When my oldest was born, I was just shy of turning 27. I’d already spent a “lifetime” with my college sweetheart with whom I’d crisscrossed the United States, spent six months working on organic farms in New Zealand, and mountain biked from east to west, starting with the Big Island of Hawaii and ending in India. I’d had a good taste of adventuring and was learning to live in the present moment, which in turn made me ready and excited to become a parent. We were so young!
My son had pyloric stenosis and underwent abdominal surgery when he was six weeks old. We also learned about his severe food allergies when he was 10 months old. Taking care of him made me an activist in a way that I hadn’t been before. I learned to advocate for him, work strategically with schools, share my knowledge and experiences with others, and constantly put his safety and well-being first. Because my transition to motherhood included these medical issues, I quickly developed the mindset that while my job was to care for my growing boy, it was even more about preparing him to be an adult in ways where he could advocate, strategize, share, and take care of himself someday. Everything I did for him, I began to ask myself, “Is this something he should be learning more about for himself? What is he ready to do on his own? How can I support his independence?” I saw his life as a gift, a blessing of time that I wanted to appreciate fully. All of this served as the lens through which I evolved as a mom.
A big leap in my parenting came when I better understood how children learn and about developmental milestones. Now, as an educator, I’m committed to helping parents understand the arc of human development, see themselves as separate people from their children, and develop self awareness both in themselves and their kids. I continue to be an advocate for children and focus on fostering healthy relationships between kids and the adults in their lives.
Wendy Horng Brawer, Executive Director, 14000hours.org
I’m a mom to two sons, 22 and 19, and one daughter, 15. I’ve worked hard on having connected relationships with each of my kids and consider being their mom the greatest pride of my life. I lead the educational nonprofit, 14000hours.org, and also coach organizations and individuals to put into action their hopes and dreams by turning them into goals and plans. I love playing the drums and laughing while doing improv, and my favorite time of day is 5am when I write in happy silence on my couch. https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendyhorngbrawer