‘It truly takes a village’
HARLAN — This year’s Iowa Mother of the Year award was given to Ellen Walsh-Rosmann of Harlan. She is the 74th woman in Iowa history to be so named. Walsh-Rosmann, along with honorees from states across the United States, will be recognized during the 88th National Convention of American Mothers, Inc. this April in Omaha, Neb.
“It’s very humbling. I know there are a lot of other mothers that are more deserving,” Walsh-Rosmann said. “I can think of a lot of people who have supported me. It truly takes a village to raise a child.”
Walsh-Rosmann said she was nominated last fall by Donna Schmidt and had to go through an application process. She said she hesitated filling out the application form, despite many people encouraging her to do so.
“I’m sure all mothers would feel just as uncomfortable,” she said. “It’s a very subjective award and I’m not better than anybody else. It’s an honor to be recognized.”
Walsh-Rosmann and her husband, Daniel, are parents to 10-year-old Xavier and 6-year-old Geneva. She said she and her husband are a team and support each other. She said her parenting style is a team effort.
“Daniel and I both believe in teaching our children about the world and kinds of people, places, cultures and we want them to have an understanding and a love for everybody,” she said. “I was raised in a home that was like that. My parents always made it a point to travel and see things and learn about other people. When you are open-minded and don’t live in a silo, you have better understanding and passion and empathy for taking care of people.”
Walsh-Rosmann and Daniel own and operate FarmTable Procurement and Delivery, as well as Milk and Honey restaurant in Harlan. She is currently getting her Master’s in Public Health from George Washington University in Washington D.C., and works full time as a food broker working with K12 Schools.
She said she has a a lot of moms she looks up to and many who are modeling work-life balance.
“There are lots of days when I feel like I don’t have it together,” she said. “But I have wonderful people on my team that help me be a mom first and I really try to have a healthy work-life balance to be a mom and participate in my children’s lives.”
She said she hopes her children see when you care about something and are really passionate about something you can help lots of people. Walsh-Rosmann said a lot of the work they do to help farmers in our local community is to create a better world for the next generation.
“We are always figuring things for the next generation,” she said.
Walsh-Rosmann said the best thing about being a mom is that her kids are feeling loved all the time. “Sometimes adults don’t show you that,” she said. “I feel like the kids think I’m cool though I know that won’t last.”
She said she sometimes feels a little lonely and feels impostor syndrome.
“When I’m with my kids I don’t feel that way,” she said. “I feel safe with them and I hope that they feel safe with me.