While I was unsure what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. As a matter of fact, I wanted a house full of kids, boys mostly, making it decades before I’d ever have to experience the empty nest syndrome. My life took a different route so I only have two children. But hands down, being a mom has been the best job I’ve ever had.
As I look back over my life, I strived to be successful in all things: a wife, employee, business owner, author, etc. I held various positions for a myriad of industries and I guess you can say I was successful. I never became CEO or EVP of a FORTUNE 500 with writeups in Forbes magazine or an appearance on Oprah! I never invented a new product or won a Nobel prize. But – if I had managed to do any of those things and my children were delinquents, drug addicted or simply unhappy, unruly or disrespectful, I would not have considered myself successful.
I’m realizing now that I’ve always measured success by how my children turned out. Of course, I never wanted them to endure any form of abuse and I protected them with everything I had. But I also made sure to raise intelligent, emotionally mature citizens with a healthy compassion for others. I use the term healthy because I didn’t want them to be pushovers or suckers. Or prey. So not only did I work to instill empathy, I also taught them the mind games folk use to try to manipulate them. A lot of parents claim that kids don’t listen to adults, but that wasn’t the case for me. Both of my children heed my advice and make better choices because of it.
I know, there are thousands of wonderful parents whose children become lost. I do not blame them for it; some people are chosen to take a difficult path regardless of their upbringing. I pray they find their way back and become a light for those who’ve lost their way.
So I ask you, moms, how do you measure success for yourself and your children? And what are you doing to ensure that success?
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