When I take my last breath, what will I reflect back on? Will it just be that I was always a mom? That’s a great attribute but…what will it be about Phyllis?” – Phyllis Norber Shinbane on her brave journey to define herself past the title of “mother.”
“I have been a stay-at-home mom for 26 years, and when I sent my youngest off to college, the active role of mom went away.
I held that role for 26 years, and it was the best job ever. But now I have three thriving kids, so I’m figuring out who I get to be when I grow up.
The journey I’m on now is to define myself in a way other than just mother and wife…
When I see my kids thriving, I want that excitement for myself. It’s easier to sit back and say ‘what do I do now’, but I want make sure the rest of my life is filled with commitment and passion and things that excite me.
I am now the right hand to the executive director of the non-profit Connecting a Caring Community. I’m doing all this great stuff…getting to use my organizational skills, which were honed while being a mom. But I’m also getting to use my ‘past life’ skills from way back when I had a career in marketing.
This is reminding me of who I am other than just a mom…of all the potential I had, and what my passions were.
For every sense of independence and ‘journey to accomplishment’ that I bestowed upon my kids, I have to equally bestow that upon myself.
I was so worried about how I would feel after the house was empty, but has been more positive then I imagined. It’s opened up all these possibilities: my husband and I: we can go out on a Tuesday night, on a Wednesday night, on a Thursday night…
Funny thing, when the kids call me now and I say I can’t talk, they’re like ‘what do you mean you can’t talk?’ So there has been a learning curve for them.
Campowerment has been the most integral part of me being able to figure out my next chapter. It has helped me to look inside and look outside and figure out the areas I might be stuck or have the potential for best growth.
Every camp, my eyes get opened more and more and my soul gets opened more and more.
I don’t know if I’d be where I am today without Campowerment. I don’t know of anywhere else where you get the opportunity for this type of growth as a mom, and now as a person.”