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Cornelius News

May means Mother’s Day

May 8 is Mother’s Day. Don’t forget! Do buy a card, or make one. Do plan on taking her out to eat, because what moms go through day in day out is overwhelming. More advice: Don’t buy her a vacuum or a lead crystal biscuit barrel even if it is Waterford. Think first about expressing deep appreciation and affection. Think hard about pedicures, golf outings, spa treatments. Treat her right kids and dads.

“Whether you work inside or outside of the home, every mom is a working mom,” says Shelia Brumlow, a Cornelius mom who raised two boys, now 25 and 19, with her husband Chris. 

Happy moms find support and friendship. There are Facebook groups like Lake Norman Moms Run This Town and faith-based work-out groups like Females in Action. We asked three moms for their thoughts as Mother’s Day approaches.

Here’s what they said.


Ella Taylor says prayer, Lake Norman Moms RUN This Town, faith-based groups like Females in Action and preparing 10 Wildtree freezer dinners at a time help her make it through the ups and downs of motherhood and running a household with two boys

For Ella Taylor, being a mom is a career, a calling and a job that wears her out. The stay-at-home Glenridge mother of a nine-month-old and a soon-to-be three-year-old is on the go all the time.

Whether it’s doctor’s appointments or getting Kingston to pre-school, “you’re always on call, always in demand. There’s not time to shower, eat or drink a cup of coffee.”

Her husband William is a rigging supervisor at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Meals in the Taylor household are challenging. “I’m basically doing wash, changing dirty diapers, giving bottles, teaching manners. I don’t have time to cook. One-year-old Miles is with her all the time. Monday is pizza night, thanks to the weekly pizza special at Harris Teeter. Wednesday is salmon done in the toaster oven.

Pro Tip: “Females in Action keeps us sane. Working out with peers and friends, that’s what keeps us sane.”

Does this busy mom see the light at the end of the tunnel?

“No. I’m at the beginning of the tunnel. I’ve heard from friends there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not seeing it yet.”

There are bright spots, though, Ella—short for Pamela—says Females In Action, an online bootcamp, workout and running group, helps keep her sanity. Prayer, intense at times, does, too.

She works out with other fitness-minded women 5 or 5:30 a.m., gets home by 6:45 a.m. and jumps in the shower before William leaves for work.

“Motherhood is the hardest thing anybody could do,” the New York Institute of Technology grad says. “I do not sugar coat it. This is hard. I can run a marathon and and do an iron man, but this is really hard.”


Abby Wyatt is a thoroughly modern mom. A brilliant multi-tasker, she and husband Zack have five kids, ages two to nine, and she works two part-time flexible jobs. She has to be a brilliant multi-tasker to run the Davidson Farmers Market, work at Kindred, the Davidson restaurant and keep a busy household moving more or less in the same direction.

Pro tip: “Once you learn what you want to do and put it out there, good things will come your way. Is that a little hippie nonsense? I dont know…passion is good! To be a successful mom, you have to be a success at yourself.”

“It’s like four jobs,” she says, explaining that four of their children are in school, while the youngest “hangs out with us” while mom and dad both work from home in shared office space. On Saturdays the entire family is at the bustling farm and craft food market in downtown Davidson.

A Coastal Carolina grad with a degree in sociology, she worked in finance before opting to stay at home for the past six years. The farmer’s market is a perfect gig because she can work from home most of the time.

Zack, meanwhile, works from home for a tech company. He is also the founder and director of the Carolina Farm Trust.

IMG_0417Pat Cotham has been busy being a mom longer than most people. At age 65, the second-term Mecklenburg County Commissioner at large has four teens in the house. She’s responsible for their care and feeding.

Of course these international students—they’re all from China—go to school, but Cotham rises at 5:15 a.m. to read the Charlotte Observer, and then get breakfast ready. They devour five dozen eggs a week, fried, scrambled and hard-boiled. After dinner and a meeting, this popular Democrat might hit the grocery store or an Asian market at 10 p.m.

“I often say sleep is over-rated,” she says.

Cotham, whose daughter is N.C. Rep. Tricia Cotham, is divorced from her husband, with whom she has a good relationship. Daughter Tricia has two boys, so Pat is a grandmother as well.

Pro Tip: “Talk to your kids. Let them know they are safe with you and you are not judging them. Help them. Talk about bullying—get them to tell you what they hear and see. Become involved in your community as a volunteer. It will change your life and help you understand problems other families face.”

Pat makes $27,000 a year as a commissioner, and manages to be in all four corners of the county, not to mention the more urban center, week in week out.

She keeps her calendar on an iPad “because if i lose my phone I’ve lost my calendar.” She usually has two or three community events each day, sometimes more. She is quick to strike up a conversation—and provide help—to the downtrodden.

Being a grandmother, though, is special because, well, there’s less responsibility than being a mom. Her grandchildren like to play basketball and football with her. “This has never happened before in my life. Athletic ability! I love it.”