Robin Laubaugh was crowned 2018 Ohio Mother of the Year. She and her husband, Bryan, are the parents of four children: Mitchell, Amanda, Jana, and Alex. The children nominated her through American Mothers, Inc., a national organization that is the official sponsor of Mother’s Day and honors a mother each year from all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Of the honor, she said that she was surprised and humbled. “While I worked my hardest and did my best I look at others who did the same thing and had struggles and stresses that I didn’t have such as raising a special needs child, being a foster parent or a single mom. But I feel very blessed and I want to be an advocate for motherhood and families.”
- Our children grew up knowing the most important relationship in the home was between their mother and their father. They knew we loved, respected and supported each other. They also knew their parents loved them, more than anything, and that they too were respected and supported.
- We also wanted them to grow up to be respectful, grateful, helpful, and thoughtful. Additionally, we wanted them to be dependable and held accountable for their actions and to develop characteristics such as grit and tenacity. We found the best way to teach those attributes was through work. Work first and then play was an essential part of our philosophy. Work was done side by side with either me or my husband until they learned the responsibility fairly well. Often work was done as a family and took many hours. The reward was the family then had time to play together. My husband would often remind the kids that our home was not a “cruise ship” where Mom and Dad were “cruise directors” tasked with making sure they had plenty of fun filled days, but a “sailing ship” that took everyone, working together, to make it sail. Early on we purchased a ski boat that became not only fun, but reinforced our philosophy of work and play. The kids would clean, wash and wax the boat on a regular basis. The benefit was many hours of family fun at the lake skiing, swimming and being together. We cherished those times together as a family!
She also said that she wanted to instill a strong sense of faith in her children and grandchildren.
- We are so fortunate to live in a community of so many wonderful congregations of individuals who have a strong faith and are a force for good. The children benefit by associations and are taught not only by their parents, but by dedicated members of their faith. We are members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My children benefited greatly by caring leaders and teachers and by the various programs that were provided. As I had mentioned before, raising children is not easy, and I’m so grateful for the support my congregation provided during those years.
Robin’s mother, Ruby Lesser, had been named Ohio Mother of the Year by this same organization more than 30 years ago. She passed away when the children were very young, but they were told about her and the incredible person that she was.
Robin earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University. Also with a Certified Financial Planner (DFP) designation, she founded and managed a financial consulting practice in Wadsworth, Ohio. In 1998, she was seated on the Wadsworth City Council as Council at Large and was elected President of Council in 2004 and served until 2007. In 2008, she was elected mayor of the Wadsworth, the first woman to win the title.
She has been honored with several other distinctions, including Wadsworth Citizen of the Year, the Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce Vision Award, Wadsworth Meritorious Hall of Fame, and Wadsworth Senior Advocate Hall of Fame.