To further our goal of inspiring and informing our amazing community of moms, we’re profiling women who are redefining the word mom for themselves. Today we’re profiling Nancy Owens. Nancy is mom to three kids aged nine, seven and two, and a lifelong Port Moody resident. She’s passionate about her family and friends, community involvement, and personal growth. Earlier this year she decided to throw her hat in the ring and run for Port Moody City Council. It was a crowded ballot, with 20 candidates for only six council seats. Nancy didn’t win the election on November 19, but we wanted to hear about her experiences. We don’t endorse any particular candidate, but while we were prompting you to Mom the Vote Nancy was willing to put herself forward, and we think that’s pretty cool.
Nancy Owens is Redefining “Mom”
When asked what prompted her to seek public office, Nancy replied, “A strong belief that I would be good at it, coupled with an undeniable desire to increase my community involvement.” It wasn’t always easy though, as Nancy said, “The campaign was almost like having another child for a while, in that it demanded my attention, was challenging at times, and overall was a supremely rewarding experience, full of priceless lessons.” She added, “The whole experience still felt like a victory!”
Nancy faced some challenges as a first-time candidate. She says, “There were definitely some pressures and opportunities to compromise my original intentions and plans. In the end, ignoring these pressures may have cost me some votes, but allowed me to run an authentic first campaign I could feel good about.” Authenticity is always a good thing, whether you’re seeking public office or driving carpool. Nancy maintained hers by reminding herself to follow her gut. She says, “I may not have won the election, but I succeeded in running an honest, modest campaign, in keeping with my principles…and I feel good about that. No regrets.”
Lessons from the Campaign Trail
- Abandon expectations of the people around you. Politics isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and just because someone isn’t publicly cheering you on, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you! Having said that, most of my friends did champion me throughout this experience, and some wonderful bonus cheerleaders surfaced along the way. I could not be more grateful for these people and their support!
- Don’t pay too much attention to what other candidates are doing. Focus on your own path.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously! This advice would have saved me some icky feelings early on in the campaign. By the end of the election I was definitely laughing more than stressing or fuming.
The real test of any campaign, though, is whether a candidate would run again. We had to ask Nancy if she would consider throwing her hat in the ring again in 2014 and she said, “Yes! I will take some time to process this experience, and of course stay involved in the community. Public service is a call I have heard, and I will continue to listen. I am definitely not saying no to running for office again.”
Learning and Teaching
By running for public office, Nancy is setting an example for her children. She says, “I want my kids to know that it’s okay to take a chance, and try something new. It’s never too late to figure out what makes your heart sing, seek a new path, and reinvent yourself.” Fighting in a losing campaign brings lessons, too, as Nancy adds, “With the election results, I hope I am teaching my kids that it’s totally okay if you fall short of your goals, as long as you know you tried your best. And of course, always lose with grace!”
As every parent knows, however, the learning goes more than one way. We gain just as much from our kids as they gain from us. Nancy says that motherhood has changed her in countless ways. “Just off the top of my head, since having kids, I have become gentler, more patient, more relaxed, and more forgiving. I am less judgmental, and more open-minded.” She adds, “If I can take any credit at all for these three amazing, beautiful, fascinating people, then my life has been a total success.” I think any mom can relate to that.
Thanks so much, Nancy, for taking the time to tell us how you’re redefining the word “mom” for yourself!