LIFE

Mother finds renewed strength

Adria Shaw looks forward to enjoying a worry-free Mother’s Day with her family this year. Pictured are (from left) Amare, Jalen, Mike, Kaiya, Adria and Mekhi Shaw. (photo courtesy of Adria Shaw)

Mother finds renewed strength

With three teenaged boys, a husband and a male dog in her family, Adria Shaw has spent most of her adult life surrounded by males in her own household. In late December 2017, however, the birth of her baby girl marked the beginning of what would be a year characterized by significant change for the family.

“I’ve always been very involved in my boys’ sports lives, and I don’t like pink,” Shaw said, regarding the birth of her baby girl. “But it has definitely changed the family for the better. The boys have become more caring and compassionate. I have a better appreciation for my entire family and I pay more attention to the little things now.”

There is certainly no shortage of little things for Shaw to pay attention to in her very busy household. With an active toddler, three teens with demanding academic and athletic schedules, and both parents holding full-time jobs, she relies on writing things down in order to keep everything straight.

“I carry multiple lists to keep track of what needs to be done by when, and who needs to be where and when,” she said.

With one child requiring pick up and drop off at daycare and her three boys attending two different schools, Shaw said that she relies not only on her husband, but on other Scripps Ranch families to share the responsibility of carpools to ensure everyone gets to where they need to be.

“It truly takes a village,” she said. “We have lots of friends who offer support and we always try to pay it back.”

The village of support that the Shaws have established in the community proved instrumental in 2018 when the family experienced its share of challenges, both physically and emotionally. Just four months after giving birth to daughter Kaiya, Shaw underwent knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Unable to drive, she found herself totally dependent on family and friends to transport her children to their school and sports commitments.

In October 2018, Shaw’s middle son, Jalen, who plays freshman football for Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS), fractured his clavicle during a game. A mere 24 hours later, eldest son Mekhi suffered the same injury in a SRHS varsity football game, which would require surgery five days later. Just one week following Mekhi’s surgery, their family dog of eight years succumbed to a heart tumor he had been diagnosed with five months earlier. Rounding out the year, Jalen, this time while playing basketball, suffered another sports injury – a broken tibia, which would require surgery a week later.

While the physical injuries and recovery process required logistical adjustment, Shaw explained that the emotional challenges that accompanied the hardships were even more difficult to deal with.

“It’s hard as a mom. You feel so much responsibility for everyone around you,” she said. “I get very overwhelmed, but I don’t let people know that. I don’t want it to affect the family dynamic.”

She also described the role her sons’ friends played in helping to keep their spirits up when they were injured – and expressed gratitude for those relationships.

In caring for her own well-being, Shaw admitted that she must remember to take time out for herself. She finds solace in spending time with a small, close-knit group of girlfriends comprised primarily of mothers she has met over the years through her sons’ sports activities.

As 2018 drew to a close, Shaw decided to take her self-care a bit further when she joined a 60-day fitness challenge.

“In January, I made a commitment to myself to be a better person for my family,” she said.

Upon completion of the challenge, which she managed while simultaneously juggling all of her regular family commitments, Shaw conceded that her physical results were somewhat average, but she was proud to have accomplished her primary goal: to be a better example to her children and “hit reset” for herself mentally and emotionally.

“I’m not perfect; nobody is,” said Shaw. “You always need to take care of yourself first.”

This Mother’s Day, Shaw hopes to enjoy a simple, worry-free day relaxing and enjoying the company of her family and closest friends.

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