Having children is one of the greatest blessings and one of the most challenging roles we face. For me I was so consumed with being “mom” that over time I felt like I was beginning to lose my identity. It is easy to feel isolated when your days consist of diapers and Disney movies. That is exactly where I found myself several years ago.
I LOVED my mom role. It was and continues to be amazing. But I felt something was missing. I had settled into life and let many of my dreams escape me. I had guilt due to my lack of contentment. I had guilt because I was home yet never felt fully engaged. I had guilt that I had let my 18 year old self down by not pursuing the grand adventures I envisioned.
GUILT. Why do we always find a way to absorb guilt?
The role I thrived in was that of a cheerleader. Cheering on every member of my family. Pouring belief and confidence into them. I spent the first couple years of marriage sitting across the desk from my husband as he nervously made cold calls to grow his business. I cheered him on through the ups and downs of the investment world, encouraging him to stay the course and thrive. I played cheerleader to Ben in the scorching heat at the baseball fields and sat up with him at night in an effort to spark ambition to go the extra mile in school projects. I played cheerleader to Luke on those windy, freezing weekends at the soccer field and poured confidence into him to pursue new hobbies. I played cheerleader to my little Wil for courage to be strong when starting pre-school and of course for not peeing in his pull-up overnight…hoping that changing bedsheets wouldn’t be one more thing on my never-ending “mommy-to-do list” that day.
I soon realized my favorite part of being mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend was that of cheerleader. But a couple years ago I realized I was ready to seek out some of my own dreams. It was at that time I began to invest in myself and to diligently work on personal development to grow into a person that could impact people outside my little family.
I began working very part-time and growing a home business. It was AMAZING. I found purpose outside of being mom. I found direction and inspiration. A “job” that paid me to be a cheerleader. An opportunity to believe in others before they believed in themselves. For the first time in a long time I had a new excitement about what each day would bring.
I was very protective of my mom and wife roles and made sure that my newfound passion never imposed on my top priority of being there when needed but it fed my soul just enough. Because of that I was becoming a better wife, a better mom, a happier me. I was CONTENT. My guilt was dissipating because that little bit of time I had connecting with others filled me up so much that I could be fully engaged when I put my mom hat back on.
Last year my business grew immensely and on February 1st I promoted to VP level in our company. It was a huge dream come true, having been a big goal I had set for myself when I first started. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of effort by many incredible people.
There were sacrifices. It was a busy time in our home. As exciting as it was to hit that achievement, to earn the income, earn the car, receive the gifts and flowers…do you know what meant the most? The pride in the eyes of each of my boys when I told them what had been accomplished.
The boys in my life had been on this journey with me all along. There were nights I was would be working late on my computer and my 12 year old would walk in to bring me a cup of hot tea. There were times my 14-year old would do extra chores to lighten my load. My 4-year old could sense my moments of stress and give me the best hugs imaginable. And my husband spoke countless words of affirmation to me. He encouraged, picked up my slack, gave me perspective, and praised my efforts.
The roles had been reversed. Instead of being on the giving end of cheers and support I was now the receiver. It was then that I knew how crucial my role as cheerleader, wife, and mom has been over the last 17 years. Everything had come full-circle.
I experienced first-hand how much easier any endeavor is when you have your cheerleaders in your corner. Nothing would have been accomplished without my team, my mentors, my friends, and of course my family cheering me on the entire way. Even if it had, victory is sweeter when you share it with the ones you love.
This adventure not only brought abundant rewards through my business, but the clarity that I had been seeking all along. I was finally fully aware of the impact that I have had the opportunity to make in the lives of the four most important people in my world.
We all need cheerleaders in our life. Cheerleaders to fill us with belief. Cheerleaders to pick us up and dust us off to try again. Cheerleaders to celebrate our successes.
Who have been some critical cheerleaders in your life? Who can you be a cheerleader for today?