PARKERSBURG - Tantrums, teething, and sleepless nights.
It's all worth it, say moms.
Career woman Lisa Starcher-Collins said she never planned to have children.
Emily Larkins and daughter Ava.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Buckley
Lisa Starcher-Collins is shown with her daughters, Lucy, 6; Macy, 6, and Bayley, 13.
"I came late to it," she said. "I had my career first, traveled the world, won some awards, felt relatively successful. I married Mike at 32 and had our first child at 35, and she changed my world. Suddenly success was defined differently. Her smile, her happiness and her positive growth mattered more than anything else," Starcher-Collins said.
"I had twins at 43, another huge surprise, and I've never regretted my new goals. Mom is my most important title. I still work myself crazy to give them everything they deserve; my husband and I both do, but we have so much fun with them that every minute is worth it. I want them to understand and believe that they can do, and have, anything they want, if they just work hard," she said.
Her daughters, Bayley, who soon will be 14, plus Lucy and Macy, both 6, keep her current and interested in whatever's new and hot.
"I have friends with grandkids the same age as my little ones, and sometimes the idea of quiet is appealing. But I feel lucky to have these three fascinating girls to accompany me on every adventure. It's never dull at my house. But then, I never really did like quiet for long," she said.
Lisa credits her mom, Nelva Starcher, as her role model.
"We always came first with her, and still do. I hope my kids feel that way about me," she said.
Starcher-Collins works in public relations and operates Arts&Culture Tours.
Emily Larkins, director of the Family Crisis Intervention Center, said motherhood for her means being blessed.
"It has been two years since I was blessed with my daughter, Ava. Being a mother to me means enjoying every waking moment, even if it means tears, sleepless nights and/or temper tantrums. I have been faced with something no parent ever wants to hear, especially being a mother, that your child has cancer," Larkins said.
"Through all of our travels, doctor appointments and treatments I take the time to enjoy every moment with Ava, life is too short. Being a mother is a life-long commitment. Being a mom to Ava means to reassure her that everything will be okay and instill in her the values and morals she needs to utilize to become a young productive woman in our society," Larkins said.
"Being a mom is truly hard yet rewarding work and I wouldn't give back or change anything about my daughter, Ava. Being a mom to Ava means love, patience and being a positive role model at home and in the community. Being a full-time working mother, my time is very invaluable with my daughter. I work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It is important to me as a mother to teach not only Ava but other women the importance of self-worth and living in a violence-free environment," she said.
"I want Ava to understand the importance of giving back to her community. Being a mom I have so many dreams and aspirations for my daughter; however, I have learned to enjoy one day at a time with her and know that I have been blessed," Larkins said.