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state mother of the year

Meet Mary Carter, 2023 New Mexico Mother of the Year®

March 10, 2023


Mary Carter is the youngest of ten children and the only child in her family to have attained higher education—an MBA in Business Administration. Her career experience in the corporate, government, and public sectors shaped her leadership style. She has been instrumental in all facets of the Women’s Intercultural Center operations, where she has volunteered for the past 12 years as its Executive Director. Her personal experience as a single mother, being the only woman at the table and the only woman of color in a major corporation in Alabama facilitated her ability to develop and provide tools and resources for the women she mentors to become the drivers of their own success. She has received numerous awards, the most recent being the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2021), 2019 Community Star, and 2018 Daily Point of Light Award.

What surprises you most about being a mom?

How in teaching my sons to become lifelong learners, they in turn have become my teachers in so many ways. Their knowledge and ideas have also helped me advance projects in my work life and charity work.

Who has been impactful in your journey as a mother?

My parents were great models for me to follow. There are many lessons I have learned over the years that I have not only shared with my children but with the youth I mentor as well, such as: have honest and open communication with others; listen to others’ points of view without judgment to fully understand them; understand that every one of your actions and things you say no matter how small have a cause and effect even on strangers; and most importantly…whoever controls your money controls your world so be sure to focus on becoming economically self-sufficient.

What continues to inspire you in your motherhood journey?

My sons have been my inspiration for my motherhood journey and continue to be my inspiration to date.

How has being a mom shaped your life?

Being a mother totally transformed me as a person. I realize that every decision I was making was not only impacted me but the life of my children. So I became more selective and considered the impact my decisions would have on my children before putting them into effect. I learned to love unconditionally, and it made me incredibly responsible for now it was up to me to care for these two lives. Overall, I am a better person due to motherhood.

Share one of your favorite stories from motherhood.

I remember staying up with my first-born son. He was crying and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I tried to feed him, to change his diaper, burp him, and rock him but he still wouldn’t stop crying. I finally started crying myself as I was holding him in my arms rocking him. He reached his little hand to my face and stopped crying. As I shared that story with my son, and I always tell him, “You had mercy on your mother that night and let me know that everything was going to be okay.”