Steel Magnolias

Story by: Sarah Jones

Photography by: Christine Hall

We spent a few moments with each of the moms away from their careers, dirty dishes and running a household to let them bask in a glow of motherly love. Here’s what they had to say.

IVY EILERMAN Cody, 12; Caden, 2; and Grace, 10 months Hometown: Savannah, Georgia It was an honor just to be nominated. There are plenty of moms who have way busier lives than I do. But it’s nice to be recognized. Sometimes you feel like everybody thinks that laundry just magically appears in the closet. I work from home, which is rewarding because I get to spend time with them and I don’t miss anything. My husband is a fireman for the City of Savannah, and he plays Mr. Mom a few days a week for me, so usually my kids don’t have to go to daycare. Sometimes they do—I like for them to be able to have that experience with other children. When we first had grace we realized that we had a tween, a two-year-old and a newborn, and we thought, “These are like the worst stages for each child—how are we going to do this?” But we made it work. In fact, I went back to work after about two weeks. I could never do it without my husband, that’s for sure. We have those days when he works 24-hour shifts or 48-hour shifts and I have to figure it out on my own, but we get through it. I think the thing that helps most is staying positive and finding the best aspect of the day. It’s easy to dwell on the negative. When Cody comes home from school I always ask him, “What’s the best thing that happened today?” instead of just, “What happened today?” I always loved being around a big family. My mom had six of us. I came up taking care of them, and I still do. My mom was pregnant with her last child when I was pregnant with my first. She said, “You’re not really a parent ‘til you have more than one,” and then I found out what she meant. It’s just finding the patience and figuring out how to balance everything. The south is a great place to raise your kids because for me, being a Christian is the most important part of my life, and it’s embraced here.