“Motherhood should not be embarked upon as an army of one. Host play groups, go on outings and create a community of moms who raise you up.”
Mom to David, age 9, Eleanor, age 6, Henry, age 3, Lake Ridge, VA
Nominated by Amanda Cetel:
“Barbara is a wonderful wife, mom and education advocate. Forming the group More Recess for Virginians just over a year ago, she has made huge gains in legislative change for more recess for elementary-aged children. During her advocacy work this past year, she has lovingly supported her husband through cancer treatment and served as PTO president at her children’s elementary school. She did all of this while never giving up her infectious positive attitude. Barbara is an amazing example of how one mom can make a huge impact on her community.”
Q&A with Barbara Larrimore
Stay-at-home mom, education advocate, community leader
Three fun facts about you and your family:
1. Policy is a family affair! The whole family participated in the work toward greater recess legislation in Virginia. My husband and son spoke for changes at school board meetings, and the whole family traveled to Richmond several times to show support for the bill.
2. My 3-year-old son, Henry, volunteers at our elementary school more than most parents.
3. Our family loves to go fishing in our local marina, which is walking distance from our house.
What advice would you give to new or expectant moms?
Ask for help. Motherhood should not be embarked upon as an army of one. Host play groups, go on outings and create a community of moms who raise you up. Having children is a time of incredible growth for mothers. Enjoy it, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
What goals do you have for yourself?
My goal for the future is to continue to try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. As my husband, children and community continue to help me learn and grow, I hope to continue to serve and give back. I hope my children see my example and want to be the change they would like to see in the world.
Describe a favorite mom moment.
It was a simple moment with my three children. I was disciplining them for fighting over a toy, or some such nonsense. My daughter and younger son were crying and voicing that I was “the worst mom in the world.” My older son, who was also involved in the moment, stopped the madness by saying, “Guys, Mom just wants everything to be fair.” It was the first time I had ever seen my child have an “ah-ha” moment and choose to defend me.
Has motherhood changed your outlook on life?
I realized that enjoying the present is paramount. Constantly worrying about the future is a futile endeavor. If you try to make a plan for your children, that is the first opportunity for you to learn they will always show you they have their own plans.
What is your secret to balancing life/family/work/motherhood?
I like to lean on my husband to help me realize that I can’t wear my “advocacy hat” all the time. I limit myself to one after-hours meeting a week. I like to plan things for just our family as often as I can. Fun is the secret to marriage, kids and life, in general. Even the most mundane tasks can be done with a can-do attitude, and bubbles.
What’s the best thing you are reading right now?
I just got the next four books in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon for my birthday. I can’t wait to dig in!