It feels like it was just the other day: September 3, 1994 my first child was born, a beautiful boy, Jacob!  It was definitely a Labor Day weekend I will never forget.

I remember how excited I was. After all, all I ever wanted in life was to be a mom.

I loved, loved being pregnant. It was such an exciting time anticipating the birth of my first child.

But, fear quickly took over the first time the nurse walked in the room. She handed me the baby and said, “here you go, I think he needs to be changed.”

What? Ummm…Excuse me, does that mean it’s my job to change the baby?

Truly up until that very moment, the first time you and the baby are alone, the reality doesn’t quite set in. And then, there he is and it hits you: I am responsible for this child. Quite frankly there is no turning back.

So, there I was, holding Jacob in my arms, having a rather adult conversation with him about life. He was a day old, we were in my hospital room getting ready to go home.

Here is what I said to Jacob.

Hello my love.

I am your mom, and I am completely new at this.

This is my first time being a mom.

I am so excited to finally meet you.

My plan is to be the very best at being the best mom ever for you.

There is no rule book on how to be a great parent, all I can promise you, Jacob, is that I will do my very best and will always love you unconditionally.

Fast forward 21 years and I can honestly say this: I cannot believe how fast it goes. For all the new moms, listen up, it goes by in a blink of an eye. Believe that expression and embrace all your moments with your children.

Jacob is turning 21 this September 3.

Since the first time I met him, to today, anytime I see him or I am with him, my face lights up because Jacob is truly one of my favorite people to spend time with.

I truly enjoy being with him. I respect him as a person and he helps me be a better version of me all the time.

Jacob and I both learn from each other. It has never been a one sided relationship. I truly believe that children can be some of our greatest teachers.

He has taught me a lot about being accepting of people. See Jacob is an introvert and I am a big-time extrovert. Extroverts have a hard time relating to introverts. I remember once I said to Jacob, are you happy? He replied, yes, just because I do not express it like you do, does not mean I am not happy.

I am sure that every parent at one time or another steps back, takes a look and thinks to themselves: how am I doing? As we begin to celebrate Jacob’s birthday month, I have started to reflect and ask myself: how am I doing as a mom?

My answer: I am doing the best I can, just as I promised him I would 21 years ago when we first met in my hospital room. I would also say this: here is what I know to be true about my son.

Jacob is a man of integrity and high standards for himself.

Jacob is probably one of the most inquisitive human beings I have ever known.

Jacob is an amazing older brother to my younger son Ari. He is always there for his brother, whether it’s helping him warm up for a baseball game or just sitting next to him on the couch watching sports.

Jacob always makes time for the people he loves.

Jacob speaks the truth. He is a man who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

Jacob is a leader who is destined to do big things in life.

In honor of Jacob turning 21, I invite you to stop and reflect about a relationship in your life and ask yourself: How am I doing? Am I doing my best?

I will continue to do the best job I can at being his mom. We both work at our relationship because it matters. We are both doing the best we can do? Isn’t that what we are all supposed to do? Our own personal best?

 

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