Trauma to triumph in motherhood — M’Shairi Parks’ story

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Parks’ story is one of resilience and never-ending personal growth. (Submitted by M’Shairi Parks)

In honor of Mother’s Day this past weekend, we asked Huntsville mothers to share their unique stories with us. M’Shairi Parks is a 46-year-old divorcée and a mother of twin children. Parks is proud of the life she has built for her and her family, although it’s been no easy feat.

Parks has overcome various forms of abuse, battled depression and struggled with alcoholism. Since then, she has focused on her inner healing and self-improvement, all while juggling work and parenting two kids. Read on to learn more about Parks’ experience as a single mother, a CM department manager and a healing survivor of unimaginable trauma.

Staying grounded with a busy life

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M’Shairi’s 16-year-old twin children. (Submitted by M’Shairi Parks)

When asked about how she keeps a level head, Parks says she attributes her steadiness to working out, prayer and meditation. Her self care rituals have played a vital role in her relationship with both herself and her children.

Parks loves both of her children equally, but differently, pouring into them the love they need to accommodate their individual interests and needs. They are both involved in sports — her son runs in varsity track and her daughter is involved in competitive varsity cheerleading. Their growing independence and willingness to help their mom out has also helped balance out stress.

Parks says she has always been good at multitasking and that her brain is always “going, going, going.” Considering all her experiences that brought her to the person she is today, Parks has developed her driven personality over time.

Parks has worked in the Huntsville defense industry for 25 years

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Parks is a dedicated individual with a bright spirit. (Submitted by M’Shairi Parks)

Parks graduated from Athens State University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Seven years later, she attended The University of Alabama and graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Administration, Management and Operations.

When Parks isn’t busy keeping up with her children’s busy schedules, she works as a Configuration Management (CM) Department Manager at Leonardo DRS, a defense contractor in Huntsville. Parks is also the Lead Administrator for Omnify, the product lifecycle management (PLM) system used by the company to control everything.

Alongside her CM team, Parks handles all the technical data for Leonardo DRS. From crafting drawings and documents to reports and plans, she plays an important part in the configuration of rugged computers and electronics that are eventually installed in army vehicles.

Motherhood is not about balance, it’s about priorities

As a single mother with a demanding job and two children involved in sports, one might imagine it can be difficult to find and maintain work-life balance. Parks, however, says it’s not about balance at all.

“I think, especially as a parent, there’s no such thing as balance. I call it priorities. What is the priority this day? This week? It changes. Some other parents may have figured it out, but for me, being a single mom, a full time employee and entrepreneur, the skills are never balanced at any given time.”

M’Shairi Parks

Parks travels frequently, both to meet and manage her secondary CM team in Melbourne, Florida and to carry out speaking engagements as a certified subject matter expert in her field. However, as her children are actively involved in extracurricular activities, she constantly has to rearrange her priorities to stay engaged with their lives.

Overcoming shame + helping others

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Parks shines a light on her difficult past to help others, including her own children. (Submitted by M’Shairi Parks)

Parks volunteered with Crisis Services of North Alabama (CSNA) for two years, where she communicated people struggling with domestic violence, sexual assault, suicidal thoughts and mental illness. From there, she became a domestic violence (DV) responder, a program that involves trained volunteers riding with the Huntsville Police Department (HPD).

“You go with (HPD) on all the calls that they have, but if there are any DV calls, then we’re the first on the scene to help with that. (We) talk to them, give them information and make sure everything is good. I did that for a few years and I absolutely loved it.”

M’Shairi Parks

Parks’ experience with CSNA gave her greater insight into the ways other people process their trauma, which in turn influenced her relationship with her own past.

“Being someone who’s gone through that trauma, it helps me understand someone in it now.”

M’Shairi Parks

“What does being a mother mean to you?”

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Both of Parks’ kids have incredibly bright futures ahead of them. (Submitted by M’Shairi Parks)

“I always say that my children are the greatest blessings I have. Motherhood is probably the biggest challenge. It is not easy. There is no blueprint. But I would say that it is the most rewarding thing to see my children as they grow and mature, and just seeing them thrive in life and come into their own.”

M’Shairi Parks

Parks says that, without her children and their unconditional love, she would not be here today. As she and her children continue to grow and experience life together, she plans on continuing to guide them toward success and happiness.

Did you miss out on submitting your story of motherhood? Follow us on Instagram and keep an eye out for similar future opportunities. Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to have features like this sent straight to your inbox.

Curtis Venetta
Curtis Venetta
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