Renita Smith Saves 20 Kids

In September 2016 a bus driver in Maryland, Renita Smith, saved 20 children. This is a Mom Influence news story because, well even bus drivers are good souls who feel their little bus riders are their “babies”. I was amazed to hear this story that was featured on the Today Show and on Ellen’s show.

Renita Smith was quoted to say that she believes that moms are hereos, quoted in the article featured at Today, “You wear a lot of hats, and (motherhood) doesn’t come with a pamphlet, so you have to get right in there and just do it.” I second that Renita Smith. It’s so true, motherhood doesn’t come with a pamphlet and as a mom we wear oh so many hats.

The Story of Renita Smith Saving 20 Kids

During a routine bus drop off route, Renita saw the bus brake light come on. This usually indicates a mechanical problem, she presumed she had time to make it to the next drop off or two but little did she realize they would soon smell smoke. The kids informed Renita that the bus was smoking and soon enough she saw the fire. There wasn’t time to call her manager and get the manager on the phone, Renita had to use her quick thinking skills to save these 20 students on her bus.

The kids were told to get off that bus and a neighbor took the kids to a safe haven. From there Renita got back on the bus for one last check to ensure all kids were off the bus. A mom to an 18 year old son and 4 year old daughter, Renita was last heard to be taking some time off but her children are ever so grateful that both their mother and the kids on that bus were saved due to Renita’s quick thinking in the moment.

Do you have a Mom Influence story to share? We love showcasing stories of moms all over the world exhibiting these traits of being a positive influence on society and our children. Contact us today.

The Single Mom Influence

There are so many single moms out there in the world today. They struggle, they cry and they work to be stronger every day. Then there are other single moms who just give up, they focus on what failed and why they are now forced to raise a child or more than one child alone. The thing is, you can focus on anything you desire. If you are the single mom who chooses to focus on the difficulties of motherhood as you face them alone then chances are you will forever play a negative influence in your child’s life. This child will grow up to see that being a single mom means that you are less fortunate, that the world sucks and that you are not worthy of having a partner in life.

As a single mom you must remember one key thing –

You are the one person your child(ren) look up to and you are the one person your child(ren) will look back upon as a guiding light when they are adults.

I have been the single mom, the married mom and the dating mom. I have played many roles as a mom influence to my children. I have made mistakes.  I have curled up in a fetal position crying my eyes out ready to just give in. I have been exhausted; I have been consumed with self-pity. There are many chapters of life that bring to me sadness if I focus on them. I have been that single mom.  I woke up from those moments though as soon as I realized that I am the mom influence that my children look up to. I didn’t and still don’t ever want my children to look at me as a weak mother. A mother who couldn’t suck it up and be the provider then needed while growing up. I made a choice.

You, the single mom today, can make a choice as well. You can make a choice to be a positive mom influence on your child(ren). To rise above your circumstances as you learn to work with them versus against them.

The Single Mom Influence #mominfluence

Single Moms Have a Choice

I see you struggling to make ends meet. I see the heartache in your eyes as you hand your child(ren) off for a weekend with their dad. I see the hurt of that broken relationship flicker within your eyes while you watch your child(ren) exhibit signs of their father. These reminders you have to work through and live with, for your child(ren) are a beautiful creation of both parents. Like it or not.

The single mom works harder than any other mother in the world. The single mom develops this mentality that they will figure it out. The single mom often cries behind closed doors so that their child(ren) don’t feel and see the heartache that surrounds the lifestyle of a single mom. Regardless of what occurred to bring you to this place of being a single mom, you are still a survivor. You are still a fighter. You can still make the best out of this scenario.

Single Mom Influence

Today I invite you to find a way to work through the problems that you struggle with, focus on a solution and closure to current and past events.  Today is the day you need to tell yourself that you are brave, you are strong and you deserve to be happy even as a single mom struggling.

Cheers to the single moms out there who work through their problems, rise above and find a way to be that positive mom influence on their child(ren) day in and day out. Keep it real single moms. Be thankful that you are blessed to raise these little children you call yours and remember their love is forever, so as long as you raise them right.

Previous Owner of Happily Blended Launches ParentInfluence

Update: June 2017 – Brandy Ellen did sell Happily Blended in October 2016 and rebranded as MomInfluence but decided that ParentInfluence was a better fit. Announcing by former owner of Happily Blended Media/Blog.


After eight years of being known as Happily Blended online, it came time to sell off that blog and brand myself into a new person. You see, I have learned a lot in the eight years I spent blogging as Brandy Ellen over at my first born blog Happily Blended but I had taken that particular blog as far as I could. With much work to be done to figure out what direction that site would go in and what I really wanted the blog to be, I just felt I outgrew the name. When asked about selling it, I was confident selling Happily Blended for a price that made sense for me would be okay.

