Personal Self

My Success Defined

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This past year has really changed me. I’ve gone from questioning my worth on this planet to feeling confident in how much I bring to the table. If you had asked me a year ago what I have done with the past 13 years, my answer would be that I cooked, cleaned and was a taxi service for my 4 children. Then I started going to therapy with the intention of talking to a third party about what we were going through with our younger 2 children, their special needs and their therapy programs. Yes, I went to therapy to decompress from therapy. However, as I spoke about everything our family has been through, my therapist started to point out areas of expertise that most people do not have because of the situations I’ve walked through in my life. She showed me the difference between the day to day list (cooks, clean, taxi kids to their activities) and the big picture.

This year-long process showed me that my idea of success was that I needed to produce something, particularly in my career field. And yet my career had been put on hold for so many years as the other parts of life took precedent. My success depended on how important my career was and how high up the “corporate” ladder I got. But my success? Well, I’m just a mom. Right? Social media has helped many of us solidify this idea of success…..Everyone’s got it together or is more successful than me. But what I’ve learned this year is that every single activity I do each day makes me more of an expert. It becomes my specialty. I have value and worth and knowledge and information to contribute to society.

Success is not just in how high we’ve climbed in our career or how many awards and recognition we’ve achieved but in out talents. Talents we were given at birth. Talents we’ve acquired out of necessity because of the roads we’ve traveled. Talents we’ve learned because our heart fell in love with that hobby. Everyone has talent and if you think you don’t then you are looking too closely at your day to day list and not your big picture.

Maybe you are the parent who creates the most unique lunches for her kids, the person who pours their heart into creating a new business, the parent who can run the most efficient PTA, the person who knows just how to encourage others to fully live out their dreams or the parent who has mastered how to enjoy parenting and not sweat the small stuff. I can name someone in my own circle who fits each one of those and I’m honestly a bit jealous of their amazing abilities. Which brings me to my next point…… If you aren’t sure of what your talent is, ask a friend…. they have watched from the outside and have seen you grow in your expertise. They are not intimately part of your day to day life of mundane chores. Often they can see the big picture clearer than you can.

My expertise? I’ve parented 2 special needs children. I’ve parented twins. I went through the adoption process, met with countless social workers, had my kids questioned and my house checked to determine my ability to parent and made it out on the other side. I’ve studied trauma through numerous books, conferences, trainings and have been a guest speaker at 2 teaching colleges to share what I’ve learned and how it can be applied in the classroom. I’ve taught preschool off and on for 14 years. I found ways to help out my family financially when my children were young by starting my own business. I have learned to make new experiences a priority for my children even on a small budget. I have become a master at organizing a house with 4 children living in it. Oh and I’m a taxi-driving soccer/baseball/theater/orchestra mom!

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