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Jessica Chan from North Ryde has nominated her friend and incredible single mum Barbara Holste from Lane Cove in the North Shore Mums Mother’s Day Competition to find the North Shore’s most inspiring mum of 2016!
Barbara is one of those women who lights up the room with her smile. She is kind and caring and always ready to listen, but it is not until you learn of all she has been through that one can begin to understand just how incredibly brave and strong she is.
I first met Barbara through a health seminar, but our friendship truly began to grow when we started meeting up so that our children could play together. Over time she has shared her story with me. I can only hope to be able to give a glimpse into the life and heart of this extraordinary woman.
Barbara moved to Australia many years ago and started a family. She has two beautiful, rambunctious boys -Franco 4, and ten-year-old Joaquin- who think the world of her. Over the last few years she has faced challenges and trials no one should ever have to face, and in the end she had to make her own way with her children. She has a new happily ever after with her two boys, perhaps far different than she could have ever foreseen, but a beautiful and full life nonetheless.
As a single mother, she is EVERYTHING to her two boys. She is the one to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner and clean up afterwards. Every. Single. Day. She is the one to do drop offs and pick ups, mediate sibling rivalries, and nurture them when they are sick. She is a teacher, counsellor, nurse, cook, chauffeur, repairman, and personal assistant. She is a mother. She makes all the hard choices and works incredibly hard day in and day out. She loves her kids fiercely, teaching them by setting an example of both strength and compassion, courage and grace.
Barbara’s family lives on the other side of the world. She can’t simply drop the kids off at the grandparents’ if she needs a break. When birthdays and holidays roll around, it is up to her to make it special. The little things that are made for sharing like when your little one learns how to ride a bike, their first lost tooth, when they make their first soccer goal…it’s everything. It can be lonely. There are many challenges, big and small, that come with putting on the shoes of both parents, let alone without the love and support of close family, but she somehow takes it all on with a smile and a nod.
Despite the exhaustion, the discouragement, and the uncertainty, she faces each day with strength and resolve, fighting for a brighter future for her boys. She reaches out to the people around her with love and generosity, and is selfless and giving with what she has. She always makes time for people, welcoming them into her home time and time again, preparing good food and hot tea. She is an example to us all of what a good kind soul looks like in spite of the pain that life can throw at us.
Barbara is truly an inspiration to me and the people around her and I want to thank her for everything she does and everything she is.
Do you know an inspiring North Shore Mum? Enter them into our Mother’s Day competition and they could win a $1000 farmstay at Mowbray Park Farmstay, and you could win a 2-hour pamper at Omorfia Day Spa in Lindfield! There are fabulous runner up prizes too. More details.