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What it Means to be a Mother

Submitted by on April 17, 2013 – 6:15 pmNo Comment

Mother and Daughter Gardening

Here’s to being a mother!

by Ashley Parks

Being a mother is without question the best thing in the world: it’s also the hardest thing in the world.  My road to becoming a mother wasn’t easy – but I look back on it now and would do it all over again in an instant.  One look at my daughter, one thought of her, one warm feeling inside tells me inside my soul that it was meant to be.  I’ve learned a lot since that journey began.

You see, I’m an A-Type personality.  “I can do it all!” is what I used to say to myself; I know better now.  Life showed me in some amazing ways that there’s a price to pay for doing it all and that some things are priceless.  I’m proud to say that many of the obstacles I encountered were really just opportunities for friction to soften some of the edges: to learn humility and limits.

I learned what I was in control of and what I needed to hand over to God.  I learned to shrug my shoulders and clear a full day of meetings when my daughter woke up sick and needed me.  I can say with a broad smile that I’ve been on the receiving end of a diaper explosion, projectile vomit and airborne food.  My immune system has been tested in every possible way – and I’m stronger for it.

I’ve learned the difference between living as DINKs (Double Income No Kids) and having to budget for my haircut.  An SUV is really much better to drive than a sporty car anyway, much easier to drive in the rain – not to mention that it’s easier to maneuver a car seat, stroller and jumbo diaper pack in.  And the back seat makes a wonderful impromptu changing station.

I love having an excuse to watch old movies like The Sound of Music, Annie and the Disney classics.  Flying a kite in the park on a windy day can be not only a wonderful cardio workout, but also it can be fully liberating to run through the park with my own fairy princess flying above me.  Eating indoors is overrated: picnics, even if in your own backyard, allow for some of the best bird watching, cloud gazing and conversations to be experienced anywhere.

Becoming a mother freed the child in me that adulthood had begun to overshadow.  It’s a wonderful combination to have matured in conscience, knowledge and wisdom and yet still to experience the childlike joy of everyday events and perspectives.

I understand on a deeper level what unconditional love is.  Sacrifice is not just about giving: by giving we receive.  Have I sacrificed to be a mom?  Yes.  Have I received one thousand times over more than the sacrifice?  A thousand times yes.

Becoming a mother challenged me to leave this Earth a better place by contributing in a way I knew I could.  I could help parents learn how to teach children about money.  My 13 years of advising families on financial matters, of interacting with them, of asking the deep questions, led me to get out of my comfort zone enough to add “Author” to my job description.  I strongly feel a need to influence more people than just the ones I came across.  I want children to understand money and to grow up in a healthy relationship with it.  I want to give parents an interesting, practical, user-friendly resource to guide them in modeling healthy behaviors.

My book, The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree is what was born from my desire to do my part to change the world.  In a way I felt like I’d had another child, since its conception was an idea that grew into much more.  In celebration of all the mothers of the world, for the month of May, I’m offering 10% off the price of my book at   May it guide you well and may your family tree grow healthy and prosper.

The Saving SeedAshley Parks is a Certified Financial Planner and Author of The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree;


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