Moms of the Year: Toula Mitrakas

Mom to Julien, age 27 and Stephanie, age 24

Ashburn, VA

Nominated by Julien Garman:

Growing up, my mom devoted everything to my sister and me. As a single mom of two daughters, she worked multiple jobs to provide for us. She spent her “spare time” reading to us, helping us with homework and teaching us about unconditional love through her actions. And when we learned she had breast cancer last year, she smiled her way through the pain and exhaustion, making each chemo treatment into something we should celebrate — a picnic lunch to celebrate the first session down, champagne on the last day of radiation and cake for the last day of chemo. She’s our inspiring hero.

Q&A with Toula

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

You can never, ever spoil your child with too much love.

What advice would you give to new or expectant mothers?

It’s taken from a poem I used to have in my daughter’s nursery. “The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for children grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”

How has motherhood changed your outlook on life?

Funny, but I thought I had a lot of answers until I became a mother. It’s only then that I realized how much I DIDN’T know!

Describe a favorite mom moment.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. What they don’t tell you is when your kids imitate you, it’s probably NOT flattering! One day I had just dressed my older daughter in her “Easter best” for church and was dressing her younger sister. All of a sudden, I heard this “scolding” from downstairs, so I quietly walked downstairs, not knowing what I would see. There was my daughter, jumping on the couch, saying in my mom voice, “Get down…get down, I said, get down!”

How do you think your children would describe you?

Oh, there’s so many ways I could answer that one! I hope they would say they always felt loved and I tried to give them experiences that would make them happy and healthy.

Who is your role model?

My father.

What goals do you have for yourself?

To continue spreading awareness about detecting breast cancer early, to continue making the most of every day and to keep new experiences a priority for me. For example, I really want to take a real estate course online and do something creative like take a cake decorating class. My big goal is to own a small home by the ocean and to help those in need.

What goals do you have for your children?

To be content in their careers, love their family more than anything and always put God first in their lives.

What are some of your greatest accomplishments?

Raising two girls in the D.C. area as a single mom, becoming “Teacher of the Year” twice and being a breast cancer survivor.

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

About WF Staff

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