This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dr Pepper®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Being raised with three brothers meant I had to learn to be tough, but my inner strength comes from my mother.
She has always been compassionate, stubborn and opinionated — and I wouldn’t want her any other way.
Dr Pepper wants you to appreciate the Wonder Woman in your life and has asked me to share my story. For years, my mother worked day and night to help provide for us. Working around the clock meant we never really got the chance to connect as most mothers and daughters do.
My mother’s absence meant I was cared for by my older brothers and dad. All who were more concerned with keeping me alive rather than whether or not I wore a dress or shorts. Shorts and a tee were my go-to combination.
She enrolled me in dance school at a young age to learn the importance of posture and dedication. After a couple of years and my encounter with a bully, I begged her to let me quit.
She didn’t let me.
That wasn’t the last time my mother made me do something I didn’t want to.
Learning To Be A Girl
My years in a Catholic grammar school had made me a bit cold. I was still dealing with a bully at dance, and I never really connected with other female students. I hung around the boys, and the principal would always complain how it wasn’t “lady-like” to do so. She’d often have conversations with my mother about it.
When it came to signing me up for high school, there was only one place for my mother’s only girl — an all-girl Catholic high school. I was devastated and did my best to get myself out of there. Even before I was accepted, I told the principal that I didn’t want to be there, and right before submitting my test scores for high school, I only sent it to the school one of my brothers was attending at the time.
My mother found out about both, and she wasn’t happy.
When I was accepted to the all-girl Catholic high school, I wanted to cry. I did what I thought would help me get my way — I tried flunking six out of the eight classes I had during my first semester. My English teacher knew I was a bright girl, but she also knew I wasn’t happy. She and I had talks often and it was tough to swallow how I was failing because I didn’t want to be there anymore.
My mother asked me why I wanted to fail out of that school, and I told her I never wanted to go there. Her next words stuck with me: “You think you’re hurting me by doing this, you’re only hurting your future.”
From that day on, I worked with my teachers to improve my grades and did my best to make the most out of the years I had left. I attended clubs, made friends with just about everyone who walked by me, and even tried to inspire others in a similar situation.
I took the same mentality to dance class, and I did that for 15 years until I graduated.
I still don’t like ballet to this day, but classical music, musicals and old movies, that I dig.
My love for the kitchen grew from a culinary arts class I took my senior year in high school, dressing up and actually doing my makeup was something I learned to do from friends I met along the way.
I treasure those years not only because they made me who I am today, but because they remind me of the strength it took for me to overcome those challenges in my life.
A Mother’s Love
For years, I had watched my mom selflessly give to others and I never understood why she would be so quick to give someone money, yet would say we needed to save whenever I wanted something.
It’s her willingness to give from the heart and understanding that others aren’t always so fortunate that really made me understand the value of a dollar.
My mother is the type of person who gives without thinking she’ll receive. There have been times when she would rather give someone something than give to herself.
Today, as a mom of two, I see the same in me. I want the best for our little ones, and I can see my kids pouting and making faces when I tell them they’ll need to do something because it will help them in the future. I guess I learned from the best — the Wonder Woman who raised me.
So here’s a cheer to the Wonder Women in our lives who have taught us lessons about life and responsibility.
Right now you can get Wonder Woman themed Dr Pepper packaging at Walmart. I love that Dr Pepper is celebrating the new Wonder Women movie that will be in theaters June 2nd – be sure to check it out!
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