There was a point in my life when an injury had me thinking I'd never play golf again. But for seven-and-a-half years, I slapped on a back brace and continued to play the game I love.
Now, as a mother, I'm still doing it.
All I've ever wanted is to show my daughter what's possible — to show her that she can still be great at her job and be a great mom at the same time, regardless of the obstacles she faces.
Whether it's golf or some other profession, I want her to grow up and see what strong, powerful women look like. I want her to know that no matter how hard the road gets, she can still succeed. She can always come out on top.
But that road will be difficult. Just look at me, for example. Here I am as a mom while still trying to compete against the best golfers in the world. Nothing about that has been easy.
It's the things you don't really think about: It's finding someone to help watch the kid while you go practice and the husband is working. It's dragging around car seats, strollers, and all the stuff kids need when traveling. It's trying to eat dinner when you've got a child there that you have to bottle-feed. It's teeing off in the afternoon after being up with a baby throughout the night.
Just the energy that it requires, and the time is something I underestimated in the beginning.
But I wouldn't change it for the world, to be honest. I was at a point in my life where I was ready for a shift in priorities.
To get to number one in the world and accomplish all the things I did, golf had to be number one in my life. I tell people that all of the time. It has to be at the top of the list. You have to be willing to miss your friends' weddings or miss a family vacation because you want to be the best in the world.
I got to a point in my life where I was tired of missing those things. I was tired of missing out and being gone all the time. So it was kind of a natural progression of golf shifting down the priority list.
But that doesn't mean my passion for the sport went away. I'm still as fired up now as I've ever been about improving my game.
I'm just thankful to have such a really good support system that gives me an opportunity to do both.
A big part of that support system is the Smucker's Child Development Center.
Things are much easier during tournaments because of the daycare program. Everything is consistent. The kids know who the ladies are. It's the same setup each week. They have the same toys, and everything is very familiar.
These kids get to grow up around each other. They all have little friends that they're excited to see. When I drop my daughter off, she runs and gives them hugs every day. It's just like one big family, really.
And it isn't just a daycare, either.
I got food poisoning on a Saturday night when I was at the U.S. Open this year. So that Sunday was absolutely miserable. I was by myself with my daughter that night and called one of the daycare ladies to ask if one of them could come and stay with me at the house.
I had an extra bed, and I just needed someone else there with me to help so I could sleep it off.
They were at my house in 30 minutes to stay with us.
So Smucker's Child Development Center isn't just this thing that's promoted as, "Oh, we offer X number of hours of daycare every day, etc."
If you really need help with something or you need extra time, they will do it in a heartbeat.
They've made what I do possible.
I'm enjoying it so much that I want to keep playing.
It's funny when I look back and remember thinking that I would be done playing at the age I'm at now. But I enjoy the game more now than I ever have. Whenever I'm out on that golf course, I just get to be me. I know my daughter is safe in daycare. So I can shut my phone off and do what I love. As long as I still love to do it, I want to keep doing it.
Obviously, there's going to be a point where my body, particularly my back, isn't going to allow me to compete at the same level. And that'll probably be my stopping point. But I don't know when that'll be.
For right now, I'm just happy competing and improving.
I have a little girl watching and mimicking everything I do. I want to encourage her to be confident and great. And hopefully, I can also make an impact on others that see me doing what I'm doing.
Hopefully, more women are willing to balance their dream careers with motherhood.
If that trend continues, you'd have a bunch of strong women in this world.
Honestly, I'd love to see more of it.