Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Gina Badalaty. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty…
Gina Badalaty is a blogger at www.Mom-Blog.com, soon to be a community where moms of kids with special needs can take a time out to pamper, improve and help themselves.
Who do you feel you are today? What event has defined your life?
It's been a long journey, but today I'm becoming the person I always dreamed about being: a writer sharing her passion and fighting for causes. Having two children with 2 very different disabilities has shaped me in many ways. It's increased my trust in God, given me patience I never thought possible, and taught me how to fight for my kids – and when to hold back. Today, I feel pretty successful in my role as a mom. Creating a home full of love for my girls, raising them to be unique, loving and successful, and working to create a level field for them among their peers has grown me into a strong woman.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My mom is my biggest inspiration. She passed away some years back, but I always remember her showing fierce love for all of her children. There was a lot of love in our home, starting with my parents' amazing marriage (over 60 years). We were very close-knit, and Mom always fought to protect us when she felt we were being harmed or slighted – even if it was school or church. Her spirit is strong in my heart when I create my home or when I speak up for my children.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Getting schools to work with your idea of your child's education can be tricky. Many schools push back on parents of learning disabled children, and you can't blame them. They are facing serious financial straits, and in an area like ours, the population is exploding on top of that. However, there are laws protecting the education of disabled children in the U.S. I hired an advocate, learned my rights, and made sure to work side-by-side with school, being as upfront as possible, and backed all that up with a ton of prayer! Today my daughters are flourishing and we meet with the school regularly. We have a great relationship, too. I wish all challenges could be resolved as well as this one was!
What does beauty mean to you?
Beautiful people are the ones who use their talents and live up to their potential. I have a friend who is a gifted baker and when she cooks or entertains, she has a glow – even if she's dressed down, wears no makeup, and her hair is in a clip. Doing what you love and what you were meant to do creates this sort of inner smile in your soul, and your beauty shines through. For me, it's writing. I've now chosen to live out the writing life full time, and I feel more beautiful than ever.
How does Annmarie's mission fit into your lifestyle?
In the last year or so, I've become intensely aware of the toxic chemicals that are in our food, our products, our households. I believe that many of these contribute to my daughters' disabilities, as well as the growth of health problems in this country (cancers, dementia, celiac disease). It's very challenging but I'm on a quest to find clean products and get them into every part of my life. I was thrilled to find Annmarie's products because they do just that.
What are your words of wisdom to other beauties out there?
Be yourself. There is no one else like you, and I believe that's no accident. We're all here for a reason, let's make the most of our time on this planet and let our inner beauty shine!
Isn't she beautiful? If you want to keep up with Gina's amazing life, follow her blog at Mom-Blog.com!
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at info [at] annmariegianni.com)