Archives For Mom

So…about that new job. It’s going pretty great actually. I know you’ve all been losing sleep over not knowing whether or not I like it.

I still don’t know everything I need to know (tomorrow will be the start of my fourth week), but I’m not lost like I feared I would be after leaving a place where I knew my role like the back of my hand.

It’s Sunday evening and I’m not feeling any how-many-hours-do-I-have-left-to-my-weekend anxiety. I no longer dread Monday mornings. Strike that…I don’t dread returning to work on Mondays. I always dread mornings, no matter what the day.

Most importantly, I am starting to embrace my professional identity. I am now in a position where my success will be measured by how much better I make other people’s lives. It recently dawned on me that it is a role completely synonymous to what it means to be a mom.

Maybe that’s why I am excited for each new day? Or maybe I’m still simply in the honeymoon phase? Or maaaaybe…I don’t need to try and rationalize why I feel the way I do? I keep telling myself to simply live in the moment and soak up new opportunities as they arise.

I believe I have identified the x-factor when it comes to determining job satisfaction: To be happy with what you do for a living, you must share a personal desire with those who surround you.

Some people want to be known for having the greatest material wealth or influence, so they surround themselves with others who seek out similar status. Some people want to change the world so that it is better for future generations, so they forgo immediate gratification to pursue something bigger than themselves. Some are happy simply existing, knowing they have a support system in place who can remind them of their greatest strengths when they’ve forgotten. Some people want to laugh everyday and see the good in others, so they embrace similar thinkers and doers in the hopes of finding solutions instead of harping on problems.

After all, the world is a beautiful place and we only have but one life to live. It’s not easy to stay positive, but I’m going to embrace this period for as long as possible.

Even Monday mornings are worth celebrating my friends.

Before I was a mom of three, I never knew what it was like to raise a little girl. I never had to guess what mood any member of my family was in because, before I was a mom of three, we all pretty much knew how to read one another. I never realized how fun it was to paint little toe nails. It’s an experience far more enjoyable than painting my own.

Before I was a mom of two, I never thought it was possible to give my love and devotion to anyone other than my precious first-born son. Before I laid eyes on my second son, I never knew what it was like to have a cuddly boy whose sole existence, it seems, is to make sure his mom is happy. I never realized my heart could swell to the point of bursting until he showed me what it means to give without expecting anything in return.

Before I was a mom of one, I didn’t know it was possible to actually be in awe of a child. I knew parents could be proud, but to feel a sense of awe is different. Before my oldest even took in his first breath, I never knew that God could intentionally give us our children in the exact order we need them. To bless us with a confident kid who helps us along the way and serves as a role model during times when we fall short.

Before having three children, I had two dogs. One passed and left me wondering why on earth we allow ourselves to own pets only to see them die before us. The other reminds me daily why we make that choice and never regret doing so.

Before I was a mom, I was a wife. I loved my husband and took the time to show him. I soaked in his strength and felt protected. I told him I would stand by him even if we led each other astray. I put my faith in him and not once has he let me down. I’ve seen him positively guide and discipline not only our own kids, but other youth as well. I know he loves me and would do anything to make me happy.

Before my husband stole my heart, I was a student and an athlete. The minute I knew what it felt like to be recognized for being good, I never felt pressured to be bad. I was complimented for being a leader and I never took that responsibility for granted. If I can leave this earth knowing I’ve impacted someone’s life for the better, I will feel fulfilled at the end of my days.

Before I was a student and an athlete, I was a girl who was loved and supported by her family. I did not need to be surrounded by material things to know my life was rich. What I didn’t recognize then was that the collective sacrifices of so many would help shape the person I am today.

Who were you before the person you are now?

I received unbelievable news earlier this week from the top-ranking female administrator in athletics at my collegiate alma mater. She called to let me know I will be receiving the school’s Leader for Life award on May 3, an honor that she herself had received in 2007.

To say I was caught off guard is an understatement. In fact, I believe my immediate reaction went something along the lines of, “Seriously?! I thought people had forgotten who I was after I had kids.”

This annual award is given to an individual whose actions have made a lasting impact on women’s sports at Creighton University.

I don’t know why, but hearing this news made me flash back to my senior year of college when a teammate of mine thanked me for everything I did for her. She confessed that she didn’t know if she would have made it through the softball program had it not been for me. I looked at her dumbfounded, completely caught off guard.

She has no idea, but that remains one of the best compliments I have ever received.

I didn’t really think about what I wanted to become post-college other than a wife and a mom (those roles I knew for sure). I was fortunate to secure a job in a field that fit my educational strengths. I could easily answer the question, “What am I good at?” but never paused to ask myself, “What inspires me?” Over the years, I’ve discovered there is a vast difference between those two questions and finding an answer to the latter has become more important to me.

So upon hearing that a committee voted me to be the recipient of an award for having a lasting impact, I felt truly humbled. It solidifies my belief that I am inspired when I can make a connection with people. It reminds me to take the time to thank those who have rallied behind me to help me become the person I am today.

Earlier this year, I asked my boys to build their “walls of importance,” which simply are poster boards that they’ve glued pictures and written words on to symbolize what is most important in their lives. I built one too.

Things I've done that make me happy and people I love who make me complete.

We went through this exercise to remind ourselves that whatever we place on those boards are the things/people we value the most. The boards also serve as a visual reminder to avoid those situations in life that might jeopardize what is important to us.

To quote Oprah, “What I know for sure is that you feel real joy in direct proportion to how connected you are to living your truth.” I don’t think I’m living my truth 100 percent yet, but I’m getting there slowly and surely.

If you care to share, leave a comment about what inspires you.