They get up early or make time after work to train. They run races from 1 mile to full marathons. No matter what happens - rain, heat, injuries - they keep at it. They might have to made adjustments, but they don't give up. On race day, when they get really stuck, the people on the sidelines cheering lift them help and help them finish. The strangers they pass help, but their biggest fans provide the biggest lift - their families. At the absolute hardest moment, their family is there to cheer, and hug, and help them to the finish line.
I am not a runner. In fact, if you see me running, please find out what or who is chasing me! I know what they experience during those races, though. My job as a mommy, has given me a taste of the running a race experience.
I train for my "race"I read books and blogs about parenting. There are more parenting styles out there than I ever imagined! I can't say that I follow any one of them fully, but I do find aspects of each that fit well for my family. I also talk with lots of different parents and early childhood educators about their experiences. There is something to be learned around every corner if you're willing to look.
As a teacher, I am honored to help other families in their training by sharing the tools and strategies offered by the Signing Smart programs. By supporting their communication journey, I hope they find lightened footsteps in all areas of their day.
Some days require more work than othersThere are days where it seems nothing goes right, no matter what I try. There are days where I have to remind myself over and over that what I am doing will be worth it in the long-run. There are times when I'd rather take a nap, or have cupcake, or just take a break. But I can't, and I don't because what I'm doing is bigger an more important than the nap or the snack. I'm not raising money - I'm raising two awesome little boys!
I make adjustmentsAs I learn new things though my training, I often find ideas that seem to better fit my family than what I'm currently doing. When this happens, I make a change. As those bad days and struggles arise, it's obvious something needs to change, so I seek out options.
Change is not always easy, but it's necessary in order for my family to be the best it can be!
As a teacher, I try to make to make the changes I ask of my students as painless as possible. Signing Smart offers a variety of tools and strategies to help families and caregivers find success in any situation. By providing them with multiple tools and strategies to choose from, as well as anecdotes about how I or other families have used each one, I hope they will understand the importance of the change I'm asking them to make and find it doable.
I have a cheering sectionNo one lines the street holding clever signs to tell me I'm doing a great job, but there are plenty of things that cheer me on and lift me during the hard times. When an acquaintance comments on my boys' sweet hearts, I am lifted. When friends go out of their way to ask about how the boys are doing, I know I (and they) are loved. When my husband holds my hand during a tough moment or shares an exciting milestone, I know I'm never alone in my marathon. When extended family members make a special trip to share special events with the boys or to babysit, I am reminded of the generations of love that make my family so special. I definitely have a cheering section!
As a teacher, I try to be a virtual cheering section to all of my students. By providing encouraging messages, opportunities to share their journey with others, and access to support long after class has ended, I hope each family I have had the privilege of serving feels the net of support they have around them at all times.