And Most Importantly - A Mom
Hi I’m Eldonna and I am a Harley riding bad biker chic, military veteran, master negotiator, speaker, author, trainer, coach, Kenya Bead Queen girlie girl….and most importantly a mom.
Mother’s Day was May 9th this year for those countries that celebrate it in May. Mother's Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family or individual, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on different days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May.
In the US it is considered the biggest restaurant day in the industry. Everyone wants to take their mom out to celebrate Mother’s Day with a meal.
With the lifting of restrictions occurring across the US thanks to reduced COVID numbers, people are anxious to get out and enjoy the things we used to take for granted as normal.
When I look back on myself as a mother, I think I made plenty of mistakes and bad decisions. I became a single (or divorced mother however you want to address it) when my kids were 4 and 6 years old. I was active duty military and remained in the military another 5 years then settled in Southern California.
It was a scary time getting out of the military, the only life I’d known as an adult from 19 until I was in my early 40’s. I served 23 years of my adult life in the military. The real world wasn’t so easy to acclimate to and I moved to an area that didn’t understand the military despite the fact there was an Air Force Base close by (Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California). I worked for a defense contractor doing work on the base. When I would tell people that, they would look surprised and say “there’s an Air Force Base here???”
Not only is there an Air Force base, there’s a significant amount of defense contractors in and around that area such as Space X, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Boeing and plenty of other smaller contractors supporting defense as well.
We moved into Redondo Beach, California, a very nice area but my daughter experienced bullying because she wasn’t wearing “the right clothes.” You know, the higher end designer stuff that I guess everyone else was wearing. We never thought much about that in the military and if I’d thought differently I might not have gotten out when I did or moved to So Cal. The main reason I retired when I did is that I experienced bullying and sexual harassment for several months while deployed to the Middle East. We were just going into Iraq when I came back and I felt like I couldn’t take another deployment with that kind of environment, especially with an ops tempo of combat. I retired and went where I knew someone and could get a job.
My kids got to experience many things in life that other kids didn’t. They grew up with people of many cultures, backgrounds and races. The military is a mix of many different kinds of people. It was not unusual to see many mixed race or mixed culture marriages. I am white and was married to a Hispanic man so my kids got to experience those cultures. When they were young (my son was a baby and my daughter 2) they were cared for by a black woman named Renee. Renee lived with her niece Nicole and husband and they had 2 kids the same ages as mine. Nicole was also military and worked with my husband at his unit. For 2 ½ years of their lives that was where they spent their days.
After those years we were station in the UK. My kids got the opportunity to live overseas and traveled all over Europe and the UK. They made great friends with many British kids in the community and other kids of families on base.
After I retired from the military and moved to Southern, California my kids had many great experiences that helped prepare them for success in life. They were taken to an entrepreneurial forum many times when they were teens that had a teen entrepreneurial program and taught them how to do business and interact with business people and adults. They got to travel to different places and experience many things.
My kids are adults now and both have a great work ethic. Their father and I both have a strong work ethic as well so they come by it honestly. In fact they get frustrated when they work with people who don’t pull their weight or don’t work in excellence.
For Mother’s Day, they took me out to breakfast at a local place in Long Beach, CA. The place my daughter originally suggested was so packed that the wait was well over an hour for a table. We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table, then the food took a very long time to get there. However, during that time we were waiting we talked and laughed and shared such a special time. No one had their face in their phones and it was one of the best times I’ve had in a long time.
After that, I met some friends for sailing and we went out on a Catamaran for the day. I enjoyed sailing - it was relaxing and refreshing. My son topped off the day by buying me dinner and we had a nice conversation. I slept so good that night and felt rested and refreshed when I got up the next morning for work.
The important thing to remember is to live in the moment and enjoy the experiences. I don’t get much time with my kids anymore because they have their own lives, so when I do, I cherish every moment.
For me, being a mom is the most important thing I’ve done in my life. I may have made some mistakes along the way but I am grateful that my kids are healthy, happy and working hard towards their goals and dreams.