Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.
Many people think that women marry athletes for their money, fame and power. That might be true for some. However, many women who marry athletes, are intelligent, accomplished and well grounded. You would never know from watching reality television.
Meet Tahesha Way, wife of Charles Way, former fullback for the NY Giants and current VP of Player Engagement for the NFL. She’s a graduate of Brown University with an undergraduate degree in English and American Literature. Way attended the University of Virginia Law School in Charlottesville and later worked as a law clerk, a television producer for Court TV, a literature professor at Fairleigh Dickinson and now a judge in the state of New Jersey.
Her schedule is busy as the mother to four daughters, Fallon (17), Farrah (14), Faythe (11) and Fiona (2 months), coupled with career, and yes, the duties of a football wife. With all of the news this week about Ray and Janay Rice, it’s a breath of fresh air to chat with Tahesha about being a mom again, after an 11-year hiatus, discovering herself and pressing RESET.
MadameNoire: What is the biggest misconception about being a football wife?
Tahesha Way: Ha, ha. I know for a fact that people think our life is glamorous and everything is done for you but that’s not true. We work hard, juggle schedules, take care of the home and sacrifice for our men.
MN: Many of us don’t realize that the wives of athletes are accomplished because that image is not marketable on TV. How have you been able to craft your brand while managing a family?
TW: For one, I attribute all to God, who gives me the strength and wisdom to put my family first and an opportunity to excel professionally in law, government and education. Second, organization is key to success. I live by the words my high school English teacher, Mr. Johnson, taught me, “Proactive strategies are better than reactive ones.”
MN: Congratulations! You have a two-month-old! What has been challenging? Rewarding?
TW: Fiona is a blessing! It has been 11 years since our last child, so the challenge has been re-acclimating to getting ready in five minutes, figuring out her needs and not getting flustered if all is not completed. Our eldest left for college this past August and I must say that Fiona has helped with the transition.
MN: Have you had to put your career on hiatus to raise a family, support Charles, etc?
TW: I met Charles at the University of Virginia. Charles and I knew that if we were committed, we would have to coordinate our schedules in light of his love of the game and my passion for the law and public service. Truthfully, we didn’t realize how daunting it would be because it rarely has been 50-50. Nonetheless, we’ve learned to tag team to support one another when our respective schedules become more demanding.
MN: What has been the biggest challenge to date thus far?
TW: My life has been full of challenges. From experiencing a cerebral hemorrhage at 19, to the loss of my beloved mother to lung cancer about 10 years ago. But in terms of family, the biggest challenge is finding the necessary “me time.” I want to set an example for my girls that career goals can be achieved while taking care of a family. As such, I carve out brief moments of “me time,” which can be as simple as going to the supermarket and breathing.
MN: How did you press RESET?
TW: Wow, I have actually pressed RESET many times. I am a firm believer that everything happens by design. Therefore, I have pressed it by reflecting on the experience, extracting the lesson learned, and moving forward. As a mother and wife, I have learned patience, confidence and the ability to multi-task. Also, through difficulties, I have pressed RESET, putting those times behind me and becoming more courageous in my endeavors.
Tahesha Way’s RESET: Learn to focus on the blessings and do the best you can, regardless of what is happening.
Karen Taylor Bass is a best-selling author, PR Expert and understands that life only gets better when you press RESET. Follow her @thebrandnewmom.