We All Need Role Models
And The Unsung Everyday Hero Makes The Best Role Model
I couldn’t be more excited about a post! Woman Within, a Full Beauty Brands company, a women’s clothing online retailer who offers clothes in size 12 and above was having a Role Model Search. Yeah, not just any model search. The qualifications of this search have nothing to do with size or looks or even poise and coordination.
The simplest definition of a role model is “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated”. Our role models generally exemplify attributes we would like to aspire to. Today, I’m introducing you to one of my role models. One of the things that makes her so great is that she has no idea how inspiring she is. I can’t wait for you to meet her.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through a link, I will make a commission. Find the full policy here.
A Season of Gratitude
Can you believe it’s November already? I feel like once we hit November first, we’ve officially embarked on the holiday season. I get that old familiar spike in blood pressure, tingly lip feeling just thinking about all that needs to be done to make the “season” perfect. But this year I’m making a concerted effort NOT to get caught up in the “expectations” I place on myself for the celebrations and instead focus on more important things.
That’s why I was so excited when Woman Within reached out to me to be a part of their Role Model Search Campaign. This is the kind of collaboration I can get on board with because it has little to do with me. And although we’re sharing some pieces from their fall collection, it’s not focused on fashion. Here’s what they said:
“The world has enough model searches. This holiday season it’s time to celebrate what’s most important in life, the people we are most grateful for: everyday heroes and role models who enrich our lives…”
There are so many people I’m thankful for and look up to. I have role models that range from my parents and siblings to close friends and spiritual mentors. But when I first read the email from Woman Within there was one woman who came to my mind IMMEDIATELY! I have wanted to include her in a post for ages now. And Woman Within has provided me with the perfect opportunity not only to gift her with a new outfit but for me to introduce her to you and remind you to look for the everyday heroes around you.
Is Your Role Model Awesomer Than Mine?
World (or at least my little internet corner of the world), meet my beautiful friend Tina. Tina is a wife and mother of two sons, Alex (23) and Andrew (21). I only met Tina 2 years ago when her sister Cindy became terminally ill, and we grew close during the care of her.
Cindy had been a nail client of mine for nearly 20 years. Our relationship became more personal in the years after she was widowed as she had no living children having lost both of her sons years earlier to Hunters Syndrome, a rare genetic disease. I told her I would be her surrogate daughter. 😉
So why am I telling you about Cindy, when it’s Tina I’ve chosen as a role model? Well, because like her sister, Tina carried the risk of having children with Hunters Syndrome. But because she desperately wanted children, after much prayer, Tina and her husband Steve became parents through adoption.
In Her Shoes
While I think all of us moms have a level of “hero” in us, adoptive moms are extra special. But moms of special needs kids? They are SUPER-HEROES!
Tina’s oldest son Alex has autism. So while most of us midlife chicas are reinventing ourselves, reveling in our empty nest, and planning our retirement, Tina’s concerns are a bit different.
Like other adoptive moms, Tina’s bond with her boys runs to her core. I believe God chose her especially for them. Although they may not have grown in her womb, they were grafted onto her heart, and there is no question to whom they belong.
The Makings of a Role Model
What makes Tina a role model to me is the fact the I have never sensed any resentment or bitterness in her that one of her children is challenged. I don’t want to gloss over the emotions and challenges, both physical and emotional, that come along with being a parent of a special needs child, especially into their adulthood. But from where I sit, the unconditional love that flows out of Tina for Alex is awe inspiring.
Her life goals are to protect and champion her boy. She has the desire to make him comfortable and happy. If that means she has to listen to Veggie Tales on repeat and she has to dedicate an entire room in her home to toy trains, then she’ll do it. Her greatest fear is facing the day she’ll no longer be able to take care of him herself.
When Alex was no longer helped by school and outside programs, Tina left her job to be a stay at home mom with respite days being few and far between. One of the things she misses the most is her volunteer work with an Anti Human Trafficking Coalition. If she gets a day off, you can sometimes still find her helping at a local support organization for Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services.
I told you she was awesome!
I can only HOPE I would be so loving, unselfish, dedicated and full of grace if I were in her shoes.
The Best Role Models Are Unsung Superheroes
The media, sports arenas, internet, and social media are full of images and personalities we’d like to emulate because they look like perfection to us. But when we’re looking for true role models, those whose character we’d like to imitate, instead of looking up to a pedestal, look into the trenches.
Look for women who are doing hard things without notice. Find a role model who carries on with grace and dignity despite her circumstances.
And when you find her take inspiration from those traits you want to mirror. Our lives can be made richer by surrounding ourselves with people better than ourselves.
On the flipside, our role models are only human and feel just like us. She has good days and bad days. Her hair isn’t always perfect, and she feels fat and insecure. She fights with her spouse and sometimes feels lonely and depressed.
So don’t forget to encourage her, love on and support her. She deserves to be taken out of the trenches for a day and put on a pedestal looking cute in a new cozy outfit. Being a role-model-superhero is hard work!
We all need role models. If you could nominate someone, would you have to think about it or would one particular person immediately come to mind?
Be comfy, confident and cute!
Shop This Look
Paula – I love this so much. Elevating people who do the hard stuff every darn day. What a luxury it is to ask the question “what’s next?” when so many women do not have that choice. Reality check. And Tina looks so cute in her outfit. Thanks for a great post.
Ain’t it the truth Cathy? When we’re tempted to complain, we need to look outward.
You’ve already described her beauty on the inside and I think she’s beautiful in the outside as well!
Tina – May God continue to bless you and comfort you and strengthen you! You are loved and appreciated! ❤️
What a sweet gesture Gina! And I agree… those blue eyes and perfect skin – WOWZA!
That is very kind, thank you.
It takes a beautiful heart to see a beautiful heart. Special hugs to you and Tina and most especially Alex.
Paula…this is better than better!! First I love the entire idea behind this collab. I’m always about showcasing others because EVERY woman has a wonderful story and beauty inside them.
Loved this blog post! Tina is a amazing mom and I am proud to call her my friend. She encourages and supports everyone around her.
Thank you for sharing this blog.
❤ LOVE THIS POST ❤
Thanks, Birdie! It was one of the most special posts I’ve done yet and I’m hoping to do some more.
Beautiful post about Tina – what a love tribute and I’m so glad she was chosen. She sounds like a wonderful women and a role model for us all! Thank you! My husband’s 2nd son has cerebral palsy and is severely disabled. At the age of 21 he cannot talk, walk or feed himself. He wears a diaper. Thankfully he is smallish – the size of a 5 year old. We carry him a lot – even at 60 lbs. He is the sweetest boy with a loving nature. He will be starting to live with us full time next Spring. He is with us for the last 14 years about 4 months of the year off/on. My husband’s oldest boy is 22 has come to live with us recently. He works full time at my company. Soon we’ll have 2 of his 3 boys living with us! Our live is changing – from honeymoon phase to family phase. Family is the most important thing. I love your blog! Thanks for being so inspiring!