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To All the Nose-Wipers, Knee-Kissers, and Hug-Givers

You’re the housekeeper and chauffeur, their confidant and teacher, the “mean mom” and the “cool mom”… most days all before noon. Being a mom can test your limits and make you rely heavily on your energy reserves, but it can also flood your heart with a level of love you didn’t know existed.

Stephanie Gongopoulos, Executive Vice President of Internal Relationships, first became a mom 15 years ago. It was then that she said she finally understood the intensity behind a mother’s love. “The depth of love a parent has for their child was a true ‘lightbulb’ moment for me,” said Stephanie.

The journey of motherhood is one of constant learning – from bringing them home from the hospital to guiding them through adulthood. Julie Choudek, Chief Credit Officer and Senior Vice President, has learned over the years the value of being present in the moment. “Being a mom has taught me to love and live in the moment with my children,” said Julie. “I’ve learned the importance of enjoying them as unique people, blessed with individual personalities.”

You succeed and fail, because there is no manual, and surely no “right way” to parent. Innately, we often parent as we were parented. “I’ve always been a lot like my mom, so I’ve known all along I would do many things like she did them – and I’m so glad of that,” said Maggie Groteluschen, Personal Trust Team Lead and daughter of CEO, Bill Baker. “She truly is the glue that holds so many of us together.”

Julie also recalls doing “almost everything” like her mom did. “My mom taught me that happiness comes from within, and I’ve made it a point to pass that down.” As much as parenting is about learning, it’s just as much about educating.

Laurel VanDenBerg, Chief Audit, Compliance, and Risk Executive, recalls “laughing at the silliest things” with her mother growing up. Now, she cherishes these moments with her step-daughter. “I want her to know how much I care for her, if nothing else.”

Whether you parent like your mom or do things entirely different, protection from harm is at the top of any mom’s list. A double layer of bubble wrap is all mothers want for their children, but, unfortunately, that can’t always happen. “I hate that I can’t save my children from making mistakes,” said Julie.

As a new mom, Maggie struggles with this, too. “The extra worries that come with loving someone so much is hard,” said Maggie. “I’ve just had to learn that I am not in control, and that that is a good thing.”

Our FIRST Value of Family is confirmation of our commitment to you and your loved ones, because we know there are times when children just need their mom, and no one else will do, and WE LOVE THAT.

A mother’s capacity to love seems like it would eventually reach a maximum limit, but it doesn’t. Each time they are gifted with an open-mouthed, slobbery kiss, a new piece of “artwork” for the fridge, or simply an acknowledgement of their hard work, they love – deeper and deeper.

At First National Bank, we are lucky to have 180 women on our team, 100 of which are moms. We know that being a working mom can be hard, so to all the nose-wipers, knee-kissers, and hug-givers that so selflessly give each and every day, we at First National Bank want to wish you a happy Mother’s Day, and thank you for all you do. Whether you’re celebrating your mom, all the moms before you, yourself, or a combination thereof this Sunday, we hope your day is filled with relaxation, joy, and most importantly, love.

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