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Flower pot with yellow and white flower

Real Beauty

APRIL 10, 2023
Flower pot with yellow and white flower
Photo: Carol Muleta

This post is courtesy of Carol Muleta, 2019 DC Mother of the Year.


“Some women feel the need to act like they’re never scared, needy or hurt; like they’re as hardened as a man. I think that’s dishonest. It’s ok to feel delicate sometimes. Real beauty is in the fragility of your petals. A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all.” ~ Crystal Woods

As I gaze at this bouquet of flowers, I note that it is far from its finest hour.  Yet, I treasure it.  It was the centerpiece on our table at a luncheon I attended last week during the 84thAnnual Convention of American Mothers, Inc.  I had the ‘winning’ seat at my table and my prize was this lovely pitcher from the immensely popular Pioneer Woman collection and it was filled with beautiful flowers, in full bloom.  Of course, I had already won in so many ways.  It was my privilege to attend the conference after being named the 2019 Mother of the Year for the DC Metro area by American Mothers, a nonpartisan non-profit organization which owns the trademark to “Mother of the Year®” and is the official sponsor of Mother’s Day.  American Mothers is committed to serving as an advocate on issues affecting our country’s 85 million mothers and their children.     

I was part of a special cohort of Mothers chosen to represent their states, with 46 actually attending the Convention.  I was awed by the energy, courage, candor, and kindness of this group.  I had read most of the bios, so I already knew I would be in very special company.  However, I was blown away by the speeches on Day 2 of the Conference.  We were challenged to address America in a speech themed, “America, this is your mother speaking…”. Moms being Moms, you know we could have gone on for hours — alas we only had three minutes.  Accustomed to making magic out of mania, we dynamic Moms rose to the occasion, delivering heartfelt testimonies of triumph and loss, joy and pain, uncertainty and revelation.  We approached the task through lenses tinted by different races, religions, and regions of the country as well as different educational backgrounds, career experiences, and lifestyles, yet we all cheered when the underdog won, were outraged at insensitivity and injustice, mourned the losses, and were in awe of the sacrifices our sisters had made.  There was a sense of knowing among us only Mothers possess.   A knowing that on most days not all of the flowers in the bouquet will be in bloom at the same time.  There will be some curled or wilted petals as trials set upon us and dry, discolored leaves as our resolve is tested.  Yet, like flowers pushing through concrete, there are always signs of hope and beauty in our bouquet.   

Listen to Carol’s speech and read the rest of her article here.


Carol is the mother of wonderful twin sons who sparked her curiosity about child development and her passion for parenting. What started as a search for a parenting philosophy to steady herself as she wrangled busy toddlers became a journey toward a new calling – parent education. Today, she is a certified parent educator, leading parenting classes and presenting community talks. Carol co-founded a parent education company where she presents parenting programs and consults with families to support the healthy growth and development of their children. Carol hosts a radio show, Parenting 411, where she shares “information parents need from sources they can trust”. In her downtime, Carol always enjoyed following her sons’ athletic pursuits including Tae Kwon Do and basketball, which she made time to learn herself. Carol has been happily married for 24 years and lives in the DC Metro area with her husband and sons who are now freshmen in college.

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