How has your mom inspired your life? This Mother’s Day, we’re partnering with Hallmark to share the stories of four inspiring women whose mothers have shaped their lives in special ways. There’s truly nothing like receiving the perfectly well-chosen card from a loved one, and Mandy Ansari of Girl and The Bay is a true believer in that idea. Read on to hear how her mom has made her into the successful woman she is today—and to see the card she’s sending her mom (pssst…Mother’s Day is May 12, so if you haven’t found the perfect card for Mom, now’s the time!).
Q: How do you make your mom feel loved?
A: When it comes to giving love, my love language is gifts. Growing up, I loved spoiling my mom with things—whether it was a gift I made for her in school, an ornament or that pair of espadrilles she told me she liked (that I saved my lunch money for months to buy). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to realize that while giving gifts is how I show love, my mom values quality time. It’s something I have to work on and be more intentional about, but my mom feels the most loved when I make time for her—clearing my schedule for activities we can do together when we’re in the same city or just being better about FaceTiming her regularly.
Q: How are you and your mom similar? What parts of her do you see in you?
A: My mom is such a youthful soul. She’s so lively, energetic, active, really channels that joie de vivre, tries anything once and always down to tear up a dance floor or travel the world. While I can appreciate a good nap, I love that we share the same love for life. I’ve noticed even more in the past few years how her ability to be spontaneous and present has shaped me into the woman I am today, especially when it comes to traveling.
Q: How has your mom inspired your career?
A: My mom and I couldn’t be more different when it comes to our career paths. She’s analytical, love to crunch numbers, detests public speaking and sends me multiple emails a week to proof because she hates writing. While our brains, talents and skills in the workplace lie on opposite sides of the fence, my mom’s work ethic is strong and something to be admired. My mom came to America when I was 3 and hit the ground running. She didn’t know any English and didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, but dove right into academic and often juggled several jobs at once. She did everything from working the assembly line at a bakery to working at the post office. Since then, she’s held high-powered roles at Fortune 500 companies like Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and Google. She is a perfectionist and stresses out about every last detail when it comes to work, which she’d say is a point of weakness. However, her dedication to doing things right, owning up to mistakes quickly, meeting and exceeding her goals, and working her way up in companies while displaying gracious leadership have taught me invaluable lessons. She continues to inspire my work ethic and career path daily by simply being herself and humbly leading by example.
Q: What's your go-to mom word of wisdom?
A: When I left my lucrative, stable and incredible job of 6 years this past year to pursue solopreneurship, I was excited but oh-so-scared. I had a few meltdowns very early on when I wanted to turn back around and dive right back into the corporate grind. I called my mom in a panic and she said, “Ok, so you give this a year and you realize you miss the corporate 9-5. So what? You apply for jobs like anybody else would and jump right back in. You’ll have gained experience and satisfaction knowing you tried.” It was a bit out of character for her because she’s absolutely not a risk taker (opposite of me), but she was able to look past her own mom fears to give me the advice I needed. I think of that “So what?” she threw at me every single day!
Q: What's the latest "I have to call my mom" moment you've had?
A: Oh man, there are so many. This past year has been full of change—I left the West Coast, where I lived within 10 minutes of almost all of my family, for the very first time in my life to move to New York City. Not having my mom or supportive family just a few minutes away has been an adjustment. Not only have I made made a big geographical move, but I’ve lost over 100 pounds while undergoing major changes in my career and personal relationships. I’ve had a lot of moments where I’ve felt extremely lonely and lost. Of course, my mom has been the first call I’ve made. She is always there to ground me with wisdom, hard truths and tenderness only a mother can provide.
Q: What is your most memorable card to or from your mother?
A: My mom LOVES buying cards and I LOVE saving them. She’ll see a card months before a birthday or holiday and purchase it because she knows exactly who she needs to give it to. Since she hates writing and says she has a “hard time expressing emotions in words,” she loves finding cards that echo her sentiments. So, she’ll often send me those fun, over-the-top cards that are tri-fold (more words on the card means the less she’ll have to write). I look forward to receiving her cards every single year. My favorite card she has ever given me was the most recent one (and they’re always Hallmark) because it truly felt like something she would say to me herself. The card’s message was uplifting, empowering and encouraging as her motherly love has always been to me, but it was also filled with the type of wisdom I seek from her time and time again. Here’s what the special card said:
A little guide to life for a lovely daughter on her birthday:
Be good to yourself. There are some things everyone deserves—Love, respect, time to recharge. Never settle for less.
Seek out your dreams. Start small. Take it as it comes. Even a butterfly has to inch along before getting its wings.
Listen to your heart. Trust your gut. If the way seems unclear, look within you.
Let your voice be heard. You have a story to tell and opinions that count. And a difference to make.
Stay curious. Wonder. Take every opportunity to learn. Knowledge is a gift. It will take you places.
Hold on to what's important. Let worries go. No matter how you look at it, some things just don't make sense. The way you choose to carry on is what really matters.
And when you make that list of what you want in life, make another list of what you've got. Be sure to start with all the things that make you a beautiful person. There are so many.
Most of all, remember you're loved. Always.
Q: What are you most grateful to have inherited from your mother?
A: My mom has so many qualities I hope to inherit and embody, but the one that I am most thankful for is her graciousness. My mom is not only quick to forgive, but she has a rare ability to see both sides of any situation. She never passes judgement and can always show sincere empathy to all parties involved. She has passed down the ability to have supernatural grace for others and I am so thankful for this trait (her sweet dance moves and taste in fine cheeses are a close second).
This post is sponsored by Hallmark. See what a card can do at hallmark.com.
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