This week's question:
Who has influenced you the most in your life - personally or professionally - and why?
This is a tough question for me. There are a lot of people who have influenced me in one way or another, for good or for not so good. But overall, the person who has laid the most influence on my life has to be my Mom.
Mom was and always has been a stay-at-home mom. She made parenting look easy, and I am sure she made many other moms very jealous back in the day (and by back in the day, I mean when I was a kiddo). My brother and I (and my dad, for that matter), were very fortunate that my Mom could stay at home with us. This allowed her to do a lot of things that would have been harder to do had she been a working mom, like volunteering almost daily at my elementary school, being the "team mom" for my brother's soccer team and my cheerleading squad, and being very active in the PTO and American Cancer Society.
Growing up, it was normal for me that my Mom was in my classroom or at my school all the time. She knew every kid's name in my grade. She was there to help the teachers - any teachers, not just mine or my brother's - and I can't tell you how many art projects she helped with, or school parties she planned. And she did it without a single paycheck.
Her dedication to my school, my goals, my sports teams, my extracurriculars, and everything else was amazing.
That's why I want to be like her. I want to be a Mom just like her. I don't know if we will be able to swing the whole stay-at-home thing once we have kids, but I sure hope we can. And if not, I will find ways to be like her anyway: making my children's birthday parties themed and perfect, being supportive of my kids' dreams, and being an involved parent every step of the way.