Call Your Parents More, It’s Good for Them and You

momdadpicv2I recently returned from a Midwest holiday road trip.  When you live over a thousand miles away from family, you quickly learn to cherish every face-to-face minute you get. Despite having just driven through four states to reach my parent’s house, on Christmas Eve I volunteered to tag along with my father as he made the 90-minute trek to pick up my brother (he was flying in from Florida).   We talked about the weather, jobs, past family vacations…. even made a pit stop at a local sporting goods store we would frequent together when I was a kid, it was quality 1:1 time.  My heart was full. It was such a wonderful time that I started questioning why I do not talk to him more regularly.  Same with my mom.  I used to call them every day. But as my career advanced and family expanded, finding time to make a call {regularly} has been tricky.  How pathetic does that sound?  Tricky, seriously!? Sure, we text and keep in touch thanks to social media but there is something special about hearing a parent’s voice – it is calming, comforting.

A study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Child Emotion Lab says that even just hearing your mother’s voice over the phone can have the same stress-reducing effects of a hug.  Knowing this, for those of us fortunate to still have parents around, why don’t we call more often?

It is hard to believe I’ve been working in hi-tech for over a decade. Tack on that my roles have been in sales and marketing where lead goals, pipeline goals & revenue goals can be compared to riding a fast moving roller coaster ride with lots of twists and turns – to say my stress levels are high, is an understatement.   All good of course.  I heart sales and marketing, but let’s be real, it is an emotional career where you experience incredible highs and intense challenges.

My first taste of working in hi-tech was for a software start up in Tampa.  I would work 65 hours (easy) a week.  I had a good 45-minute commute and would call my parents at least once a day either to or from work.  Some that have a long commute might decompress by listening to podcasts or music.  Not me, I would decompress by sharing my day with my parents and the advice they gave was invaluable.   While I don’t miss the commute, I certainly miss those regular conversations.

A few years ago, my husband introduced me to best-selling author Jon Gordon.  Gordon has authored many motivational books on the power of positivity.  He is also known for encouraging people to select #oneword at the start of a New Year.  The concept behind choosing “one-word” is to select a word you can incorporate into your daily activities to help drive inspiration to reach both professional and personal goals.  In 2018, I chose Driven and this year I selected Create.

There are so many things I want to Create in 2019.  Create another well-oiled team that excels at pipeline creation (which we are off to a great start).  Create more time to focus on maintaining a positive physical health state.  Create more time for my family.

I am thankful we decided to pack up our party of five and head east to spend the holiday with family.  The encouraging conversations I had during that week were just what I needed to kick-start the New Year in high gear!  Creating more time for family, and that includes ma and pa, is a top priority for me.  And now that I know a published study shows how positive the effects can be by hearing your mom’s voice…..I can’t wait to get back into the habit of decompressing with my parents, having more family dinners with my littles/husband and killing our team’s pipeline goals.  Happy New Year and cheers to a healthy, prosperous 2019!


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