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Moms of the Year Our readers told us why these seven moms deserve a shoutout

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Baltimore’s Child has launched its first-ever Moms of the Year feature.

These seven women were nominated by family, friends and community members who thank them for their hard work, love, patience, daily wisdom, sweet words and comforting hugs … and so much more. We are delighted to share their stories here. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Pamala Kanhai-Watkins
Lives in: Hamilton-Lauraville
Occupation: Registered Nurse and Real Estate Agent
Children: Joshua, 21, Mariah, 17, Zaina, 6, and Zane, 3

What do you like best about parenting?
“It’s one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had and probably ever will have. I have a kid in every stage of life. They each heavily contribute to those peak moments that make me so very proud. I enjoy watching them learn the world and discover who they are — like the joy that comes with a vibrant imagination of sliding down a rainbow or running as fast as a superhero. That success has no timeline, and it’s OK to reach your own finish line at your own pace. One of best things about being a mom is knowing that I’ve helped shape great human beings who are kind, loving and strong.”

What is the best parenting advice you have received?
“Over the course of my 21-year title of mom, I’ve taken a few pointers from my own mother and close friends. Like it’s OK to be a nag! Nag the heck out of your kids in healthy amounts. Not in a negative way, but in a very nosey, what-are-you-doing, how-can-I-help way. Talk to them, a lot. Always keep the lines of communication open. Even if you’re mentally and emotionally exhausted and feeling that they aren’t listening or retaining anything, keep talking. They hear you.”

From her nomination: “Pamala exhibits Mom of the Universe qualities. She is a successful Realtor, an active member of the Hamilton-Lauraville community, a registered nurse, a mother of four and a wife,” writes friend Reena Allen. “She is the greatest teacher of love, compassion, fearlessness and hard work. She dedicates her time making her community a better place for her children and future residents of Hamilton-Lauraville. She deserves to be pampered with praise and is a role model of the mother I would want to be one day. Pamala is Baltimore’s own superwoman!”

Delese La Cour
Lives in: Riverside/South Baltimore
Occupation: Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Children: Gabriella, 10, and Alexandra, 7

What do you like best about parenting?

“I love seeing the girls as they go through the different stages of growth and development. From infancy through childhood, they are finding their own paths.”

What is the best parenting advice you have received?

“Enjoy and savor every moment. Babies grow quickly, and time passes by quicker than you think.”

From her nomination: “Delese is both a home and classroom hero. When she’s not off at her day (and sometimes night) job delivering babies or meeting with her patients, Delese is a great advocate and support to the students and teachers at her daughters’ schools in the city,” writes friend Wendy Muher. “Her girls’ teachers can always count on her for that extra assistance, whether it be reading to a class, finding amazing craft or classroom supplies at a great price or taking on a key role with a parent-teacher fundraiser. She really makes a difference and genuinely cares about all the students’ futures.”

Corrine Sears
Lives in: Northeast Baltimore
Occupation: Client Engagement Associate at T. Rowe Price
Children: Eli, 21 months

What do you like best about parenting?

“What I enjoy most about parenting is watching my son grow and learn. I’ll show him something once and I’m amazed at how fast he grasps the information. I love how every day is a new lesson for both of us. As I teach I learn, and I learn as I teach. The best part, though, is seeing a small part of you in someone else. And watching that someone grow into their own.”

The best parenting advice you have received?
“It’s from Eli’s father, and it’s to be patient when disciplining and to enjoy the moment.”

From her nomination: “I’ve known Corrine since freshman year in college, and she is still one of the most caring, compassionate and giving people I know,” says friend Dani McKay. “When I found out she was pregnant, I was excited for her because of her caring personality and natural mother instinct. I knew that her child would be loved to no end. She is going at this as a single mom with the support of family and friends. She supports her son and encourages his talents, yet she also finds a way to work in the community. She inspires me to be a mom like her.” 

Quanta Lucas
Lives in: Pikesville
Occupation: Hair Stylist and Clinical Supervisor
Child: Quincey, 4

What do you like best about parenting?
“I enjoy being able to raise my best friend. Every day is like a brand new adventure that I get to face with my biggest supporter right by my side. Being a parent has made me stronger, wiser and more fearless than I ever knew I could be.”

