In celebration of Women’s History Month, we wanted to highlight women who were influencers and change makers as well as mothers. They overcame obstacles and hopped hurdles to make valuable contributions to this world. It was not easy. But it was worth it. Most importantly, if they could do it, so can we.
Sometimes, we need to hear other stories to believe that we can do it too.
Our first kick butt mom is Dr. Marie Curie.
“One must do some work seriously and must be independent and not merely amuse oneself in life—this our mother has told us always, but never that science was the only career worth following.”
–Dr. Marie Curie
Dr. Marie Curie (1867—1934) is well known for being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She also discovered two new chemical elements – radium and polonium. Not only that but she carried out the first research into the treatment of tumors with radiation. And she did not stop there because she went on to establish the Curie Institutes, which are important medical research centers.
Marie Curie was also a mom. She raised two daughters by herself after her husband died. One of her daughters named Irène Joliot-Curie, went on to co-win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with her husband for their own work with radioactivity.
Our second kick butt mom is Sojourner Truth.
“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.”
Sojourner Truth ( c: 1797-1883) was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist best-known for her speech on racial inequalities, “Ain’t I a Woman?”, delivered extemporaneously in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention. In 1826, Sojourner Truth and her baby daughter escaped slavery in Ulster County, New York.
Soon after her escape, she heard that her 5-year-old son, Peter, was illegally sold to a man in Alabama. Truth raised money for a lawyer, filed a complaint in court, and successfully got Peter out of slavery—a landmark case in which a black woman successfully sued a white man in court.
Our last kick butt mom is Indira Gandhi.
“Whenever you take a step forward, you are bound to disturb something.”
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) was India’s first female Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi worked to institute democracy and create jobs to combat food shortages—she was responsible for India’s green revolution, which made the country self-sufficient and no longer reliant on imported grains.
Indira was also a mother. She also entrusted a sense of duty in her two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi, who both grew up to become politicians; Rajiv became Prime Minister of India after his mother was assassinated in 1984.
All three of these powerful and brilliant women made a difference in the world and were mothers.
What did Dr. Marie Curie, Sojourner Truth, and Indira Gandhi have in common?
- They were single-mothers due to widowhood.
- They believed they had a mission and purpose bigger than themselves.
- They included their children in their work and left their children a legacy.
Here are some tips to change the world and be a kick butt mom:
- Get clear on your mission and vision.
- Include your children in all aspects of your life. For example, take them to work with you. If you are an entrepreneur, employ them and take them with you as you build your business.
- Help them to think about their purpose and mission.
- Facilitate their dreams and goals.
- Explain to them how you would like them to carry on your mission and vision.
For more moms who changed the world, check out this article:
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