Empowerment, Faith, Youth

Building a Strong Bond

mother daughter

Motherhood is one of those life experiences that is scary, wonderful, stressful, and fulfilling. Some might question how it can be all of that in one and for every Mother her response will be different. I know having my daughter at the age of 21, not being married or in a stable relationship, was the scary part. I have always known I have the ability to do great things in life; however, I never really dove into that potential. That was, until I had my daughter. Once I knew I was pregnant my whole world shifted and I was determined to line everything up the way it should have been. Even still, it was not everything I had hoped it would have been but it was the best I could do with what I had and the circumstances I was in at the time. Fortunately, during our first year I was able to work graveyard and spend my days with her having picnics in the park, swimming, and sleeping.

As my daughter grew older I knew I wanted to be a positive role model for her so I decided it was time to go back to school. I started community college and realized the journey would be very long with a full time job and a young child; so I researched other avenues to obtain a degree. I ended up finding Axia College, a community college through the University of Phoenix Online. I completed my Associates in Psychology in 2009. While the degree was a personal accomplishment, the doors of opportunity did not suddenly appear. I decided to continue my education and pursue a Bachelors degree. Life has so many obstacles and I was not able to complete my Bachelors degree on the first try. I had a son and again found myself in that scary situation with some added stress because I was now a single mother of two children. But, I knew that I was suppose to be doing something greater than what I was doing, so I figured out a way to get back into school. In 2012 I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. It was not an easy journey and I will be the first to admit to any person that balancing a full time job, two kids, school, and a household is work. It is emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. There were times I felt guilty for using Saturdays to study and work on assignments instead of taking the kids to the park or to the pool. Other times, I was up all night with sick kids and my homework was on the back burner. I stressed about passing my classes. I stressed about being the best mom I could be.

While there weren’t handfuls of careers opportunities flying my way when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, I was able to secure a position doing something I love, working with people to increase their potential and help them build their self-esteem before they venture off into the “real world”. With this job I have had the opportunity to network with various community organizations. The best part of my job is the flexibility and work-life balance. When my kids have school picnics, awards assemblies, or are sick I am not ridiculed or reprimanded for taking care of what matters most to me: my kids. My kids have participated in work events and spent the day with me at work. It is a great experience to have them see their mother doing something for others and share in that experience.

Through everything I do, I want my kids to know that they matter most. Motherhood is scary, but those days when my kids run to me, hug me, and say “Mom, I love you”, “Mom, I missed you”, “how was your day”- there is nothing more wonderful in the world. Having a positive attitude throughout my journey and knowing deep down I was destined for something greater than the path I was leading was what got me through. Regardless of your story on how you got pregnant, where you are in life now, or what you do in your job, it is important to remember:

  • “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)
  • You have the power to decide what type of bond you want to have with your child(ren). You can choose to let the fear and stress overpower the wonderful fulfillment or you can choose to be fulfilled and seek out ways to build the bond through the stresses.
  • Children grow so fast. Take the time when they are young to build the foundation of love, trust, compassion, and affection because they will venture off into the world, where you once were, and they can get lost if they don’t have an anchor, their mother.
Career, Empowerment, Technology

There’s An App for That!

How do people live without technology? I’m trying to remember a time when I had to rely on my memory or post it notes to remind me of appointments I had. I remember getting in trouble in class because I was rushing in the morning and forgot my flash drive in the computer. Just a couple of years ago, I remember sitting in my living room wishing I could attend a presentation; but instead, I was at home with my kids.

Technology eliminates excuses. End of story. You tell me an excuse and I’ll find an app, software, or program that will take care of it. People forget about meetings or the details of the meeting (who they are meeting with). Microsoft Outlook, iCalendar, Google Calendar, and Cozi eliminate the excuse of missing appointments or not remembering who they are with or where they are because our phone, tablet, or computer reminds us. We can even give ourselves an hour or 30 minute prompt before the meeting.

I can’t be in two places at once.” Actually, you can. Business people are in meetings and do not always have the money to travel. Technology allows people to meet, in real time, through video calls. This eliminates the excuse for the mother who has to be at home with her kids and is unable to attend a meeting, the college students with a group project that does not have the transportation to get to and from a location, the CEO that has non-stop meetings all day and is unable to leave their office because of the time wasted to travel to and from the location. What is even greater is that technology allows a PowerPoint Presentation or software training to be shared through video calls where the audience can receive the information without leaving their home or office. Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, Tango, Facetime are just a few ways to be in two places at once.

I left my flash drive at home”, “I have it on my computer at the office”, or “I made the changes but they didn’t save to my flash drive”. There is no longer an excuse for inefficiency in productivity. Techies have eliminated the need for excuses on why homework could not be turned in, a presentation could not be given, and a business plan could not be on-hand 24/7. With technology that is available “in the cloud”, individuals have access to their information, in real time, all the time. Dropbox allows users to save their files and access them on their desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet.

As a society people have become terrible at being lazy. It’s not about laziness anymore; it’s become an epidemic of mediocrity. It’s easier to make excuses than it is to take ownership and be a productive individual in life. People are walking around with phones that have personal assistants, yet they don’t even know how to use them. Why would a company pay for an individual to sit at a desk, schedule appointments when their phone can schedule and remind them for free?

The next time you think about why you CANNOT do something, get on Google and type in “app for….”. Most recently I found an app that creates “recipes” of “If, Then”- the same way a Microsoft Excel formula works with “if, then”. I have created a recipe “if there will be thunderstorms tomorrow, then send me a message”. No excuses, only efficiency!