Mama Mia! Let's Celebrate Our Magnificent Moms.
As Barbara continues to do incredible work to help others, but credits her family for helping her achieve so much. She and Peter have two sons, Andrew & Michael, and three grandchildren, Amanda (14), Matthew (11) and Daniella (15 months). “I have a wonderful husband who has supported me in everything I’ve done,” she said. “And watching my boys become men, get married and have wonderful wives, lives and children of their own makes me feel so blessed. Along with my husband, they are my life!”
Maryam Braun Local Mom Gets Her Kicks in the Martial Arts
By Kristan Bond
Motherhood is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs there is. But with the mental and physical focus that comes with teaching martial arts, Maryam Braun, owner of Evolution Martial Arts Parkland, brings a unique strength to BOTH jobs.
Maryam originally got into Martial Arts as a way to get a great workout. Little did she know the benefits of working her mind and body combined with learning how to protect herself would lead to a fulfilling career where she gets to share those benefits with children, teens and adults on a daily basis. Maryam has now been involved in the Martial Arts for 18 years and oh momma, this gentle-looking soul is trained in Tae Kwon Do, Isreali Self Defense, Karate, Kung Fu, Brazilian JuJitsu and Okinawan Kabudo weapons. So don’t ever judge a book by its cover! Best of all, she gets to work side-by-side with her high school sweetheart and husband of 12 years, Tony who together parent two adorable little girls, Layla (20 months) and Jazmyn (2 months).
In addition to doing what she loves every day being a mom and wife, Maryam is thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the community through her business, Evolution Martial Arts Parkland. They stay involved in the local community through city and school functions and each December, Maryam organizes the ‘Tis the Season event that’s held at the Parkland Town Center. The fun-filled event features, among other things, a toy drive and an essay contest for local elementary school students with the prize money being donated to the charity of the winner’s choice. She’s also a part of the Parkland Woman’s Club which, through fundraising efforts, is able to provide college scholarships to local high school seniors. She’s also helped raise funds for UNICEF “I try to remember that the little things DO make a difference,” said Maryam. “I can’t save all the children in the world, but something as simple as taking part in trick or treat for UNICEF does make a positive change for someONE.”
Between running a business, teaching, and raising two young daughters, you wonder how she too, does it all. But her focus and strength shines through as she explains, “First, I try to take it as it comes. Life is so demanding these days and can feel overwhelming when you have a million things that needed to get done yesterday. I just try to keep focused on the task at hand, what’s in front of me right now and what can I do in this moment to make it my very best. I do what I can and just stop and take a breath when life gets hectic.”
And this busy mom has the benefit of the ultimate stress reliever: “Thanks to my job, kicking and punching helps keep me stress free,”she said with a laugh.
For Maryam, her years of learning Martial Arts and then becoming a teacher were a breeze in comparison to becoming a mom. “The perseverance it took through many hardships to get the opportunity to be a mom was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s the hardest and easiest job I’ve ever had. But just looking into my daughters’ eyes, I feel such an overwhelming love for them. Like nothing else.”
This is going to be one kick-butt family when Layla and Jazmyn are old enough to follow in their mom and dad’s footsteps. And even if they have other interests, they’ll have 100% support from this power-mom. “Everything is enjoyable when you are with the ones you love and my children mean everything to me!!”