Who is Your Model Mom?

My model mom has eight legs, five biological children, three adoptive ones, two dewy eyes and a gigantic heart of gold.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m turning the spotlight on motivational moms who have made an impact on my parenting techniques.

While there are many exceptional women out there raising kids in ways that warm the heart and stir the soul, this post highlights a unique mother I’ve admired since my daughter was a toddler. She embodies the fortitude of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the diplomacy of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the flexibility of a Cirque du Soleil performer.

Did I mention she’s a spider?


Yes, I heart Miss Spider.

Don’t let the title fool you, Flora Spider is a married arachnid with eight children who keep her scurrying around Sunny Patch much to the delight of her many pint-sized human fans.

I was first introduced to Miss Spider a few years ago when my daughter happened upon a Nick Jr. marathon. The animated series drew me in almost instantaneously, thanks in large part to Miss Spider’s soothing voice and sweet nature.

The show was like a cool milk bath after enduring the cacophonic firestorm that is Dora the Explorer.

Tune in to just 10 minutes of Miss Spider and you have to agree that the fictional mother is a quintessential role model.

She’s gentle, warm-hearted, generous and kind… and not just to strangers. She actually treats her kids with the same tender touch, regardless of how often they cause irreparable damage.

Miss Spider doesn’t have a mean bone in her entire cephalothorax. In fact, her compassion for other living things is so great she refuses to eat other bugs. Rather, she prepares vegetarian meals for her entire family.

She’s also level-headed even in the most dire situations (like that time when two of her kids were about to be devoured by a ravenous Goldfinch) and she is constantly giving her children the benefit of the doubt.

More importantly, Miss Spider takes parenting very seriously.

Ironically, she could have sworn off motherhood early on, especially since she was abandoned by her own mom shortly after birth. However, rather than sink into an abyss of cynicism and despair, Miss Spider dug deep and blossomed into a profoundly patient parent, who not only embraced her biological children, but also adopted three other bugs, so they could have a better life in Sunny Patch.

So, yeah, she is a spider, and a fake one at that, but, oh, the things you can learn from a soft-spoken insect with a tree full of kids.

What fictional mom are you inspired by?

Related Articles:


What Makes a Mother?

Accent-uate the Positive

This entry was posted in Viewpoints by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.