Moms of the Year: Jill DeLorenzo

Mom to Simon, age 3 and Gregory, age 1

Ashburn, VA

Nominated by Jason DeLorenzo:

In addition to caring for her children, Jill works part time at Trinity House Cafe and is a Jamberry consultant to help with finances. But what differentiates her as a “Mom of the Year” is the support she gives to other moms. Her role as La Leche League Leader, founding www.positivebreastfeeding.com, working at her son’s cooperative preschool and being instrumental in the passing of Virginia state law allowing women to breastfeed wherever they are legally allowed to be, shows maternal support is at the forefront of her thinking.

Q&A with Jill:

What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever received?

My mother was with me during the early postpartum period with both of my children. At about two weeks postpartum with my first, I cried for two days straight. I was very overwhelmed at everything involved with being a new mother, including changing diapers, breastfeeding, nighttime parenting and recovery from childbirth. I was so thankful to have her there. In the midst of the chaos, she told me five words that will stick with me forever: “This time is a gift.” I realized in that moment that I would never get back the precious moments with my children when they were small. Hearing these words helped me get through a dark time and have a positive perspective on the chaos.

How has motherhood changed your outlook on life?

I have become less reactive and more proactive in the direction of my family. I also channel my emotions in different ways. When something went wrong prior to having kids, I would get upset easily but suppress my emotions and avoid the situation. Now that I am a mother, I no longer hesitate to voice my concerns and stand up for my family if needed.

Describe a favorite mom moment.

Nothing will ever top the moments I met my children at their births, yet every day offers a new memory to cherish. I recently had an experience with my youngest son that warmed my heart. After he finished nursing, he told me, “Thank you, Mommy” for the first time. This brought me joy because he showed me manners, appreciation and affection on his own terms – so I know it was genuine.

How do you think your children would describe you?

My children would describe me as a “juggler.” When I first became their mother, I needed time and space to breathe so I scrapped most of my responsibilities and focused on successfully keeping one ball in the air (keeping my child alive) before adding more balls to juggle. When I found it easier to juggle that one ball, I started to add more responsibilities one-by-one. As my children continue to grow and begin school outside the home, I found that I can successfully juggle even more responsibilities like paid work, volunteer endeavors and hobbies. It is a tough balancing act, but I only take on as many responsibilities as I feel I can successfully juggle. And while juggling, I always remember that the most important ball is my family; I would never let that ball drop first.

Click here to read about the other Moms of the Year!

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