Meet Mom of the Month Tracy!!!
I am sad in writing this one because Tracy has become one of my really sweet friends out here in Kansas and is now moving across the country to China where her husband will begin a new job. But, I told her if she didn’t mind I had to spotlight her and showcase her for what a sweet, driven, and inspiring Mom and person she is. You will not be disappointed in taking few minutes to read about Tracy!
Tracy grew up in Shanghai, a more prestigious and well known city in China. She was raised in the more rural part as an only child in a home of both her hard working parents and grandmother who were farmers and mother who worked in a factory as a seamstress. She described them as honest and very humble people. All through childhood and even High School she wore only homemade clothes. It was not until college that she first started wearing clothes that came from a store. Even today you will rarely find her wearing earrings or a necklace because of her humble background. It just makes her feel uncomfortable “drawing so much attention to herself.” Because her parents often worked many long hours, her grandmother played more of the role of nurturer and caretaker. Tracy’s sole responsibility was to study. When I asked her what she remembered doing most as a child and teen, like if she had had any favorite toy or activity she did, she said she honestly “just studied.”
Being the top student in her school was very important to her parents. Once as a child she took a test and was placed as the third best in her class, her parents responded by not talking to her for days because it was such a huge tragedy in their eyes. She learned quickly that to keep her parents happy she must work very hard and that she did. While attending college, she discovered her talent for Linguistics and English and went on to complete a degree in English Language & Literature from the Shanghai University of International Studies and a later a masters at the University of Pennsylvania. She met her husband Joe while in Libya, Africa on a business trip with her first job after completing her degree from Shanghai University. While they started out as acquaintances at the beginning they soon learned they clicked well together and had really enjoyed spending a lot of hours after work sight-seeing and adventuring around Africa.
At the end of the business trip, Joe presented her a list of several more travel destinations he wanted to take her to. She thought to herself at the time that it was a little strange since they weren’t married or engaged? It was like he was asking her where she’d like to go on their honeymoon. Then he surprised her by telling her he didn’t want to lose her and asked if she would marry him. She had never met anyone quite like him but she had felt so close to him and couldn’t quite explain it but didn’t want to lose him either. Then just like that, on the whim of trusting their hearts above all their friends and even parents who strongly disapproved when they got the call, they eloped! They got married right there in Libya and continued working there for another two years until their adventuring eventually led them to Kansas City where I met Tracy!
Once in Kansas City she was accepted into a doctorate program at the University of Kansas. Although excited and grateful she felt the timing wasn’t right since she was also pregnant with their first. Although honored and she decided she wanted to forge her energy into being a stay-at-home Mom, which she is currently pursuing. Tracy is now a mother of two beautiful little young children ages 2 and 4. She loves being a Mom and finds the greatest joy in the simple moments of just playing on the floor, snuggling with them, or when there is a quiet peaceful moment in reading them a story. She has also loved how being a mother has helped her discover new talents and see new depths to her personality.
Although being a mother has been very challenging at times she says through it all she feels she couldn’t be doing anything more important. Older people she doesn’t know from the grocery store or who are coworkers of her spouse have told her that these years with children are some of the best years and to treasure them. She feels this is “double evidence” that although it can be hard when they are young it is a special time to be treasured.
When asked what would be her top advice that helps her through challenges she says:
- Take Care of Yourself. She didn’t always think this was important because she was grew up so humbly but she has learned taking extra effort towards herself now amidst so many demands makes a huge difference in how she feels and how she mothers. Specifically she says to make time to exercise, learn new skills, and set aside a personal budget each month to get things for herself like makeup, clothes, or something special just for her.
- Meet up with other Moms, Talk, & Ask Questions! Tracy is a star example of someone who always wants to learn and improve and has carried this attitude forward in her mothering. Talking to other Moms she says she has learned so much. People are always willing to share and it is really helpful to hear different points of view. It is a challenge to her to get out sometimes because she feels she is naturally reserved but that it is always worth the initial uncomfortableness.
- Another thing that helps her is Prayer. Prayer helps her keep her priorities in line and gives her peace. God is only a prayer away. It helps her to pray throughout the day and strive to feel that spirit of peace.
- Lastly, don’t feel guilty, no one is perfect. Just do the very best you can remembering to always stretch yourself a little. Things work out.
Tracy’s Disclaimer: Is that she has “really struggled with the balance of taking care of her family and knowing herself in this new role” but as she does these things above she finds peace and is learning a new depth of happiness than she knew before her family.
Thank you Tracy for sharing and being so open and honest! You are such a talented, thoughtful, smart, gifted person and good friend. You are an example to all of us. We love you! You are going to do great in Shanghai!!!