Be the best that you can be everyday in every way

SuperSelf, Women’s History Month, Mother and Daughter’s Success

I was a stern supervisor and executive officer of our household.

I Celebrate successful mothers and their daughters.  As a mother, I felt it was my job to pave the way for my little girl’s success by being her biggest role model and mentor.  I was a stern supervisor and executive officer of our household.

When I became a mother I saw my work and career differently. I knew I had to help make the workplace better for me, my daughter, and those who looked like her.

I diligently fought and pushed through adversity and challenges with dignity, respect, and integrity.  Stumbling blocks became stairs to climb and level off. I never thought about the fight, I just continued to hone my skills and knowledge. Doing the hard work, and positively presenting myself even when there was a tremendous strain, I survived to grow in all areas. And I thrived.

It’s not easy to rear a daughter.

I desired to function every day better than the day before.  Never giving up on goals, I found pathways to succeed using my SuperSelf principles of being at your best every day in every way no matter what the circumstances are. I’d always show up, look great, with a can-do attitude, and I was productive. So, this is what I taught my daughter too!

It’s not easy to rear a daughter. There are so many other outside influences. I was her mother. As such, I was determined to be her top influencer along with her grandmothers and great-grandmothers.  Not Madonna or some other entertainer or movie star!

I preached the importance of respecting teachers and studying hard to earn straight A’s.  I exposed Erica to as much culture as possible, ballet, symphony, modern dance, piano lessons,  jazz, etc. Every day and every moment that we were together she was in training.

I never overpampered Erica.

My duty was to know where Erica was, what she was doing, who her friends were, and to know their parents. She understood that in our family we had values, rules, and regulations that not everyone or every family had, and our values mattered the most.

I never overpampered Erica. She had chores to do from the time that she could walk. Her toys had to be picked up and organized each evening.  She assisted me with washing and drying the dishes and keeping our home clean and orderly. Homework was a priority and I monitored what she could and could not watch on television.  Bedtime was 8:00 pm on school nights.

On the weekends we’d plan short road trips, just us two. Erica used to love to play skeeball. So, most weekends we’d head to the Monterey Boardwalk. She’d focus and throw the skeeball precisely the same way, over and over again.  Hitting the target 95% of the time. I’d let her play until she was tired. Then we’d have dinner, and head back to our home in San Francisco.

During these road trips, we’d talk about current events, school, her desires, and goals.  I’d also share the ambitions that I was working toward or the challenges that I was going through. She was a compassionate listening child and wise for her age. Today, she still responds thoughtfully with a sensitive and kind strength. She’s not a pushover, so don’t even try.  She’s a fighter for herself and others.

I always encouraged Erica to be a thinker and to think first then speak up.

I gained more insight about myself from Erica’s observations and perspectives.  Although she was just a child, she seemed to be able to sense and decern a situation more clearly than the adults in the room. She had an, “I was born knowing all demeanor” that was so very sweetly reserved.  It was just a really cute observation of everything.  She was an exceptional math student as a child too and if you asked her how she knew how to figure out a math equation, she’d say, “I was born knowing how to figure it out.” She was then and still is amazing to me.

From the time that she was five years old, she wanted to be a doctor.

I always encouraged Erica to be a thinker first and to think first then speak up or take action. To be a leader, however, she would have to learn that a good leader masters the craft by following excellently first.  I’d point out the importance of being a positive team player. We had many conversations about winning and losing.  I’d say, “Be gracious in losses and delightfully humble in your wins.”  Erica loves winning, but I emphasized excellence!  With excellence in all that you do, you’ll always excel and achieve.  She graduated from high school with high honors, she was senior class president and captain of her basketball and volleyball teams.  I think she learned her lessons well.

From the time that she was five years old, she wanted to be a doctor. I think I had a lot to do with that.  Because, to me at that time in my life, being a doctor was the epitome of success.  Almost every day I’d mention, “There’s my baby, she’s so smart, she’s going to be a doctor”.

First, Erica wanted to be a veterinarian, then a pediatrician. Once she went away to college, she set her sights on being an orthopedic sports doctor, completing her BS degree in three years instead of the usual four years. After graduation, she just wanted to work and didn’t want to attend med school immediately. Then learning that her father was diagnosed with cancer, with all the love, strength, and admiration in her heart for her inspiring dad, she obligated herself to fight this horrific battle along with him until it was won.  After that, she went straight to work and never stopped.

Today Erica is Senior Vice President, of North America Plant Operations for a Fortune 500 Consumer Goods Organization, PepsiCo. She is dedicated to helping women in operations be and see all that they can be.

I believe if you teach and show a daughter that there isn’t anything that they cannot accomplish and if you show them that they can reach for the stars, they will not come up empty-handed especially if they witness you reaching for the stars too.

I am very proud and overjoyed. Erica has far exceeded my expectations and then some. She’s a leader and a mentor in her field and she is still growing, learning, blossoming, and giving back.  So, before Women’s History Month ends, I celebrate Erica Z. Edwards my daughter, a phenomenal woman, and my very best friend.

I celebrate all women, mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers who have reared or mentored successful women.  Parenting is not an easy task, it’s the hardest job I have ever had. That said, I celebrate myself too.

Be Bold and Bloom, be the best you can be every day in every way no matter what the circumstances are. Be your SuperSelf. Speak up for yourself and others.

Contact Zalise on the Contact Page, write a thoughtful comment in the Comment Section, or leave a message at: Zalise@beboldandbloom.com | (415) 525-4767

 

8 Comments

  1. Claire Cooper

    Congratulations, Zalise! It was your strong motivation and drive that kept the pace for progress and continuous growth for Erica’s future. A picture of who your Grandmother was in your life, as your followers have learned to know, comes to life. She was the “stern supervisor” and that “executive officer” you learned to be. We recently witnessed Erica standing before the world as an Executive Officer of Pepsico at the Nasdaq Ring the Closing Bell ceremony. And, “She is Pepsico” is opening doors for other women. As Mother’s Day approaches, I say congratulations to a Grandmother, Mother and Daughter.

    Reply
    • Zalise Edwards

      Thank you so much for your sincere remarks, Claire! Truly you have an understanding of what it means to be proud of the strong women that have been significant in our lives past and present. For it was their optimism with an unrelenting determination to succeed that paved us a lane in the success highway. It’s now our daughters turn to navigate and make that lane longer and much wider so that more and more women that look like us can work through to accomplish their goals in life too. With much love and respect, I congratulate you, and your daughter too. Zalise

      Reply
  2. Don Gonsalves

    I felt the emotions of a proud parent as I read your article. I am delighted to be a continuing witness to the product of your successful rearing of a beautiful daughter and a positive contributor to society. Zalise, Erica isn’t done yet, and I am so excited for her future. Zalise, if there were an Oscar for your performance, I would nominate you for “Best Mom.”

    Reply
    • Zalise Edwards

      Don, thank you for your thoughtful comment, the Oscar nomination, and your continued support. Much love. Zalise

      Reply
  3. Eldwin C

    Zalise,
    Your emphasis on instilling strong values and discipline in Erica when she was a child is admirable. By teaching her the importance of respect, hard work, and education, you set her up for the success that she has attained and empowered her to navigate the challenges she faces with grace and strength. Your story inspires me to be the best father that I can be. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Zalise Edwards

      Ahhhh Eldwin, thank you. Your words touched my heart. I’m sure you are a great father to your beautiful daughters! Zalise

      Reply
  4. Erica

    A good read mom, brought back many memories. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Zalise

      I’m your biggest fan! I love you babydoll.

      Reply

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