Full of smiles and ready to play, Maria Price is blessed to share many great moments with her own children, Dallas, far left, and Olivia, far right, as well as other children in her family, including baby Billie Jean Silvia and Skylar Riphenburg.

The impact COVID-19 has had across the country has been like nothing anyone has ever seen: postponing events, shutting down businesses and schools, professional sports, canceling concert tours and other events. On Sunday, May 10, it’s time to recognize one of the longest standing, hardest working essential workers out there, mothers.

Mothers have always been essential, and as we make our way through this time in history they continue to be a bright light, an inspiration and a lot of the times, the glue holding everything together. Maria Price, proud mother of two and essential business owner, is one of those moms.

Price and her children, Dallas, eight, and Olivia, seven, moved back to Shelby about two and a half years ago from Washington and since then she has faced many challenges with a smile on her face and faith in her heart. In April of 2019 Price decided to start her own cleaning business, Broom & Rags, an endeavor that had her second-guessing herself time and time again, but has found success with.

“I had to talk to my friends, a lot,” smiled Price. “Like, am I totally crazy for thinking I could pull this off? Should I just go get a job? Am I even good enough? At first it was really scary, and it still is at times, to venture out on my own, financially.”

Balancing being a business owner, a mom and just finding time to be herself is also a challenge, one that Price has found a few ways to overcome. She prioritizes her time and her different cleaning jobs.

Price uses a planner to try and make the best use of every day. She also has an “accountability buddy” that she checks in with regularly to help keep her honest with herself.

She has also learned the art of acceptance. Accepting that she alone cannot do it all. The work will come when it’s suppose to and the money will follow. The bills will get paid and her children will have a good life. And maybe the biggest one of all, faith.

“Faith. I’ve had to have a lot of faith,” said Price. “Dallas and Olivia will have a good life. I believe, most days, that I am an ‘okay’ mom. Okay moms get the job done, too!”

Price is more than just an “okay” mom.

She is “that” mom–the one at every sporting event, recital, program, any activity her children are a part of so is she. Watching movies, going out on adventures to simply look for pretty rocks, dancing, baseball, soccer, traveling to see friends and family, playing board games and doing puzzles, the list of activities done with her children is endless.

Being fun and silly with her children, while also providing them a stable, balanced home, has been inspired by many great women in Price’s life.

“My mom, Susan Floerchinger, inspires me to never give up,” said Price. “To be fun and silly, to go on adventures. Lyla Lingle taught me that loving a child is a choice. She loved me like her own daughter when she didn’t have to. She continued to be a part of my life when there were no obligations.”

Her grandmother, Donna Lingle, is who inspired her to always try and provide a hot, healthy meal for her kids and to be a strong female provider. It was also her grandma who instilled in her the importance of getting herself, and now her children, a good education.

Heidi Barnes, Jessica (Dietz) Berry and Sandra Hershey-Hout have all played very important roles along the way.

Barnes has shown her that no matter when you become a mom, with love and support children will grow up to be amazing people. Berry is her inspiration when it comes to being “that” mom, crushing personal goals, showing up to all the events and to be a stable pillar for her kids.

“Sandra inspires me to be my best self, so that I can be the best mom I can be,” said Price. “And all the kids that I have worked with in the foster care system have inspired me to be the best mom I can be. To be kind and patient. To try and talk thing through and really try and understand where my kids are coming from. Take the time to cut the sandwich the way the kids like it, to be consistent, to love with a full heart.”

Price’s mom, Susan, has continued to inspire her to not give up through the latest challenges that COVID-19 have presented.

Susan and Price’s sister,  Misty, have helped make it possible for her children to keep up in school while Price continues to work. Susan has taken over the home school portion of life at home and also the housework. Her sister had the kids come and stay with her and her family for a week before the stay-at-home order went into effect and for another week towards the end of the stay order.

“My mom really stepped up to the plate. It’s been a big adjustment for us both,” said Price. “Me asking for and accepting help, and her keeping up with active seven and eight-year-olds. Thank you, mom. This would have been an extremely difficult time without her, mentally, emotionally and financially.”

Price also feels extremely blessed by her clients, not just financially, but emotionally and mentally. Her neighbors have also played a huge part in helping Price feel more at ease during this time.

“A huge shout-out to my neighbors, Barb and Gary Harmon, Lee and Kay Davis and Jeanne Widhalm for keeping the neighborhood an inviting place for kids to be and offering me help when you knew I could use it in various, different ways,” said Price. “I really feel so lucky to have such a wonderful community.”

When it comes to advice for new moms Price encourages them to have fun and spend time doing silly, fun things with their kids. That it’s important for your kids to see their mom being silly and having fun with them, but also to see her make time for herself.

And to not worry if at times you find yourself wondering if you have gotten yourself in way over your head.

“It’s okay to feel like maybe being a mom was an over commitment,” said Price. “We all get overwhelmed! If someone you trust wants to help you, let them. Take that bath, watch that movie, savor that meal. Find people, places and things that fill your cup and intentionally engage in and with them. Guilt will always be there around the corner waiting, if you let it.”

Price has also learned the value of having friends older than herself and encourages young mothers to do the same.

“Find some women older than you, ask them to coffee, ask them about their lives,” said Lingle. “Learn from them.”

But most important, enjoy it. “When I allow myself to do silly, fun things with my kids it’s like pure love and joy that I feel,” said Price. “It’s important for them to see me being silly and having fun, to see that part of me. And I get to see more of who they are and their sense of humor. Also, I get to feel young again. Aren’t we all trying to feel that way after 30?”

Young or old, still here or missing them every day, mothers are an essential part of our lives. Sunday, May 10, take the time to recognize, celebrate and remember one of the most “essential workers” of your life, mom.

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