“Mother Knows Best” Isn’t Just a Song in a Disney Movie

by Claire Schmieder, Head Editor, INALJ New Jersey

“Mother Knows Best” Isn’t Just a Song in a Disney Movie, AKA One Reason Why Your Support System Matters

ClaireSchmiederOver Labor Day weekend, my mom and I caught up with a long-overdue phone call. She asked, “So, what’s going on with you?” I started talking…and talking…and talking…

“I’m almost finished building the Home & School Association website.”

“I welcomed the new Kindergarteners and their parents to our school district last week. It was awesome to connect with the new parents. And, I got some amazing compliments from HSA board members about my positivity and enthusiasm.”

“I might present at a conference in the spring.”

“I’m training for my first ever 5K.”

“I’ve taken on an additional position with INALJ as Articles Editor.”

“I’m going to New York Comic Con in October.”

“I’ve applied for some cool jobs in the last couple of weeks.”

When I finally stopped to take a breath, my mom said, “I can tell you’ve been building a presence in a variety of communities. That’s so important.”

Did I mention that my mom is incredibly wise and supportive?

I’ve been doing a considerable amount of thinking about her observation. I hadn’t connected the dots the way she had. In fact, what she said made me feel a lot more on top of things than I thought I had been. I realized that I’d been productive over the summer, even though I’ve been at home with my two very enthusiastic sons. When summer vacation began, I was convinced that those 2.5 months would be slower for me. After that conversation with my mom, I have become pleasantly surprised by how much I accomplished.

So, one reason why your support system matters? PERSPECTIVE.

The people in my support system are always more objective about my career path than I can be. This means I sometimes get pleasant surprises (like the conversation I recently had with my mom). There have been other moments when I’ve gotten points of view that I didn’t particularly enjoy hearing at the time, but that I should have paid more attention to. I’ve learned to trust that my family and friends want me to succeed, and that their reflections on my professional development are intended to help me get my career started, not to hurt my feelings.

From a young age, my mom taught me that doing what you’re passionate about is more important than following traditionally prescribed pathways. It’s because of these lessons that I’ve found my way to where I am now – and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone. So, thanks, Mom for those lessons and for your bottomless love, support, and enthusiasm.