing several tendencies leaning towards autism. Robin set out to find answers for her son. He was diagnosed with moderate autism and also has ADHD. He is now 4 and a half and Robin is 56 and still does way more than I could even imagine doing. She has such a big heart.”
— Cherie W.
“This woman represents a mother model I would like to follow. One of the most impressive things about her is the way in which she balances a career and her responsibilities as a mother. During the pandemic year, she managed to offer counseling to children in need as part of her job, as well as be there to meet her children’s needs. She also scaffolds her husband’s career.”
— Roxana C.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination!