As a working mother, wife, daughter, volunteer and devoted friend, I wear many hats, as we all do these days. And it’s easy to get carried away trying to be the best at everything – the competition is all around me. I feel the pressure coming from neighbors to be more involved in my community, from other moms to be more involved in the kids’ schools and activities, and from friends and family members to be more accessible. But I know I can’t do it all and catch myself trying to fit the “ideal” that others put on me because I want my kids to watch my example.
A few weeks ago, I attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women, along with more than 6,500 other women, and a few men as well. Each of us was drawn by a different goal; some to network and make new connections; others to learn and gain focus; but all were inspired by the conference theme: “Your Time is Now. To be fearlessly resilient. To rebound with purpose and power. To lead with intention. To discover what you want—and go get it!” I went to soak it all in. I went to learn from the leaders.
My take-aways were many, but there was one common thread as I listened to each of the speakers, panellists and workshop leaders. Listen to your heart; a simple piece of advice that confirmed my motivation as a mother. My goal for my kids has always been to be strong leaders, but more importantly to be able to block out what others put on them and listen to their hearts. To be able to step back and take inventory of our lives, as a family, making sure we are keeping on the right path toward our goals, whatever they may be. I don’t ever want them to feel the pressure to fulfill someone else’s ideals of what they “should be” doing.
My children are not straight-A students. They are not star-athletes. What they are, though, are thoughtful, caring and creative beings. They are happy. They may not be perfect in others eyes, but to me they are because they are living their own life, setting and reaching their own personal goals.
I am committed to being a living example for them. I am showing them what it means to live an intentional, meaningful and purpose-filled life. And I know they will remind me when I begin to steer off course, just as I will remind them.