For my daughter Louis | LPGA

There was a point in my life when an injury made me think I would never play golf again. But for seven and a half years, I slapped a back brace and continued to play the game I love.

Now, as a mom, I still do it.

All I wanted was to show my daughter what is possible – to show her that she can still be great at her job and be a great mom at the same time, no matter what obstacles she faces.

Whether it’s golf or another profession, I want her to grow up and see what a strong, strong woman looks like. I want her to know that no matter how hard the road is, she can still succeed. She can always come first.

But this path will be difficult. Just look at me, for example. I’m here as a mom while still trying to compete against the best golfers in the world. Nothing about it was easy.

It’s the things you don’t really think about: It’s finding someone to help watch the baby while they exercise and the husband works. It roams around car seats, strollers, and all the things kids need when they travel. He tries to make dinner when you have a baby there and you have to bottle feed him. She rocks in the afternoon after waking up with a baby all night.

Only the energy it takes, and time is something I underestimated at first.

But I wouldn’t change it for the world, to be honest. I was at a point in my life where I was willing to change priorities.

To get to number one in the world and accomplish all the things I’ve done, golf had to be number one in my life. I tell people all the time. It should be at the top of the list. You must be prepared to miss your friends’ weddings or miss a family vacation because you want to be the best in the world.

I have reached a point in my life where I am tired of losing these things. I’m tired of getting lost and left all the time. So it was kind of a natural evolution of golf on the priority list.

But this does not mean that my passion for this sport has faded. I’m still as excited now as I’ve always been about improving my game.

I am grateful to have a really good support system that gives me a chance to do both.

A large part of this support system is the Smucker Child Development Center.

Things are much easier during tournaments because of the daycare program. Everything is consistent. Children know who the ladies are. It’s the same setup every week. They have the same games, and everything is very familiar.

These kids grow up around each other. They all have little friends who are excited to see them. When I dropped off my daughter, she would run and hug them every day. It’s like one big family, really.

And it’s not just a nursery.

I got food poisoning on Saturday night when I was at the US Open this year. So that Sunday was totally miserable. I was alone with my daughter that night and called one of the daycare ladies to ask if one of them could come and stay at home with me.

I had an extra bed and just needed someone else with me to help me so I could sleep.

They were at my house in 30 minutes to stay with us.

So the Smucker Child Development Center isn’t just something touted as, “Oh, we do X hours of daycare every day, etc.”

If you really need help with something or just need extra time, they will do it in no time.

They made what I do possible.

I enjoy it so much that I want to keep playing.

It’s funny when I look back and remember I would have finished playing at the age I am now. But I’m enjoying the game now more than ever. When I’m off that golf course, it’ll be just me. I know my daughter is safe in foster care. So I can turn off my phone and do what I love. As long as I still like to do it, I want to keep doing it.

There will obviously be a point where my body, and especially my back, won’t allow me to compete at the same level. This will most likely be the point of my time. But I don’t know when that will be.

For now, I’m just happy with the competition and getting better.

I have a little girl who watches and mimics everything I do. I want to encourage her to be confident and gorgeous. And I hope I can also influence others who see me doing what I do.

Hopefully, more women will be willing to balance their dream jobs with motherhood.

If this trend continues, you will have a group of strong women in this world.

Honestly, I’d like to see more of her.

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