Virtues from Motherhood: Thank you Mom

A decade ago I was 17, rebellious and determined to do everything my parents (really my mom) did not want me doing. I was hell bent on being everything that pushed their buttons and made their hair grey. A decade later I’m at dinner with my mom and some of our co-workers. Our co-workers remember me before I was a polished office manager and adult, they remember the days my mom was running out of work to come find me or clean up whatever mess I was making that week. They remember a time where my mom was crying because I was running my life into the ground, and not because I was making her laugh at the dinner table.

I spent most of my adolescence running from her and from everything she was (and is I suppose) but the older I get the more I realize we carry many of the same traits. Nothing makes this more apparent to me then the way our co-workers compare us. Before my mom took her current job, her and I were both office managers. We both ran offices and attended the same meetings and met the same deadlines. Though we never worked together the people who work with us have seen both of us in action. So when someone says “you’re just like your mom” I used to cringe, but now I smile because her traits have enabled me to excel to the levels I have now. Her leadership has been embedded in me since I was a child, but as a teenager I was running wild with it, rather than building a future for myself.

Why am I taking this trip down memory lane? Well two reasons, not everyone has their mother, not everyone has that unconditional love and support of the woman who raised them. Some people have lost their mother both physically and/or emotionally, and I can’t imagine how much that sucks. I also can’t imagine where I would be had my mother not fought so hard to keep me on the right path, and no matter how hard I fought to stray from it, she followed me deep into whatever forest I wanted to explore. The other reason being, I’m glad that i have finally reached a place with my mom where we can go to dinner, where I can talk to her and have conversations and that she is finally proud of me as a person and as a mother.

As you read through this blog post, remember that every mother shows love differently and sadly sometimes not every mom has it in them to be there, but mine does, and I’m thankful. If you have your mom, whether it be upstairs from you or states away, be grateful. And if you don’t have your mom, I am truly sorry, but remember as the child it is not your job, nor is it your responsibility to make her a parent. Remember that no matter where the path may lead you that she does love you, but she might have to do it from afar because she doesn’t know how to express it to you, and that the universe will put people that love you in many other ways in your life, you will never be alone.

Lastly, remember that we are carbon paper to our parents, we are imprints of their qualities both good and bad, yes there are some days I want to rip my eyes out of my head because of my mom, but those days pale in comparison to the days we can go out to dinner together now, because there are far less rip your eyes out days now than when I was a teenager.

Virtues from Motherhood: Nobody is perfect

 The past week or so I’ve been feeling like I can’t catch up with life. Between mid terms approaching and work getting busier fitting everything into 16 or 17 waking hours is tough. A few weeks ago I helped Ava complete her first research report and helped her practice reading it aloud. We finished it way before it was due but on the due date I totally forgot to send her to school with it! I didn’t realize until I was heading out the door for work that it was still hanging on the fridge. In a panic, I threw it in my bag and rushed to the school to give it to her and by then she’d already realized I forgot to send it with her. When she saw me she was relieved but her little face asking me why I forgot in the first place made me feel so bad. How do I tell her I’m only human and sometimes I’m going to make mistakes because I’m not perfect?

I’m sure as we’ve all matured we’ve realized our parents are only human and not the super-human superheroes we imagined them to be all our lives. Parents have their off days, bad days and moments of weakness just like anyone else and as Ava matures I realize I am no different, I can’t do it all perfect on a daily basis. Mishaps like the forgotten report are small in the big scheme of things but a handful of those little mishaps can make you feel defeated or frazzled. As much as I don’t want Ava to see it, she probably will. At first, this idea scared me because I feared she’d see me as this mad woman who’s always running around but then it dawned on me, if I’m optimistic about life she will be too.

By having an optimistic perspective, I will try not to complain aloud but instead use positive terms and highlight the good in the madness and not what was difficult or something I could’ve done more efficiently. When I started classes this semester I felt really bad about missing bedtime for Ava 4 out of 5 weeknights. I had to take night classes because of work. One night, my brother told me Ava was upset she hadn’t seen me and tried to facetime but I couldn’t leave class at the moment. I was upset I couldn’t talk to her but I got an idea from a book I read a few years ago “Notes on the refrigerator door”, a book about a mother and daughter who left each other notes because their schedules meant they didn’t spend much time home together.

Though Ava is only 7 she still gets the concept. Before I leave every morning I leave her a little note, a funny rhyme or a question and before she goes to bed she writes me back. I come home around 9 every night and there’s this little note waiting for me, sometimes with errors or peculiar pictures but always written with love. It may seem small or trivial but since we started writing notes back and forth she doesn’t get as upset about going to sleep without me and I think she looks forward to writing them every night.

Even though night classes and 15-hour days are not ideal, I’m determined to make it work for the bigger picture, the end goal. I want Ava to understand in the future that these crazy schedules and long hours were for the betterment of our future. She’s already seen me graduate once and she’ll see me do it again when I earn my B.A degree. Whenever I feel like I can’t keep up or I’m falling behind I remind myself that I’m still doing it and that little gestures like notes left for Ava keep the stitches of this crazy patchwork quilt of life together.

Things I want my Daughter to Know: Self Love

I think it goes without saying that we want to raise our children to love themselves, accept who they are and believe in their own potential but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone tell a child how or why it’s so important to love who you are every single day of the year.


One day you’ll be a big girl, a young adult, a teenager looking in the mirror and comparing yourself to the Scarlett Johansson’s or the Michele Obama’s of the world. You’ll wonder if you’ll ever be that pretty or that ambitious, and the answer is yes. Yes, over time you will grow into a beautiful polished woman but in the mean time appreciate the time you have to grow. Realize that you will never have all the answers and that’s okay, part of growing up means asking for help and admitting you’re lost. People respect honesty and needing help doesn’t mean you’re any less capable. You will never have all the answers but you’ll have some and the company you keep, friends and mentors, will fill in the rest.

Remember to always love yourself, remember that you are your best investment. Never discount your own abilities because they are as strong as you believe them to be, practice makes perfect baby girl. Don’t seek to grow up or see success over night because you’ll be disappointed. Instead take small moments to look back at the small victories and the progress you’ve made. Every time you look in the mirror smile, smile at your beauty, your luscious curly hair, your dimples and your infectious laughter. Love everything that makes you who you are because one day it will be those very things that someone will love so much about you, that friends will enjoy so much about being around you. Nobody can ever take those things from you, no matter how mean or unkind they may be. Remember that the things that make you who you are, are embedded in you and they will always shine through, let them.

Finally Ava remember that perfection is a state of mind and not a reality, nobody is perfect not even me. I have made my fair share of mistakes and messed up opportunities and failed even after my best attempts. These things do not define you or your future I promise. These are merely stories to pass onto your own daughter or tools to inspire others. It’s so easy to blame yourself and slowly begin to resent who you are or what you’ve done or lack thereof but don’t give in, don’t let fear win. Fear will turn you into a wallflower and someone who is afraid to take leaps and bounds. So remember even in your darkest hour you are the light in someone else’s life, mine, your friends and even someone you’ve never met, you inspire someone. Loving yourself is so important for your own success it is important to acknowledge your strengths as well as your weaknesses and know that sometimes you will win and sometimes you will loose but success is a journey not a destination and you should love yourself at every step of that journey.

All my love,