One day a year simply isn’t sufficient to honor the women who brought us into the world and spend the rest of their lives trying to protect us from it. Moms are everything, and we here at the Keys Weekly are humbled to honor the amazing moms who have made us what we are. We’ve asked moms for some of their best advice, and have also shared some of the most important lessons we’ve learned from our own moms. 

Rebecca Guzman (with husband Hector and kids Nena and Brock)

“Enjoy all the little moments, those tiny times add up to being there and that means the world to your kids; you become their trusted confidant and advisor as they grow. Also, you learn a lot from the driver’s seat (literally); just listening as they chat helps you figure out how to best support them through all of life’s ups and downs.”

Stephanie Mitchell (with son, Jack Mitchell)

“Your house will be messy but your kids will never remember that. They’ll only remember the laughing, the hugs, the tickle-fights and the love, so make sure you focus on the fun things more than the mess. P.S. It’ll just get messy right after you clean it up anyway.” 

Amy Tripp (with her mom, Christina Argabrite)

Amy Tripp is mom to Savannah, 9, and Berkeley, who is “12 going on 20,” she said.

“Just to be patient and loving, I learned that from my mama. Also after having kids, I know now to never judge another parent for their parenting. I thought I knew it all before kids; once you have kids it is a lot of improvising and doing what works for you.”

Annie Briening with mom Debbie Hamer

“My mom’s best advice is to ‘look for opportunities to show compassion and always be kind.’”

Beth Grooms (with Kassidy, Ryan & Kelci)

“Raising three kids is the most stressful job, but it goes by way too fast.”

Larry Blackburn (with his mom Kathryn Dyess Blackburn)

She always taught me, “Treat other people better than you want to be treated. Don’t hesitate to help those that need help.”

Mary Crough (Kurt Lewin’s mom, with his dad, Kermit)

“I love my mom’s smile. My father was a lucky man and we were lucky kids.”

Carol Simeon 

Carol Simeon is a proud sixth-generation Conch (and a Cates, Curry and Gardner descendant).

The best advice she ever received came from her own mother, Clara Cates.

 “Patience and plenty of hugs,” she said.

“I was blessed with a wonderful mom, two amazing grandmothers, a very special godmother and a host of aunts — all living in Key West.”

Lee Rekas (with daughter Madi and son Archer on the way)

“Schedule time to take care of yourself, even if it’s just a 30-minute workout. I think it makes you a better parent. The love you pour into yourself feeds into your mood, the way you speak and interact with your kids, alleviates stress, and everything else in your daily life. Self-care is caring for your kids.”

Cathy Sellers (with son Damien)

“There’s nothing wrong with spoiling your kids with love.”

Tori Benitez

“Be kind to yourself and each other. Celebrate the great, minimize the challenge.”

David Sloan with mom, Eileene

“My mom’s best advice? ‘Don’t tell your sister you’re our favorite.’”

Irene de Bruijn with mom, Lillian

“My mom, Lilian de Bruijn, gives you advice sometimes without you even knowing it. And then a few days later, when you have that aha moment, you think you figured it out all on your own. Pretty clever, and much appreciated, mom. I love you!”

Kelly Norman and daughter Taylor

“It takes an island.  Find your tribe. Also, parenting is different than it looks on social media.”

Kirby Myers (with husband Britt and Hudson, Dylan and Tristan)

“Always listen and always be their friend. And remember, they absorb what you do way more than what you say.” 

Key West Weekly publisher Britt Myers with mom Renee, brother Ashley (far right) and father Homer. 

“My mom’s best advice was, ‘Sometimes it’s best not to ask.’”

Kristen Eklund with daughter Hannah Bigger

“My advice is for new moms: Let your kids develop their own personalities and build from there; have rules and keep them. I always preached respect because you will need that your entire life. Most of all, love them and be proud if they come in first or last, at least they tried.”

Marla Orlowski with sons Sam and Ben

“Don’t stress the small stuff. Remember when you couldn’t understand why your parents were so mad or upset about something that seemed so small to you? Your kids don’t understand either.”

Mandy Miles with mom Mary Ann Bolen

“My mom (and dad) never let their kids doubt for one second that we are fiercely loved and always have a soft place to land when things get tough.”

Michelle Mongelli with daughters Taylor, Alina and Nicole (son, Luca, is not pictured)

“The best advice my mother ever gave me was to have patience and most importantly, to never drink alone. (That’s why I have a dog, Rooby, also not pictured).”

Shasta Munnerlyn with kids Ivy, Shelton & Ainsley

“Always show that your love is unconditional and don’t forget to give yourself time-outs.”

Tayla MacMillan with kids Kylie & Rider

“Make communication a priority.”

Kate Miano with daughter Jessica Miano Kruel

“I have two daughters, and I’m blessed that my daughter, Jessica Miano Kruel, comes here to Key West every winter to act. My best advice on motherhood is to allow your children to find their own happiness.”

April Fariss with husband Bruce and sons Emerson & Chase

“Life isn’t supposed to be perfect. Enjoy each moment and appreciate it for what it is. Read to your children every night and read with them as they grow older. Nothing can replace that time spent with them.”

Robin Boucree with kids Colette & Vance (and big kid Nate Dogg)

My advice as a mom: Get on a schedule. Otherwise the baby will make it for you. Have a plan — with three backups for when it goes awry, and be fully prepared to toss said plan out the window. Be flexible; life is about balance. Lastly, hang on and enjoy the ride. Get all the snuggles and tell your family you love them every day.”

Danielle Wheeler with daughter Dylan Field

“I truly believe children are born with a certain spirit or nature and we as moms (parents) are here not to control them, but to guide them to be the best people that they can be.”

Tammy Fox (with Pickles the dog)

“My son, Noah, is my greatest accomplishment and brings me joy every day.  

“You don’t have to be the perfect mom. Mistakes will happen, so the best advice I have is to acknowledge mistakes when they happen and apologize. Apologizing is important for the relationship and it teaches the valuable lesson of being accountable for your behavior and empathy for others — something we could all use a little more of these days.”

Yaremy Camejo with kids Vanessa, Herminio and Adrian

“Don’t be afraid to use the chancleta, and when all else fails, the F-word.”

Marjorie Calderon with son Andres and husband Mario Aguero

“The advice from my mama that I say often to Andres is: Be happy with what you have. Live life intensely and be happy.”