As I was sitting on the bus the other day, heading into the city for a meeting, with my mini-me snacking on cheezits next to me, I just stared at her in pure adoration. As she would say each letter on the special Scrabble cheezits, and count the number of buses that we passed, my mind wandered to how much she truly has changed my life. I know you hear so many parents raving about how their bundle of joy has changed their life, but for me, it was more than just in respect to an unconditional love that you have for a child. It was more than bringing a completeness to a family, or a greater purpose possessed because you now have a new title of mommy. She did those things, but my daughter has changed my life genuinely to the core of my existence, and the love I have for myself. Just as any good parent, she comes first above all, but I now see that making myself a priority is just as important.
“Children learn to smile from their parents.” – Shinichi Suzuki
Many are familiar with the old adage, “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” but just as this can ring true in a relationship, I have adopted my own adage of “Happy Mommy, Happy Baby.” Leading up to her birth, there were a string of hurdles that took its toll on my emotional well being. After she came into the picture, I needed to dig deep into who I was, and what my priorities were. She was my first priority, and I left my career to be a stay at home mom. With this change, my other priorities came into play. I decided to leave everything I had done in the past behind, and follow my passion to find a career that I could be truly happy in, and could afford me the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter. That field became social event planning, and became the starting point where the passion took over. There is a drive in me, that I didn’t even know existed, to become the best person that I can be. The self love I now have drives me to be healthier, overcome fears that would hold me back in the past, and work towards goals that I have. My favorite line to describe myself is always “I am a work in progress,” and I truly am. And I like that. Being stagnant is not an option. And I have my daughter to thank for helping me to uncover the hidden passion that lay within.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” -Anonymous
Coming back to reality, my daughter asks to sit on my lap so she can see out the window. She stares out in wonder to the world around her, and I hold her as close as I possibly can. I smell in her scent, and realize how much control I have over her life and future. Just two days prior we put the deposit down securing her a spot in a nice private preschool. After racking my brain over what type of teaching method would be the most conducive to her personality, and which preschool that we visited had everything that we wanted, I realized that all I can do is try to give her the building blocks needed to build the structure of her future, and she will fill in that structure with her own passion. Each day I appreciate the ride that I am on, watching her explore, experience, and learn new things. I just hope that I can give her every opportunity to find her true passion, just as she, without even trying, has helped me to do.
It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself. ~Joyce Maynard