Mother’s Day with Thelma Henderson and Juanita Escovedo

There are over 2.2 billion mothers worldwide and 85 million in the United States. About 420,000 babies were born in the United States in 2021, and about 10 percent of the women in the United States are unable or have difficulty conceiving. Naturally, the data varies from year to year.

May brings about several themes to celebrate and acknowledge. National Anxiety Month and Arthritis Awareness Month, to name a few. With May 14th dedicated to Mother’s Day. I spoke with the two mothers in my life to get their perspectives on Mother’s Day and what they did to remain balanced while managing motherhood, work, and gratitude.

Some moms appear to glide through the unique journey that comes with motherhood, and one can’t help but wonder if it comes naturally or if it involves taking it day by day and remembering gratitude. Thelma Henderson and Juanita Escovedo (wife of Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient Pete Escovedo) share their motherhood experiences and perspectives:

Q: What does Mother’s Day mean for you?

Henderson: It’s a special day when I spend time with my daughter and grandkids, we are free from cooking, and I have food catered instead. We attend church together, since everyone has such a busy schedule. Most importantly, it is a celebration of the greatest gift that God has blessed me with.

Escovedo: Because of my children, every day is Mother’s Day. I may get cards on Mother’s Day, but I also get them throughout the year. It’s not just one day. I talk to my children daily, and they are a blessing. Our children are always there for us, including our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We are a close family.

Q: How did you balance your life with motherhood, career, and personal self-care?

Henderson: I thought I was the most blessed in the world because I had a boy and a girl. Things were good until my son died. I began to show extra love for my daughter. We started to do things together and have good conversations. She could express herself, which all children should be encouraged to do. I worked in San Francisco and had to have daycare often. Thank God, I had a daughter who was pleasant and respectful. Everything may not have gone how she wanted, but we could talk. Nothing was perfect, but we had a great relationship as a whole, and she has always had my support. She made it easier for me since I had to work. One of the things I have always done is spend time at the gym. I still keep myself looking nice. I enjoy taking soothing baths and staying active in my church.

Escovedo: I was brought up in a loving family. I felt secure and protected and never feared our parents would divorce or fight. We were a very grounded family. We ate dinner every night when my father came home from his nine-to-five job. I also have found balance through the Lord. I prayed for a good family. My children were good children growing up. Earlier in my husband’s musical career, I sometimes worked because the money wasn’t always there. I had my own time sometimes, and sometimes I did not. I learned not to take things too seriously or to be angry.

Q: What does gratitude mean for you?

Henderson: I am grateful for God being in my life, for my daughter, grandchildren, husband, and friends. I am thankful to have shelter, food, clothes and shoes, and all life’s necessities.

Escovedo: I am strong, healthy, and grateful for the person I turned out to be. I’m thankful for my life and my age. I am strong and healthy, and still active. I’m grateful for my family, friends, neighbors, and those I don’t know who come up to us when we sell merchandise and want to be in our family.