I have had many roles in my life - daughter, sister, wife, friend – but the role I am most proud of is being a mom.
When my son was born, I couldn’t have imagined the love I would feel for him. That bond, between a parent and a child is unlike anything I’ve experienced. And I’ve loved being a mom. Late night feedings and dirty diapers, the “Terrible Twos,” that first day of school, saying our first goodbye at the bus stop, watching my son grow, expand and evolve. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
My boy is a teenager now, a very typical teenager. He loves sports, and video games. His favorite place is his room. In the evening he will trudge into the kitchen for a snack, ear buds in, and go back upstairs without saying so much as a word.
There is a temptation in this new self-sufficiency that we as parents can relax our vigilance. For me, that has come as I work to build Tia Maria’s. It could be a conference call, paperwork, or meetings with suppliers or buyer, which limit the time I’d normally be focused on my son.
In the moment, it seems like such an easy choice. Of course, my son can get something to eat, or get his homework done, or tend to chores without me hovering in the background.
But it’s a trap.
For all his cool detachment, my boy doesn’t need me less. Indeed, these are the years where I need to make sure that thelessons I’ve worked hard to instill, of hard work, honesty, and unconditional love, become the principles he will use to create success in his adult life.
As a result, I’ve worked hard to ensure that my business doesn’t take away from my time with my son. I invited him to be part of the business, and he helps work the markets with me. When I see him pitching a customer on the value of our salsa, he makes me smile with pride. As the time pressures of Tia Maria’s grow, my first consideration is how that will impact my availability to my son, and to schedule in a way that minimizes our normal routine.
In a few years he will be off to college, and then on to a life of his own. I not only want to make sure he’s ready for those challenges, I want to make sure I don’t miss a moment along the way. Planning smart and adapting makes it possible.