Mother’s Day freauture: A look at some Boyne area working moms

Beth Gohs

Staff Writer

Anyone with a mother knows just how hard they work, but at least once a year they are recognized for all they do.

mother's day pics
Pictured (from left) are Sara Christensen, Sydney Wormell, Cinda Shumaker, Gayle Harbaugh and Deb Jason.

Several Boyne area moms recently took time out of their busy schedules to share a little about what it’s like to be a modern working mother.

Sara Christensen, Economic Development Specialist with the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, is a Boyne City native who is married and has two children.

“The benefits of being a working mom is the variety of all the things I do in a day, and the challenge is balancing those activities,” she said.

Christensen explained her typical Mother’s Day thusly: “I like to start it by breakfast made by somebody else, lunch made by somebody else, topped off with dinner made by somebody else. I usually spend it with my family and mother and mother­in­law.”

She added, “My dream Mother’s Day would be just relaxing with my family.”

Christensen also shared a fond memory of her own mother.

“What I remember about my mother is just the traditions on holidays,” she said. “One thing that sticks out was the Labor Day parade in Grand Rapids, marching in it with her coworkers,” said Christensen.

• Sydney Wormell, a Boyne native and owner of Upsy-Daisy Floral, is married and has two children.

Wormell described her daily work and challenges she faces being a working mom.

“I bring my kids into work with me so it’s a little challenging but I enjoy it,” she said. “It keeps me challenged creatively. The hardest part is finding time in evenings to spend time with family and finish work.”

While many moms rest on Mother’s Day, Wormell spends the day working.

“I usually work and spend time with family after work,” Wormell said. “But if I wasn’t with my family I would probably kill for a massage.”

Some of Wormell’s fonder memories of her own mother include family camping trips in the summer and music festival.

• Cinda Shumaker, Concord Academy Boyne fourth grade teacher, spent most her life in Boyne and is married with three children.

According to Shumaker her first job is being a mother. She went back to school after 20 years and received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

“Working mothers have the hardest job of all—managing a career, family and home,” she said. “When kids are sick they want mom,when there’s a problem they want mom; I told them once I was changing my name to ‘dad.’”

But, Shumaker said, she has never regretted a moment of time with her children.

“We made so many great memories,” she said. “When they started school I started working but always tried to have the same schedule they did so I could be there for them.”

A typical Mother’s Day for Shumaker?

“Our family really doesn’t do a lot for Mother’s Day. Sometimes they make me coffee and let me sleep in a little,” she said. “I don’t feel that, because I’m a mom, I deserve a day more than any of the rest of them, since they do so much for me.”

Although, if given a special Mother’s Day, Shumaker did have an idea in mind.

“If I had one wish for Mother’s Day, it would be to spend some time, one-on-one, doing something that each person picked to do together—we don’t really have a lot of time for things like that,” she said.

According to Shumaker, her mother was also a working mother and is an inspiration to her and her children.

“One of my favorite memories, also one of my most embarrassing, was when we were at horse shows. When she wanted to get our attention across a show grounds, she would yodel,” she said. “I laugh about it now, after the trauma has worn off. She still does it every once in a while.”

• Gayle Harbaugh, owner of Kilwins Chocolates in Boyne City, has lived in the Boyne area for 25 years. She is married with two children.

Harbaugh talked about what it’s like being a working mother after her children have grown to the point where they don’t need the same kind of care young children need.

“It’s hard. I’ve been lucky where I can make my own schedule so I can make my kids events,” Harbaugh said. “It was hard not to always be home when they were younger when they got home from school.”

Harbaugh spoke about a Mother’s Day weekend tradition she does for herself … participating in a race each year, followed by spending time with family.

“I run a 25k race on Saturday, and Sunday I go out to brunch with my family,” she said. “I lost my mom six years ago so I go visit her and get together with my sister.”

Her perfect Mother’s Day would be a simple one.

“If it’s nice out I’d go to brunch with family and just be outside and maybe go on a long hike,” Harbaugh said.

Sharing the significance her mother had in her life, Harbaugh said. “She was always amazing and always able to help you with any craft and answers to questions and be there for you.”

• Deb Jason, Associate Director of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce is married with three children.

A native to Northern Michigan, except the three years she left for college, Jason has worked at the chamber for the past seven-and-a-half years while mothering her three children.

“It is challenging being a working mother—a constant juggling act—but I like the challenge,” Jason said.

For Jason, being a working mother has allowed her to show her children how important it is to be involved in your community.

“I am able to be a part in making our town a wonderful place to live and visit,” Jason said.

And how does Jason spend her special day?

“Mother’s Day is usually a pretty casual but fun day for me. It usually starts with breakfast in bed,” she said.

What about her dream Mother’s Day?

“Waking up in Italy in a B&B in Tuscany on Mother’s Day with my Husband, Children, Grandson and spending the day enjoying the beauty of that region,” she said.

Jason shared thoughts about her mother, in honoring her this Mother’s Day.

“My Mother is a beautiful, strong and very giving person,” she said. “She has taught me the importance of family and unconditional love.”