Who's your momma? CBC listeners share stories of 5 remarkable moms

CBC Manitoba asked the community to share special thoughts by responding to the question, "Who's your momma?" Here are some of inspiring stories our audience shared about what mothering means to them.

Celebrate Mother's Day with these stories of moms who went above and beyond for their kids

CBC Manitoba's audience shared inspiring stories about what mothering means to them. (Christin Lola/Shutterstock)

Some people called their moms the centre of their universe. Some were even inspired to write poetry. 

While the pandemic has temporarily changed what traditional Mother's Day celebrations look like, CBC Manitoba wanted to celebrate the day by asking our audience the question: "Who's your momma?"

Here are some of inspiring stories our audience shared about what mothering means to them.

Labour in a cast — with no painkillers

Winnipeg's Simon Crete, 30, says he watches her in awe as his wife, Melanie Crete, cares for those around her.

Melanie is a teacher and mother to the couple's two boys. She's also currently pregnant with twins.

Simon says the way his wife handled epic challenges during her second pregnancy in 2019 shows why she's so amazing.

Melanie Crete is pregnant with twins. 'She's the director and I basically do what she tells me to do when it comes to raising the boys,' says her husband, Simon. (Simon Crete)

She was eight months pregnant when she slipped and dislocated her ankle. She popped the ankle — which later turned out to be broken — back into place herself, and then walked to drop her two-year-old son off at daycare, Simon said.

I certainly won the lottery with Melanie and her family and our boys — and our future boys too.- Simon Crete


A month later, when Melanie went into labour, the health-care team couldn't find a vein to get the IV in and it was too late for the epidural.

So she gave birth naturally to their second son with one leg in a cast and no painkillers. 

"I certainly won the lottery with Melanie and her family, and our boys and our future boys too," said Simon.

"She's definitely the head of this household. Straight up.… She's the director and I basically do what she tells me to do when it comes to raising the boys."

Crete after giving birth in hospital with no pain medication and wearing a cast. (Simon Crete)

Mom caring for daughter with cerebral palsy 'hub of the universe'

Winnipegger Samantha Mitchell, 41, was born with cerebral palsy.

Her mom, Jan Lambeth, had just finished articling after law school when Mitchell was born. But because daycares at that point wouldn't accept children with cerebral palsy, Lambeth chose to be a stay-at-home mom, rather than pursuing her legal career.

She's the hub of the universe.- Samantha Mitchell

Mitchell, who uses a wheelchair, has lived on her own with support staff assistance since 2013. But it was her mother who suggested she move back into their home once the pandemic hit, to limit the chance she'd contract COVID-19 through exposure to rotating support staff.

For the last 14 months, Lambeth has been providing care with daily living tasks such as bathing, dressing and lifting her daughter.

Jan Lambeth is 'my backbone and she's the hub of our family,' says her daughter. (Submitted by Samantha Mitchell)

Living with her parents has allowed Mitchell to keep her office job, working remotely out of their home, and her parents have asked for nothing in return. She says she is grateful for her mother's sacrifice.

"She's my backbone and she's the hub of our family," said Mitchell.

"She's always there to help everybody. She's the hub of the universe."

Mom inspired poetry that still resonates

Ottawa's Julie Krupp, 62, wrote a tribute poem about 25 years ago to her mother, Janet Yvonne Binks, who died in January 2019. 

At the time, Krupp's new young family was preparing to move from their hometown in Kitchener, Ont., and she began to realize how much she would miss her tight-knit family.

I suppose the most important thing about my mom was that I have always known that I am loved. No matter what.- Julie Krupp

"I suppose the most important thing about my mom was that I have always known that I am loved — no matter what. Isn't that the most important thing for any child?" said Krupp.

Krupp remembers her mother as someone she enjoyed being around, who loved to dance and whose conversations over tea seemed to help her smooth out many of life's wrinkles.

Julie Krupp, left, with her mother, Janet Yvonne Binks. Krupp wrote a poem to remember her mom's sage advice. (Ellie O'Reilly/Submitted by Julie Krupp)

She wrote this poem, The Things My Mother Taught Me, to remember her mom's sage advice:

You taught me not to be afraid to sing out loud, no matter what anybody else thought

You made sure that I knew how to put on a meal on the table, but that life was too important to spend in the kitchen

That clothes don't make the woman, but that good shoes certainly help

That sometimes the best thing to do is to sit down and have a good cry, it can work wonders

To never let money or the lack of it dictate my decisions. Banks lend and so will dad

To enjoy my son, the way you enjoyed all of us and to raise him with patience, integrity and humour

Not to wish my life away, but to make the most of each day

That having fun is just as important to a person's well being as an honest day's work

To never say no if you are being asked to dance

And that you really do love me more than I'll ever know

Fighting cancer, mom-in-law still invests in family

Martha Hubert has already defied cancer twice.

Thirty years ago, she overcame non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Five years ago, she survived colon cancer.

Last December, she was diagnosed with cancer in her esophagus. After gruelling radiation and chemotherapy treatments, she's now prepping for surgery.

She's a selfless person. And just a living example of what a mother can exemplify.- Christine Schroeder Hubert

Through it all, she raised three children, two with developmental challenges.

Her daughter-in-law, 50-year-old Christine Schroeder Hubert, says she's inspired by Martha's strength and determination to survive.

Though Martha lives in Edmonton, she is close to her family's heart, says Christine, who lives in Winnipeg. She adores her mother-in-law's gentle and kind nature, and her dedication to her grandchildren.

Martha Hubert on a family visit to Winnipeg in 2019. 'I'm constantly amazed at how much she gives to others, including her family,' says her daughter-in-law. (Submitted by Christine Schroeder Hubert)

"I'm constantly amazed at how much she gives to others, including her family," said Christine. "She's a selfless person, and just a living example of what a mother can exemplify."

Providing care in crisis

Heidi Funk of Winnipeg says her mother, Sara Funk, has been a source of love and crucial support through her pandemic pregnancy.

Sara grew up in Paraguay, and since she wasn't able to have her own mother around during her pregnancy, it was very important for her to support Heidi, 28, when she was pregnant with twins last year.

If I could just be half the mom that she is, I'd be forever grateful - Heidi Funk

To minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19, Heidi chose to self-isolate. Her mother made that possible by buying groceries, ensuring she was always well fed, cleaning the house, taking her to doctor's appointments and stocking up on diaper sales.

Heidi ended up giving birth to her twin girls five weeks premature. The twins were in the hospital constantly during the first month of their lives. Her mom stepped in to care for one of the newborns while doctors were trying to diagnose a condition the other twin had.

Sara Funk with her granddaughters, Fianna and Aryanna, after their first blood transfusions (at 27 days old). 'If I could just be half the mom that she is, I'd be forever grateful,' says Sara's daughter, Heidi Funk. (Heidi Funk)

When the twins needed blood transfusions, Heidi's mom stayed in the hospital with her — support that allowed Heidi's partner to continue running their business.

"She's been the light of my life my whole life growing up," said Heidi.

 "If I could just be half the mom that she is, I'd be forever grateful."


Orinthia Babb is a reporter with CBC News. She was also an associate producer with CBC Manitoba's current affairs department.


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