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Mom of the Year is showered with love

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Heartfelt words: Lisa Figureido with her son Owen, who wrote a moving essay about his mom, which resulted in Figureido receiving the Mother of the Year award from the Continental Society of Bermuda.

Lisa Figureido doesn’t need flowers or a lavish breakfast for Mother’s Day.

Cuddles and some relaxation time with her boys would suit the mother of four just fine.

The 39-year-old will be honoured with the title of Mother of the Year 2015 at a special assembly tomorrow morning at Prospect Primary.

She received the accolade after her nine-year-old son Owen submitted the winning essay for the Continental Society of Bermuda’s annual competition.

Owen said it was easy to express how he felt about his mom. He only had to think about all the ways she showers his family with love daily.

“Probably four or five times a day she tells us she loves us,” the primary five student said.

“I remember this one time my mom wrote me this note and I found it in my lunch.

“When I read it I just started crying and I went outside and held it with me for the whole lunch time. I was just really happy knowing my mom loves me because lots of people don’t have that.”

Mrs Figureido never imagined she would have such a big brood. Her plan was to have two children.

“We were away in Florida and I wasn’t feeling well and I found out number three was coming,” the trust officer with Meritus Trust Company said.

“My husband just stood there laughing for an hour. He always wanted a big family. That wasn’t in my plan. I was just stunned and said ‘Wow’. I was really quiet for a while and my husband was the loud and vocal one because he was so happy.”

When Mrs Figureido found out they were pregnant with baby number four it was even more of a shock.

“I started to cry because it was just so overwhelming,” she said. “We had three already and the baby was only ten months old.

“Raising kids is hard work and you don’t think you’ll have the time or energy for any more, but of course once the baby is here you find a way. Now I wouldn’t want it any other way. It was almost like this is how it was meant to be.”

Needless to say her home is always busy. There are usually socks all over the house and pull-ups from the younger one.

“And there’s always something to do or some activity going on — whether it’s picking them up from here or a doctor’s appointment there or four separate sports days because they’re at four different schools. But it’s the best job in the world,” she said.

Mrs Figureido said it’s been rewarding to watch her children grow to have their own unique personalities.

She gets a little reassurance that she’s on the right track when she catches them doing something good, or excelling in school or at their favourite hobby.

“When you first become a mom it’s very emotional, life-changing and great,” she explained.

“Life quickly becomes different and all about them. You have to get used to the sleepless nights in the beginning and then just trying to figure everything out because parenting doesn’t come with a handbook.

“It’s easier when they’re babies — they just need to be fed, cleaned and changed. But as they get older the questions start and you have to figure out how to properly raise and encourage them in school.”

Sometimes the only way she knows how to cope is by taking it day by day.

A strict routine helps as does the support given by her husband, restaurant owner Dennis Figureido.

“I couldn’t do this without [him],” she said. “We are a tag team so if I’m not sure what to do I go to him and we talk.

“We have a lot of routine in our house. Mornings and nights are the same. We have to fight to get them up at 6.30am and then there is breakfast. My husband makes their lunches and tells them about 20 times to brush their teeth before they actually do it.

“Then we have another routine for when they get home from school, which includes unpacking their bags, doing their homework and then relaxing for a bit before baths, dinner and then bed. On the weekends we lay back and there’s no schedule.”

One of the biggest lessons she’s learnt is how to really listen to her children.

She strives to give them her undivided attention so she can hear what they’re dealing with in their personal lives and at school.

She also tries not to put unrealistic expectations on them. If they don’t get top marks in school but she can see they’re trying their best, then that’s good enough.

“They come into this world and they’re new to this, but yet they have so much to teach you about yourself as well,” she said.

“I’ve learnt a lot of patience. When you become a parent not everything happens smoothly and lots of out-of-the-ordinary and spur-of-the-moment things happen.

“They also teach you a lot about love. You love them all the same, but it’s a forever kind of love.”

Lisa Figureido's four sons: Eldest Ethan, 11, Owen, nine, Liam, five and Ryan, four. (Photo supplied.)
Lisa Figureido's four sons: Eldest Ethan, 11, Owen, nine, Liam, five and Ryan, four. (Photo supplied.)
Lisa Figureido's four sons: Eldest Ethan, 11, Owen, nine, Liam, five and Ryan, four. (Photo supplied.)
<p>Owen’s winning essay: The New Mother of the Year</p>

Do you ever get worried? Do you sometimes need guidance? Do you think that there’s no one you know you can actually connect to? I don’t. Because of one, single person. My Mom. She is one out of two people that are the lights in my darkness.

You may say yours is the best, but mine is. Here’s why.

My mom is loving. You would say that too about your mom, but I know why. She is always that one person that helps out. She’s the odd one out that will never stop being the odd one out. Now, she is kind. Very kind. She will NEVER let me act rude, and I act nice simply because she’s nice.

She had said once that I was cared for so much that she stayed with me for almost two years before putting me into day care.

My mom is giving. She (if she sees someone that needs something) will help them. For example: we went to Yo Cherry and these two kids tried to pay with their Yo Cherry card. The card was empty! Then…. (Dun dunt da!!!!!!!!!) she went and asked them if they wanted some money. Cool isn’t it? (I bet you want my mom, don’t ya?) Again, she always helps out, she once waited in line for someone else’s popcorn (definitely want her).

Next, she has a great personality. She always smiles, even when she’s mad she tries to smile. She again loves me, and that helps her to have such a great personality.

She will never try to upset someone unless you know, things are really bad, or she knows that the other person knows why she is shouting and they understand her.

My mother is protective. She has all these ways to keep us safe (us as in my three brothers and I). She won’t let me go in the road without her knowing. Every mom does that, but does yours do this?

She never lets us do dangerous stuff (like go out on a bike you don’t know how to drive) she understands feelings, ultimately making her know that you want to be protected.

She has said millions of times that I will die for you to live. She hates when I’m gone away from her, and so on.

Last but not least, my mother, Lisa Figureido, should be Mother of the Year because of how loving and protective she is, with that great personality of hers.

Owen Figureido

Age: 9

Class: Primary 5 Smith

School: Prospect Primary