When I started thinking about writing a blog on financial guidance and parenting, I immediately recognized parallels between my personal and professional life. Having been in financial services for more than half my life, I think of money in much broader terms.
For instance, most people think about “banking” as making deposits or withdrawing money. I think of raising a family, working on your relationship, and trying to lead a good life, which are all about making deposits (giving) and taking withdrawals (receiving).
My goal is to help moms (and all parents) incorporate the parallels that exist between sound financial guidance, and raising children, running a household, and being a great partner and true friend. In other words, my job is to make sure that moms take care of themselves financially.
An important financial lesson
My biggest financial lesson came early in life — when my college scholarship was pulled during my senior year at Santa Clara University. My parents were unable to help me financially due to their own painful challenges, and I found myself with overwhelming credit card debt right out of college. I used that difficult time as a life lesson, and now my husband and I are making sure to save and plan for the education costs of our three children.
In my 14 years as a mom … 16 years as a wife… and 24 years as an executive … the most profound things I’ve discovered have to do with learning to appreciate difficult times, making mistakes, and yes—even learning from tragedies. I’m convinced that we are shaped by how we respond and learn from the most difficult challenges we face. Even small challenges, if appreciated from the right perspective, can bring us to enlightened places.
My Mother’s gift — for Mother’s Day
With Mother’s Day upon us, I am reminded of all the deposits my mom has made in my life — minus my couple of years being a possessed teenager who wanted to be treated like an adult, but still had a needy child inside. My mom defined unconditional love, provided some discipline, and offered constant support. Until I became a mother myself, I don’t think I realized how much she was taking regular “withdrawals” through her enjoyment from raising three kids.
The magical power the words “I love you” spoken by a child to a parent are extraordinary, and yes, those words can even melt away the frustration of having to break up a fight between sisters, or when trying to find the floor under a pile of clothes in a teenager’s room. I’m constantly reminded how much I have to be grateful for — from both my past and my present.
Gifts from my children
In the spirit of Mother’s Day I’d like to share a recent lesson from one of my children.
It started one Sunday at 8 am with basketball practice in La Canada—followed immediately by a soccer game in Altadena; followed by two soccer games in La Verne; followed by another soccer game in La Canada; and yet another soccer game in Pasadena; and a strong finish with a track meet in La Puente.
I wish I could say this was NOT a typical weekend day for our family, but with three active kids in sports, our weekends consist of chauffeuring, coaching, and cheering them on at games — IT IS.
As we pulled into our driveway at 8 pm, I made the remark, “This was such a long day.” My 14-year- old son turned to me, and while I was sure he was going to agree and say how tired he was too, to my surprise, gave me a high-five and said, “And mom, it was a great day! Thank you, I love you.”
Two things happened: I gladly took the “withdrawal” as my heart melted. I also realized that my son was coaching me on being grateful for the opportunity to be out all day with the people I love the most.
I hope that you — and mothers everywhere — enjoy making deposits and taking withdrawals this Mother’s Day!