The best parenting advice you have received?

“To cherish these younger years of my child’s life and to make as many memories as I can, because they grow fast. I always heard people say that, but until I was a mom I had no idea how true it was. I see growth and changes in my son every single day, and I try my best not to miss out on any of those moments.”

From her nomination: “Quanta has set the standard for the moms in her immediate circle and has encouraged them to learn how to parent in the absence of a full-time father or a father whose work schedule does not allow them to be as active in the lives of their children,” writes her mother, Bonnie McEachin. “Recognizing the need for moms to be proud and encouraged, she created a ‘Look What Mom Can Do’ blog to empower single mothers to let them know that they can still be great. This blog provides information and resources to events and activities available for them to enjoy with their children. It also provides ‘chew-and-chat’ time for moms to share their struggles and successes as they navigate through the experiences of raising happy, healthy and well-rounded children.”

Amanda Rosier
Lives in: Parkton
Occupation: Teacher’s Assistant at Padonia Park Child Center
Children: Nathaniel, 12, and Austin, 9

What do you love most about parenting?
“I love every minute of their time. What I love is that when I come home, they have a smile. They say, ‘Hi, Mom. I missed you.’ They may have homework, but they want to spent time with me. We go outside and play basketball. I love that.”

What is the best advice you received?

“Always hug them and say ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m always here for you.’ Not everyone will say it to them like a mother will. Always read and listen to your child and make time to be a part of your child’s life. Always have confidence and think positively of what they do instead of negatively.”

From her nomination: “She does lots of baking with us, loves to play games with us and does other fun things,” write sons Nathaniel and Austin. “We also love when she reads us a story. She is the best. We love you Mom.”

Tess Ramsel
Lives in: Parkville
Occupation: Human Resources Director
Children: Holly, 10 months, and stepdaughter Camryn, 10

What do you like best about parenting?
“I love watching them learn new things every day. I love watching the girls together and having Camryn show Holly new things.”

What is the best parenting advice you have received?
“Take it day by day and know that you are always doing your best. Treasure every moment with your children and make fun memories.”

From her nomination: “Being a first-time mom is hard, especially when things don’t go the way you expect. When Holly was born, both she and Tess got an infection that put Holly in the NICU and made Tess so sick that she was unaware Holly had been born,” writes Dawn Schneiderman, Tess’ mother. “When she was better, she went home without Holly, who was still sick. It was a hard few weeks, but Tess was so strong during this time. I am so proud of my hard-working daughter. She is doing a wonderful job as a new mom.”

Tiona Lee
Lives in: Parkville
Occupation: Artist and Entrepreneur at Paint & Create
Children: Briana, 18, Devell, 13, Judah, 11, Alana, 5, and Ariana, 4

What do you like best about parenting?
“I get to experience the happiest feelings of my childhood all over again but through their eyes. So I get a double dose of happiness — I get to remember the good times I’ve had, and I get to see the people I love more than anyone in the world experience it, too. Moreover, I often get to provide those experiences. It’s awesome.”

What is the best parenting advice you have received?
“There is no way to be a perfect parent but a million ways to be a great one. Don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy life as it comes. Cuddles with the kids can’t wait, the dishes can.”

From her nomination: “Tiona is a bright, shining star in the hectic frenzy of my life. We met at our children’s preschool and immediately formed a bond,” says family friend Brenda Tchoundjo. “Like me, Tiona is a woman of faith. She is also a military spouse, part of an interracial couple and a blended family and raising five kids. As if that were not enough, she has a daycare and a paint-party business. She is compassionate and caring and is utilizing her paint business to raise money for a local community center. Tiona strives to stay positive, to lead by example and to model positive and assertive womanhood that not only affirms other women and young girls, but also lifts up young men to attain their best life.”

About Adranisha Stephens

When Adranisha Stephens isn’t chasing down a story, she is traveling, blogging, photographing or spending time with family and friends. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Frostburg State University and a master’s degree in journalism/digital storytelling from American University.

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