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“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.” Phyllis Diller

Being a leader in any area of life requires vision, courage and love. In no profession are these traits more required, and frequently summoned, than motherhood.

A Mother’s life is impossibly difficult. It’s the only profession that doesn’t provide overtime pay (unless a child’s vomiting episodes in the middle of the night count), no vacation days (except for the ones when she works outside the home), provides little recognition from others (except for the occasional and undesired calls from school, the emergency room or the police department).

A Mom offers up her time, energy, money, and personal aspirations. She cuts our nails and our hair. She wipes our eyes and our noses. She teaches us to draw, to count, to make our bed, to clean up our toys, to play outside, to come in for dinner, to brush our teeth, to say our prayers. She inspires us to become men and women of character. Each step of way these women sacrifice what they could be doing for themselves for what they are doing for us.

Perhaps a Mom’s greatest sacrifice is offering her very life for her children. You see, in becoming a Mom a woman chooses to remove her heart from the sanctuary of her body. She places it firmly into the hopes and dreams, the failures and the mistakes, the let downs and the celebrations, the very lives and deaths of her children. What a sacrifice to offer.

And what a gift to receive!

For the many times we have taken advantage of those hearts invested in us, Mother’s Day offers the opportunity to say: “I am sorry!” For the many times we’ve been lifted up, prodded forward, held tightly, spoken to firmly, and encouraged mightily, we say: “I thank you!” And for their hearts that we’ll never be able to give back as they’ve become interwoven with our own, we say: “I love you.”

I was fortunate to have an exemplary model Mother growing up. Through raising six children, enduring 2 house fires, 22 years of Parkinson’s Disease, and the regular highs and lows of life, my Mom has modeled the resilient characteristic discovered in all great leaders: Love.

Today, what a joy to be married to someone who not only puts up with me, but also the never ending flow of laundry and crumbs and diapers and cries. Throughout it all, Beth gracefully providing the ultimate difference-maker in raising our four kids: Love.

To all Moms: I wish you a blessed, beautiful and joy-filled Mother’s Day. May you realize the many sacrifices you made and continue to make profoundly impact your children, their families, and the world.

There are professions that pay more appropriately; there are none that impact more profoundly.

Happy Mother’s Day!

John O’Leary

PS: Post your favorite Mother’s day memories on our Facebook site! We’d love to hear the impact she had on you!

Thanks to all the groups who partnered with us this past month:

Big Brother, Big Sisters
Business Technology Association
Coldwater High School
Coldwater Community, MI
Entrepreneurs Organization (Global Leadership)
Graybar National Sales
Hoar Construction
Polek & Polek
Sertoma National Conference
Staley High School
St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office
St. Peter’s Catholic Church
Tastefully Simply
Tom Hill Coaching Institute
Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital ER
Wells Fargo Advisors

We are honored to have as part of our Rising Above family!

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