In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, the UN Foundation is asking you – our supporters – to share with us a woman who inspires you.  Many people have responded that their mothers inspire them most. This makes perfect sense to me because our moms are often our first bosses, role models, and friends.  We look up to them (literally) for their guidance, support, and love.  And as a new mom, I appreciate more than ever my own mother and her sacrifices for me.

My mom’s strength, humor, and loyalty continue to inspire me, and now that she is helping to watch my 9-month-old daughter Sofia while I’m at work,  I am reminded of the lessons she taught me at a young age.  Both my mom and Sofia, who have become best friends and partners in crime, inspire me each day to be a better mother, daughter, and person.  Over the past few months, they have reminded me to:

Be persistent and curious: Since day one, Sofia has been pushing the limits on what she can accomplish.  She would wiggle her way out of her infant seat because she wanted to be part of the action whether it was cooking dinner or doing laundry.  Now,  she is climbing on top of her diaper caddy to get a better view out of the window and fiddles with the baby gates to try and follow us down the steps.  While this can be exhausting, Sofia’s persistence and curiosity inspire me to continue to push harder and explore more.

Connect with people: My mom is one of those people who makes best friends with the person next to her in the elevator or in line at the store.  And she nurtures her relationships with her friends and family.  She reminds me that we share a lot in common with others and the beauty in life is connecting with people to share stories, offer a helping hand, or find the humor in a situation.

When in doubt, laugh: When I ask my mom for advice with a problem, her immediate response is to make me laugh and remind me not to take life or myself too seriously.  As she always says, we only have today so let’s make the most of it and have fun!

I think many of the lessons I’ve learned from my mom and daughter are universal and remind me how important it is to support mothers everywhere – from our neighborhoods to countries around the world – because moms are inspiring the next generation of leaders and caretakers.  They are life-savers and life-changers.