I have trained, coached, taught, instructed, counseled, educated and helped hundreds and hundreds of clients over many years in private practice. To this day, I like the career management profession as much – if not more – than I did when I first jumped into the business.
That said, of all the professional titles I have held – speaker, consultant, trainer, adviser, résumé writer, author, blogger, etc., the most prized job title I have served in – to date – is the one that starts with “M” and ends with “R”. When I was growing up, I “never” wanted to be a mother and the thought of having kids surely wasn’t for me -- or so that is what I always told myself. And just like that, everything changed. The role of “parent” was added to the mix of job titles.
Blink and fast forward 11,000+ days later to the year 2013.
Our first-born baby girl is all grown up and soon, she will be married.
How fortunate, how lucky, how blessed, how honored, how grateful, and how humbled I am to be the one she calls Mother, Mom, Mama, Mamma, Ma, Madre.
I was thinking of all the things I want to tell her as she moves closer to walking down the aisle. And what I realized is this – she already knows what I think, how I think, how I feel and how deliriously happy I am for her. I know this because we talked as we went along, growing up together…I, the mother, finding my way – and she, the daughter, filling-in-the-blanks when I could not, would not or did not know how.
These things I have learned from being a mom to a young professional who will soon no longer share my last name…thank you for teaching me these lifelong lessons:
- Encourage with actions and words on a consistent basis.
- With every choice comes a consequence.
- Do more, not less; expect more, not less.
- Be a role model to your daughters and sons -- they are watching.
- Teach self-advocacy at an early age.
- Be a parent, then a pal.
- If you screw up, step up.
- Listen without interrupting.
- Hold family meetings at least once a week so everybody is on the same page and don’t talk unless it is your turn.
- Make time – lots of it – to spend with each of your children, especially if you have more than one.
- Give your child unconditional love.
- Learn new things.
- Teach your children how to work and earn their own money.
- Conclude each good-bye with I love you more than…
And finally, my daughter’s message to me this day as she embarks upon the next chapter of her life -- no more training wheels needed:
~~ She will leave you, but she will always come home to you. Your heart is in her heart, her home is in her heart. When she returns from being away, she will bring you treasures and stories and mementos to let you know that no matter what, no matter where or when or how or why you are always on her mind and that to her, you are her world. ~~