My mom. She somehow figured out the perfect balance: to be the strong woman in my life while growing up…one I respected, one I listened to, one I didn’t disobey, one I ran to when I was upset or scared; but then at just the right time she became the friend I needed…one I laugh with, one I cry to, one that gives me the advice I need to get through a difficult decision, and best of all, one I have fun with.
To sum up my mom, here’s a little story about when I was auditioning for my current role at the Today Show. I was a nervous wreck. To calm my nerves, I naturally asked my mom if she’d stay in the hotel room with me the night before my audition. I could hardly sleep, but she kept telling me to just be myself and I’d do great. She said enjoy the excitement of this moment because you’ll remember it forever. She said all the things a mom should say to calm me down on what would be the biggest opportunity of my career. The next morning I woke up at 4 a.m. and got dressed and ready. I was feeling somewhat confident, and I was ready for the audition. My mom looked at me and this exchange happened:
Mom: Do you have any Spanx?
Me: No, Mom, do I need them?
Mom: Well, it would be better, but if you don’t have them…
Me: Mom!! It’s 5am! You can’t tell me that right before I go over to the TODAY SHOW!
Mom: You’ll be fine
And that’s my mom in a nutshell. She’s the rock I need to help me through the difficult times, but she can be brutally honest. Honesty is good…it’s great really, but I wouldn’t say she’s the most tactful person when it comes to delivering that honesty. At least I know she’ll never lie to me just to spare my feelings!
Growing up with a mom like that has made me who I am. She’s taught me to be independent, to rely on myself, to be a perfectionist, to be responsible for my actions, but she also taught me that it’s okay to reach out for help if I ever need it. She taught me to never lie and to always be honest because not telling the truth doesn’t help anyone. She taught me “tough love”…I always know, no matter what, that she loves me and even if the things she says might seem a little harsh, what she’s saying is rooted in love.
If you asked my mom what she did to raise three well-balanced, polite, happy, appreciative children, I’m not sure she’d know how to answer that question. She and my dad were the perfect parents who treated us like kids when we were little and treat us like adults now that we’re grown up. All I hope is that if I ever have kids, I can naturally teach my kids what she taught me: to just be a good person…be good to others, be good at what you do, and be good to yourself. The rest falls into place!