Researching Motherhood: The Faces of Mom-mentum featuring Miriam Petrocelli
Introduction by Kate Fineske
We inadvertently become researchers of life and motherhood when we study our own as well as other mothers’ experiences and journeys. This is the concept behind our Faces of Mom-mentum series featuring interviews with different Mom-mentum members across the nation. Today we are introducing you to Miriam Petrocelli, a Mom-mentum board member member.
Miriam is a New York licensed attorney, experienced in the areas of general litigation and personal injury law, and a mother of two. In March 2015, she welcomed her first child and at that time decided to take a break from her legal work and stay at home for the time being.
Let’s take a few moments to get to know Miriam better…
Q: What 3 words do you think best describe you and why?
A: Family-oriented, kind and idealistic. As the oldest of five children, I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t taking care, or sharing something with one of my siblings. As a result, I developed a deep sense of responsibility when it comes to family. There is not much I wouldn’t do for my parents, my siblings, and extended family; and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my own family now. I am also a firm believer in kindness towards others. It is especially important to me now as a mother, as I want my children to exhibit kindness towards all people, no matter the sex, race, age or religion of a person. And this is maybe where my idealism shows—I believe if we were all just a little bit kinder towards each other and less judgmental, turning on the daily news wouldn’t be such a depressing chore.
Q: What are some of your personal passions, hobbies and interests?
A: I love to read. I have always been able to let go of a stressful or aggravating day by picking up a book and escaping into someone else’s reality. It is a passion I hope to ingrain in my children and that is why I try to do “story time” with them every day.
Q: How did you become involved in Mom-mentum?
A: I have always been a proponent of not just women’s rights, but basic human rights. In college I joined several organizations that promoted the protection of human rights, and I followed that passion right into law school. I enrolled in the international law program, which enabled me to take numerous classes revolving around women’s rights and human rights. Unfortunately, I was not able to follow this path once I graduated law school and looking back, it left me with this huge hole to fill.
“Mom-mentum introduced me to a community of women
with a passion, drive and a sense of understanding.”
While I was happy with my career at the time, it ultimately left me unfulfilled and I decided to take a break from the legal field. When I became pregnant with my first child, I was introduced to Mom-mentum. Once I learned what Mom-mentum was all about, there was no way I could give up the chance to become a part of this community. It reintroduced me to a passion I thought I had lost—advocating for the protection, enforcement and enrichment of women’s rights.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories as a parent?
A: I thought it was the day my daughter was born. Then I thought it was the day, she smiled…she crawled…she walked…she hugged me for the first time. Then I thought it was the day my son was born and I was a mother of two. But I think my favorite memory as a parent was seeing my children together for the first time. Before my son was born, I had this worry that I for some reason wouldn’t be able to love him as much as my daughter because how could there possibly be room for more love. But then I saw the two of them together and all that worrying went right out the window. I realized in that moment that I loved both of them equally with all my heart, and I would do anything for either of them until the day I die.
Miriam’s children and husband.
Q: What is one of your biggest challenges as a parent?
A: Patience. Patience when I’m tired. Patience when I need to get something done and the kids aren’t cooperating. Patience when they’re having a meltdown at the same time…just, patience.
Q: Has having children changed you?
A: Simply stated, having children made me a better person. Every day, I try my best to exhibit the types of traits I want to instill in them—love, kindness, compassion, humor, intelligence, creativity, etc. I guess I try to “lead by example.” I have come to realize that the little things that used to bother me in the past, are just that—little things. My view of motherhood has changed drastically since becoming a mother myself. Parenting is HARD! So, to all the moms I silently judged before having kids, I am sorry. I now realize that sometimes you just “have to do what you gotta do.” In the end, we all have the same fundamental interests at heart—the wellbeing of our children. Their wellbeing IS the most important thing, not how you get there.
Thank you Miriam for your honest responses and for allowing us to share your personal experiences in life as a mother.
Leave a Comment: Please help us give a warm welcome to Miriam. Do you relate with any of her struggles and successes in motherhood? Let us know in the comment section below!