Better Tomorrow Than Today

For as long as I can remember, I've always dreamt about being a mother.

But as a professional athlete, the decision to go away for a while and start a family is a complicated one. You don't just drop your sport and come back a year later the same as when you left it.

It doesn't quite work that way.

But I did reach a point after the 2017 British Open when I was ready to stop putting my career first. I was at peace with starting a family and accepting the things that would come from that decision, whether it was me being physically incapable of performing at the highest level or possibly starting to lose the desire to compete anymore.

My mantra in life has always been "better tomorrow than you are today."

Well, that was obviously put to the test the very moment my son was born.

My drive to be better — to improve each and every day — changed when I held him in my arms for the very first time. The motivation I sought was no longer in my career and accomplishments.

My son became my motivation.

There comes a time in your career when you finally reach a crossroads. It's that moment when you're forced to look into the mirror and come to the realization that you've been sort of 'selfish' all of your life, doing whatever you wanted to do and pushing things aside — all while chasing your own dreams.

But not anymore.

I was ready to start a family at all costs, even if it meant golf being put on the back burner at times. It really is all just one big balancing act between home life and work. When I'm at home, I need to be at home, and when I'm at the golf course, I need to be at the golf course.

It isn't like it was when I was still in college. Back then, I had all of this free time, and it was about prioritizing and figuring out how to get the most out of my time and energy. But as a mother, you don't have unlimited time to be hanging out at the golf course, taking an hour lunch, or playing nine holes.

You can't just do those things when another human being depends on you.

One of the things that has helped me with that balancing act is the Smucker's Child Development Center. As a first-time mother, just knowing we have the safety net of on-site childcare has been amazing.

This tool allows us to continue to chase our dreams and have a career, while also being a mother and having a family on tour. Things would look a lot different if we didn't have that available to us. I'm forever thankful for the women of our daycare.

They're practically family at this point. They take care of our kids like they're their own. From the very beginning, they told me, "When you're dropping your kid off, we don't want you to have to worry about him being taken care of. We’ve got him. You go out and play golf. You worry about that."

It is truly a special place. You won't find a lot of comparable options in other sports. We are blessed.

I remember taking more than a year off starting in November 2017. I didn't return to competitive golf until February 2019 after spending that time with my son. When I made the decision to return, there was instant separation anxiety.

It's hard leaving your kid and seeing him cry and reach out for you to come back. I still remember the texts and pictures sent to me from the ladies at the daycare to ensure me that my son was okay. Those incredible women just wanted to put my mind at ease. The immediate comfort and relief I found in that was really awesome.

Nowadays, drop-offs are bittersweet because I'm having to chase him all around the room just to get him to hug me goodbye. Words can't even describe how comfortable they've made me feel when dropping him off there.

But even with the daycare, I do wonder how long I'll keep doing this.

The only answer I keep coming back to is taking everything one day at a time. My son is getting older. He'll be going into kindergarten next fall. That's one of those "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it" discussions.

I love playing golf now and probably will forever. Why else would I stick around this long?

But the fact that my son will soon have his own things going on requires my attention. I feel like I don't want to miss anything being on the road competing, especially big events in his life.

So as of right now, I plan everything day-by-day while working towards making the most of every moment.

I've always said I'd love for my son to not only hear about how good his mom was at golf but see it for himself. I want him to see that through hard work — through pushing yourself to be better tomorrow than you are today — the sky really is the limit on the things you can achieve.