Mother’s Day is a time to honor and celebrate the women in our lives who have nurtured, loved, and supported us. Whether that person is your mother, sister, an aunt, a friend, or a mentor, the day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the ways she has touched your life.
For Mother’s Day, Furniture Row designer Barbara Chandler contributed some lovely insights, and we are so happy to share them with you. A working mother herself, Barb discussed with us what inspires her as mother to her own daughter, and how she has designed a home in which she and her daughter can connect and flourish.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Q: Has there been a major influence on you as a mom, apart from your own mother?
B.C.: My best friend, mentor, kindred spirit, Lana R. James. The day I met Lana my dog ran through her house destroying everything in his path, snatching toys and slobbering all over her 3 youngest children. The children were screaming and crying as I left. I was delightfully surprised when she invited me to come back (without the dog). This was the start of our wonderful friendship.
Lana’s patience, unconditional love, protection and devotion for her 5 children continually inspire and influence me. Lana was the most patient person. In the 10 years I had the honor of calling her my friend, I never heard her yell or lose her temper—not once. Her children could and would tell her anything. This is something I have tried my best to have with my daughter, open communication no matter what, no judging, just speak your mind.
Lana didn’t “do” labels either. My favorite is example “the terrible two’s” label. How can a 2 year old be terrible, they are just “busy.” This is one of the many reasons we got along so well, neither of us went along with the “norm” when it came to parenting or anything else.
Lana’s home was always filled with art projects, animal creatures, lots of noise and FUN. Before my daughter came along, I would spend hours during the weekends at her house. I absolutely loved the chaotic energy her children would bring. It was a magical time. I thought when I have children I want my house to feel the same, full of fun and where kids can be kids!
Q: As a designer how do you create a kid friendly-home?
B.C.: Nothing in my home is so precious that if it were to break I would get bent out of shape. To me the things in my home can be replaced, experiences and people can not be replaced. Instead of “rules” I like to call it “please do.” Please do eat and drink at the table, please do put your dishes in the dishwasher, please do clean up, please do turn on the music, fairly reasonable. I have slipcovers in my dining room that can easily be thrown in the washing machine, my wood floors are simple to keep clean vs. carpet, cute buckets and bins house toys and crafts and all the scratches and dings just adds to the charm of my home. When the weather is nice I turn off the air, the sliding door stays open, the dogs and kids can run in and out as they please.
Q: Please tell us about your mother.
B.C.: My mother means so much to me. She went to great lengths to adopt me, my brother and sister. My mom never meets a stranger, when you meet her you would swear she is your new best friend. When you think “Southern Hospitality” that’s my mom, her home is always open to anyone, just stop by!!! My mom is always baking and cooking, no one leaves my mothers home hungry or empty-handed. I have found over the years my mother is quite adventurous. She has traveled the world for humanitarian relief efforts, her calling in life is to love and help others. My mother is fearless and I love her very much!
Q: What does being a mother mean to you?
B.C.: I can not answer this without getting emotional. I absolutely love children and was blessed with a wonderful, caring, compassionate, sweet, beautiful daughter who means the world to me. Being a mother to my daughter is a privilege, a precious gift with enormous welcomed responsibility. My daughter inspires me to be a better person, to be thankful and appreciate all that life has to offer.
As a mother to a ten-year-old , I get to act silly, play, make believe play, dream BIG, play, dress up in costumes ANYTIME, play, learn everything all over again, play!!!!
Q: What will you be doing for Mother’s Day?
B.C.: Spending a fun day with my daughter. We both love the outdoors, hopefully the weather is nice so we can go on a picnic and plant flowers. I’ll call my mom; unfortunately I won’t be able to see her since she lives on the other side of the country.
I will also spend some quiet time remembering an amazing mother, my dear friend Lana who I miss terribly since she has passed away.
Q: Do you have anything you want to say to our readers?
B.C.: To me, Mother’s Day is all about love. Whether you are a mother or not, just enjoy the day, know that you are loved. Call your mother or someone who took on that role in your life and thank them. If your mother has passed on, remember her in a way that is special to you.
And to all the moms out there, YOU ROCK!
Happy Mothers Day!