To all the moms out there, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

To keep the celebration going, I thought I would share with you some insights I gleaned from a viewing of the 43rd Annual Outstanding Mother Awards, which took place virtually on May 6. The event, which pre-pandemic was always held at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, is held annually by the National Mother’s Day Committee, an entity of the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that donates funds to family-related charities. To date, the National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council has donated over $30 million to deserving family-related charities nationwide, including Save the Children’s U.S. programs.

This year, the 43rd Annual Outstanding Mother Awards honored:

  • Halle Berry, Academy Award-Winning Actress, Director, Producer, Activist and Founder of health and wellness platform, re.spin
  • Natalia Brzezinski, Head of Strategy, Klarna
  • Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, North America Beauty and Personal Care, Unilever
  • Kate Hudson, Golden Globe Award winner, Academy Award nominee, WW Ambassador and entrepreneur
  • Kris Jenner, Reality TV Star, Producer and Entrepreneur
  • Dara Kass, MD and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Andrea Smith, Chief Administrative Officer, Bank of America
  • Gail Tifford, Chief Brand Officer, WW International

This year’s honorees shared their thoughts on what being a mom means to them, as well as offered insights into how they’ve been able to achieves success as women, business leaders, and mothers. Here are some key thoughts from a selection of the Honorees:

  • Kate Hudson said she grew up in a very open and honest family, and all her parents wanted for their kids was for them to be happy. She has a similar philosophy around raising her own kids. “If something happened to me tomorrow, all I want to know is that my kids are  happy,” Hudson said. “My goal as a mom is that when I go, ‘they are OK.’ I look at my kids sometimes and all I want is their lives to be good, and how do I make sure that they have the foundation to live a good life. That’s the only legacy I really, really care about.”
  • For Halle Berry, being a mom is all about protecting her kids. That’s why she was instrumental in getting Bill 606 passed, a California law that limits the paparazzi’s ability to photograph stars’ children. It lays out penalties for taking photos and videos of a child without parental consent and in a harassing manner. During her segment, Berry described the genesis of the bill and why she was so passionate about it. “The bill came about because it had to,” she said. “And I think most people do great things when they have to and when they’re fresh out of options.” Berry said she backed the bill after her daughter began to have nightmares after being terrorized by paparazzi who were relentless in pursuit of her photograph. The bill passed in 2013.
  • How has Andrea Smith been able to make it to the C-suite at a major bank while raising a family of three kids? “I feel very lucky,” Smith said during her segment. “I have an amazing husband who has been there all along the way, supporting me and my career and taking care of the family. I also work for a fabulous company whose policies are family friendly.” However, Smith acknowledged it’s a challenge to balance it all. “Every day is about trade-offs, prioritization and making choices. What works for me may not work for you or for someone else. You’ve got to figure out what’s important to you and then put those guardrails in place and make that become a reality. At the end of the day, the company has lots of programs for you to take advantage of, but you have to realize what’s important to you and how to do that.”
  • During her segment, Kris Jenner spoke about how how she has instilled a work ethic in all of her six children. “Having a work ethic is a very important quality, and all of my kids have the most incredible work ethic I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “Raising kids with the responsibility and structure of a work ethic is key as a foundation.”