Birmingham Mom Collective :: Introducing Melissa L.

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Hello, Birmingham Moms! I am so excited to be a part of the Birmingham Mom Collective (BMC) and consider it a privilege to share some of my experience as an older mom in this beautiful city. I know this has been a challenging year, but I’m so thankful for the encouragement that BMC has offered us during this time.

Exploring the Cahaba River

Birmingham

I fell in love with Birmingham in the early 90’s. Born and raised in Mobile, I left in 1990 to attend Auburn University. While there, I would often drive to Birmingham to see friends attending Samford University. Rolling hills, hiking trails and gardens to explore, Southside, hospitality, and amazing food — what was there not to love? I knew I wanted to live here someday, and that became a reality when I was given the opportunity to teach in the Birmingham City School system in 1998. I met my husband a year later, and in 2001, we had to move for his medical training. Before we left, I asked him to promise me we would come back. Of course, he could not, but we laugh about it now! After two states and three babies, my wish was granted and we returned in 2006.

I love this city even more now as a mom. We have so many beautiful outdoor spaces to explore as a family. The gorgeous weather, SEC sports, the BEST restaurants and Southern graciousness are such a sweet reminder of the things we missed when we left. We discovered that Birmingham has the same offerings as many large cities but the charm and feel of a small town. I am thankful we have been able to put down roots here.

However, I desire to make our city even more beautiful while being a part of redeeming its history of racial unrest. My vision and hope is that Birmingham moms of diversity will come together to listen and learn so we can build authentic relationships to support one another. We could be the bridge our city needs to unify this great city.

Fall in Birmingham


Mom

I have been married to my husband, Bobby, for 19 years. I am a mom to five kiddos (yes! 5!) ranging in age from 8 to 17. I have three handsome boys and two beautiful girls, and each one is brilliant, talented, and amazing in their own way. Our days are full with school, plays, dancing, basketball, church events, and living life. After teaching for several years, I became a full time stay-at-home mom. I grew up in a small family, but my dream had been to have a big family one day. It’s loud, crazy, and exhausting, but when we sit down around the table the circle is wide and full of love.

I’ve often been asked if I miss teaching, but I answer that I am still teaching every day. My undergraduate degree in psychology has been used daily in listening and counseling my teens and younger children. My teaching degree has been used daily as well, but was really put to use this past year with remote learning!

I’ve come to realize how the role of caregiver has really been diminished in our society. It is much harder than I anticipated but also more rewarding than I ever dreamed. Being a mom, whether a stay-at-home mom or working full-time outside the home, is the most important job on earth. After all, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!

Bobby, me, and the kiddos

Collective

As an older mom (I was just shy of 40 when my last was born), I think I have a different lens in which I view things. With my oldest, I was much more anxious and nervous. When our youngest was born, I knew I wanted to soak up every moment because it goes too fast! I’ve walked many roads with my kids including: ADHD, adoption, anxiety, and grief. As a mom I’ve battled my own times of guilt, depression, and being overwhelmed. However, I’ve come out on the other side learning how to find joy and beauty through it all. I find it an honor to share some of these perspectives and hopefully encourage moms who find themselves on similar roads. 

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Melissa is originally from the Mobile area but moved to Birmingham after graduating from Auburn University. After marrying and teaching for several years, she moved to a couple of different states so her husband , Bobby, could finish out his medical training. They came back to beautiful Birmingham in 2006 , and she is now a stay-at-home mom with their 5 children ( ranging from ages 8- 17) and their two fur babies. It’s usually crazy and loud in their home but she loves having an open door policy to build community. She loves Jesus, the beach and connecting with others. You will often find her at one of the many local coffee shops reading a book or listening to others stories over a cappuccino. Melissa is passionate about racial reconciliation in the church and helping women build bridges through listening and learning.

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