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‘Mother’s Day Out’ passion for Braden

It takes a very special person – someone filled with courage and motivated by love – to raise a child.

Surrounding a small individual with all the love and care needed is hard work, but well worth it in the end for childcare workers. Extending her love to many in Butler County for more than 35 years, Margaret Braden serves the community in a very special way.

As a mother and grandmother, Braden had years of experience before starting her own, “Mother’s Day Out” program at her house in the early 1980s. This past Tuesday, in the nursery at First United Methodist Church Greenville, surrounded by children, Braden shared her love for helping others raise their children.

“It’s fun, I just enjoy it,” she said with enthusiasm. “In fact, I love it.”

Braden, who now serves the church through the “Mother’s Day Out” program hosted in the nursery five days a week, continues her ministry of caring for children.

“I watched children in my house for 20 years,” she explained. “In 2000, I retired and two weeks later the Methodist Church called me and I’ve been here 18 years.”

Loving her work, it seems Braden had a very special calling to the field of motherhood.

“I guess this is what God put me here for because I have been doing it for 38 years,” she said.

The Rev. Angie Long of First United Methodist believes the program is invaluable.

“The Mother’s Day Out program is a ministry that we hope helps support parents in our community by offering a safe and loving place for their children,” she said. “We want the parents to know that we see their precious babies as our own.

Long added that Braden is the right person for the job.

“Ms. Margaret certainly sees all of those babies as part of her family,” Long said. “She has been part of this ministry for many years. She has given her time and gifts freely, helping to care for and love the babies with whom we are entrusted. She is truly the most loving lady and we are so thankful she is part of our MDO family. We cannot imagine this work without her.”

During the nearly four decades, Braden has seen multiple generations of families grow up, even her own.

“Its fun to be privileged to keep all four of your grandchildren,” she said.

Besides her grandchildren, Braden had played very influential roles in many other lives.

“A lot of my early babies, I watched their babies,” she said. “I’m still getting wedding invitations in the mail for some.”

Braden exemplifies patience, love, kindness and all the gentleness a mother can offer by her character. The baby whisperer has a knack for captivating the children, all while teaching valuable lessons.

“We just try to get them to share; say, ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘thank you;’ and get them ready to go across the hall” Braden said.

At First United Methodist, Braden keeps the younger class in the program. “Going across the hall,” is a big deal for the children, and Braden walks alongside them to prepare them for the older class.

Braden said that it takes patience and kindness to keep the children in line, but she never misses a step. She only has one tip for old and new mothers alike.

“You just have to love them,” she said.

Braden added that every child is different, but special nonetheless.

“Everybody has their own personality, you just have to keep loving them through it all,” she concluded confidently.