I walked away from Happily Blended in October 2016 and focused solely on client work as well as customer service for three membership sites we developed:, and Each of these sites have been up and running for a bit now, but in the beginning they required a lot of my focus to work with my man on managing them. To current date, we have a bit more free time as he works to code new sites and I manage the customer service side.

This left me some time to determine what brand Brandy Ellen would be again.

Surely I could be, after all that has been my business site where I showcase services I offer and write blog posts to showcase things I have learned along the ride of being a work at home mom. Yet, Brandy Ellen really didn’t feel like “home” to me as a blogger. I purchased a domain and thought that was the one, I would soon be branded to I began to write and felt myself much like I had become with Happily Blended, not truly feeling that brand.

Researching Domains

Sitting down the other day, researching ideas for domain names and what I wanted to be as a blogger, it happened upon me that I still wanted the word Mom in my brand. I needed to have Mom be a part of my new “name”. I had all sorts of ideas and visions; I shared my thoughts with my man who then started looking up ideas for me. Within Google Chat he would send over a couple of domains that were available and when he sent over … I was sold!

Mom Influence NH Mom Blog

I sat down, purchased the domain, created a logo using Canva and started writing. The blog posts came naturally to me. It was as if this brand most certainly was the right one for me. With a full launch date of January 1, 2017, I wanted to take a moment on this fine last day of December to introduce you to Brandy Ellen – the proud NH blogger at!

Prior Owner of Happily Blended brands new site - MomInfluence #mominfluence

Brandy Ellen Still Inspires

I hope to inspire you with positive blog posts that discuss the true impact a mom can have upon a child’s life. Be it positive or negative, at the end of the day, we all have our mom to thank for being in this world today. They are perhaps one of the strongest people we know, for they nurtured a baby within their womb for approximately 9 months and then let us out into this scary world as newborns.

You will quickly learn through stories and content shared on that I believe and understand that our birth mom may not always be our true light we see as the Mom Influence who touched our soul deepest, and that is okay.

All that matters is that we understand any woman can shed light into our lives as Mom and that it’s important we remember we need to be that same light for our children.

Those Bittersweet Teen Years

A s you watched your teen walk off to high school with a cup of tea in her hand and her hair dyed and cut to her liking, it dawns on you that you helped raise this child. This now teenager is yours, she is growing up and in this brief moment your heart aches because you realize it won’t be long before she is an adult of her own, off making her own life. These days are bittersweet, full of moments where she is still your little girl yet an adult at the same time. Days full of moments where just for a glimpse she’s that same little girl who loves coloring with you, chatting with you about anything and everything, that same little girl who used to cook in the kitchen with you and seemed to enjoy every waking moment being near you.

You are mother, a woman who is meant to raise the children and set them free on their own adventure called life. You are mother, a woman who loves unconditionally no matter how rough the sea gets. You are mother, a woman who is meant to guide her children through their younger years in a way that molds them to be confident, independent and creative adult souls. You are mother, and while the thought passes briefly that soon you will be mother to two younger sons, while your daughter ventures into adulthood …

you feel both happiness and sorrow.

Being a mother has always been the best job I have ever held. Sure some days are harder than others and that thing called sibling rivalry drives me crazy in some moments. The things is though, I wouldn’t trade a day of motherhood for anything else. The mom in me always shines through, admitting my flaws and constantly working to be a better person every single day. Each day I work to be stronger, more confident and a great example for my children, I become something stronger and more confident for myself.

Cherish Each Moment

I read daily on Facebook of friends having such challenges with their teenagers, yet I look at my lovely teen daughter and the only challenge I face is her indecisive nature, which I blame me for. I am truly one who can be full of indecisive responses and it’s a fact that most teenagers are naturally indecisive. As the days pass, I realize more and more that I am enjoying these days of motherhood, raising a teen daughter and watching as she figures out who she is as a person and wonder who she will be in four years when she graduates high school and ventures into the real world.

Mom Influence Bittersweet Teen YearsThings that matter

Remember to focus on what you have instilled within your teen daughter, not the bumps she’s working through as she finds herself.

I find myself feeling that bittersweet feeling that comes when you are nearing the last years of raising a child, those moments when you are supposed to let go just a little bit more and allow for them to make their own mistakes, no matter how hard that can be. Let go and let them be who they are without judgment or ridicule. Let go and trust that the last 13 years haven’t gone wasted, that somewhere deep within you have embedded a great example of good morals, manners and confidence that will shine through in every challenging moment.

Motherhood is not something for the faint at heart, you will find your heart strings are tugged at every new stage in childhood. It’s how you handle the scenario that makes you a Mom Influencer.

Mom Influence Cherish Each Moment of Motherhood

Be proud, for you have raised a child who has survived fourteen years and is now ready to start embarking on their own journey, a journey to adulthood and boy are you blessed to be able to watch this unfold.