I was at a Christmas parade the other day. A mom and her two teenage kids casually walked in front of my family and stood there. My husband kindly explained that we had been sitting there for an hour and asked them to move back so our kids could see. The mom took one step to the right. My husband once again explained that our 2-year-old could not see. The mom of these two teenagers stomped away and called my husband a name I most certainly did not want my daughters to hear! All I could think was “Really? This is what you are teaching your kids? Do you really think it’s necessary to use profanity towards another adult, especially in front of ALL THESE KIDS?” And again, “This is what you want to teach your kids? That it’s okay to get what you want at the expense of others? That it’s okay to call people names? Really?”
And then I think… “Who can blame ‘kids these days’ when this is how their parents are teaching them?” I take a moment to remember that maybe this mom is just having a really bad day. I have my moments too. And I know this is not an all or nothing thing. I have seen and met some amazing parents and young people, but there has clearly been a shift in our culture in terms of what children are learning from adults, each other, social media, the news, etc. And I am certain we can do better.
I explain on the MomsOfInfluence.com About page that this website was born out of an abundance of passion, but I also want to explain here four of my personal reasons for doing this:
Reason #1: The Kids.
I was never interested in babies. In fact, I was a little afraid of them as a teenager. But then I turned that magical age of 25 and all of a sudden, I DID want babies. This also was about the time that I met some pretty remarkable young people who I admire to this day. My husband and I welcomed our first daughter when I was 32. Our second when I was 34. Both girls spent a few days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In those days, hours and very long minutes sitting with my sweet babies, I had A LOT of time to contemplate the preciousness of their lives. I thought my heart would explode, but instead it began to overflow with a love that is never-ending. The amazing weight of raising these two lives is a privilege, a blessing, an honor… but a weighty one at that! I simply have to do it well. I am so utterly aware of my imperfection, yet I am certain that this “mom” job is of vital importance. MomsOfInfluence.com allows me to share my knowledge of leadership with you and will hold me accountable to continue growing as a Mom of Influence; a mom whose parenting makes a positive difference to my kids, and by extension, to the world around us. Will you join me by intentionally being a Mom of Influence?
Reason #2: The News.
News and history were never of interest to me. I enjoyed DOING things, not memorizing things. But then 9/11 happened, and then I had kids, and all of a sudden news and history became essential to my daily existence. I know every generation goes through tough times, but wow! What is happening to our world? And how can we turn it around? Given how important life and love are to me, I simply cannot grasp the pure evil that I witness on the news every day. I want so much better for our kids. I do not want fear to rule our streets, or hate to infiltrate families and communities. I do not want more victims of school shootings, violent riots, poverty, poor (or no) access to healthcare and education, or the thousand other news stories that cause my heart to break. I want the men and women fighting for our freedom to come home and enjoy it, confident that the world and our country are safe. As human beings, I want us to focus on how we can serve others instead of force or manipulate others to get what we want. I want honesty to be valued more than material possessions. I want better for OUR kids – yours and mine. Can we do this together? Can we raise a generation of kids who will change our country and world for the better? Can the kindness, character, and leadership of OUR kids turn things around? I would not be doing this if I did not think we can do better for our kids and the future of our country and world. Will you be a part of this community seeking to make a change?
Reason #3: Pure Passion.
I cannot think of a day in the last 15 years when the topic of leadership has not been on my mind and heart. Before I categorized it as “leadership”, I was studying it. For as long as I remember (and I mean since about age 5), I have had a burning desire to encourage and serve people as they seek to do their best. It has only been in the last 15 years that I have had the courage and practical knowledge to actually do the encouraging. I was designed to “do” and teach leadership. It is in my DNA. I simply have to do this. Trust me. Join me. Do this with me.
Reason #4: Hope.
I have hope for our future. I believe in our kids. I know moms and dads can (and perhaps should) be the most influential people in the lives of our youth. I am certain that we can be more intentional as parents. And I am looking for a team of fired up, love-filled, imperfect but growth-oriented parents to help ensure a better future for our kids. We absolutely can do this together.
Join me in January 2015. Subscribe to MomsOfInfluence.com!