Megan Doedtman, 11, has been entering the Mother’s Day essay contest for six years, each time trying to win her mother, Kyla, the honor of Mother of the Year.
“When she was in kindergarten,” Kyla said, “She’d come up to me and tell me what she wanted to write. We’d spell out every word and I’d write it all down for her.”
In her letter, Megan recognized her mom’s tireless work to keep her four children going every day and how difficult that can sometimes be.
“I couldn’t describe how amazing she is,” Megan wrote about Kyla. “She never gives up and never lets anything get her down and that’s what I love about her.”
Kyla’s been raising Megan and her sisters, Madison, 13, and Alyson, 9, on her own since her divorce a year and a half ago. Since then, she’s worked two jobs, covering second and third shifts at Flying J Truck Stop before going in for a waitress shift at Denny’s. She said in all her decisions, the kids come first.
“I’m just doing what I have to do for my kids,” she said. “I’ve made it my life’s devotion.”
Kyla said finding time between work and the kids’ school schedules can be tricky, but she wants to be able to find things that the whole family can enjoy and be able to bond over.
“We’ll go get ice cream or go to the zoo or just drive around in the country,” she said. “We find little things to do. It’s all about spending time together wherever we can find it.”
Between raising the kids, sometimes with the help of her adult son Andrew, Kyla said the message she wants to impart to her children and their many friends who refer to her as “mom” is that it’s important to keep fighting for what’s important to you.
“No matter what, you can’t let something get you down,” she said. “Every day in life is a struggle but every day in life is also about getting back up.”