As a strong, independent woman, I feel fearless. Bring it.
For real. I dare you.

As a mom, in the US, I feel scared. All the time.
I worry about my kids … all the time. I tell them to text / call me anytime they get anywhere. I worry about the jerks in the cars speeding down the streets. Don’t get me started about how I feel about mass shootings. I may never come home.

When I moved here, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Actually, maybe the opposite of a ton of bricks. Suddenly, I was no longer worried about my kids. It was weird. I finally caught my breath after years of holding my breath. I wrote about it here.

This weekend I was nervous again. But for a whole host of different reasons.

You may know that our oldest, Lucas, loves tennis. And thank goodness he does. You see, my mom and dad met on a tennis court. My parents installed a tennis court at my home growing up, before putting in a new kitchen (and my dad was in the restaurant business.) Private lessons, private coaches, and personal pleas … whatever they could do to make me love the game … but it didn’t really take.

Until Lucas came along.

Lucas has had his own tennis racquet and watched tennis since he was 18 months old. I am not even kidding. He loves the game. He always has.

To come to NZ, Jesse and I had to promise him that we would help him continue to train and continue to compete. But Gisborne is not a mecca of tennis. He’s been lucky coach-wise. He has a fantastic coach from Melbourne who works him hard at least twice a week. We’ve driven him to tournaments, a few hours away. And he has won some of those tournaments.

But this past weekend he was invited to compete 5.5 hours away.
Jesse was working night shifts. I have two other kids.
The drive doesn’t involve high ways. It’s through the mountains.

But he was keen. So were his coaches to see him play.
So we found a family locally willing to drive him three hours.

And then the coach met him there and drove him to the home of a lovely Russian family whose son also plays tennis. He spent the night there. The following morning he got on a bus, another 2.5 hours … and then the matches.

The texts started:

  • “Mom. I’m a little nervous”
  • “Mom. I hope I play ok tomorrow.”

The worry found its way back. My poor son. He’s only 13.
We’re in a foreign country. I hardly know anyone here. What if something happens?
Will he be ok? …

And then, it started to come together:

  • “Mom, this family is so nice. This is great!”
  • “Mom, I lost my first doubles match. My head wasn’t quite in it.”
  • “Mom, I won the second doubles match!”
  • “Mom! I won my singles match!”
  • “Mom! The hotel is awesome. I’m on a team again! These guys are great!”
  • “Mom! I just won another singles match! We’re headed home soon!”

OMG. Sigh.
I can breath again.

I may be strong. I may be bold.
But when it comes to my kids, on their own, in a foreign country, after what we have gone through this year, I tremble and shake and I cry.

I hope, I just hope that they will be ok and come out the other end stronger and more confident, and more independent.

And suddenly, I remember a memory.
My dad, at JFK airport in 1999 as I was getting on a plane to Moscow and then to Kiev. My dad was crying; he was worried for me. Of course he was. Remember the cold war? I was moving to Russia for a year. I was 20 years old.

New Zealand tennis tournaments a few hours away have nothing on that.
Time to toughen up, Momma!

But let’s be honest. Parenting is hard.







Hi. I'm Frederique. You can call me Fred. I am the founder and CEO of Her Corner Inc., a global network of women business owners committed to growth in their businesses. When I'm not managing the business operations of Her Corner, you can find me either running accelerator programs for Her Corner members or at the Kogod School of Business at American University where I teach entrepreneurship, business management and organizational behavior. I am passionate about the topic of Entrepreneurship, and in particular the State of Entrepreneurship for Women.

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