Wow, just wow! I didn’t march, but I had several friends who went to D.C. to march or marched in Austin, Texas last Saturday. I take it as a sign of the actual decent health of our country that there was not one violent outburst, of which I am aware, during these marches on January 21, 2017 in any US city .
Some were marching in protest of Trump winning, but I think many more were also marching to make a point about women’s rights, civil rights for all races, tolerance, understanding, LGBQT rights, support of immigrants in times of need, etc. Personally, I got very emotional watching the marches on TV and seeing the commentary from women who have long fought for women’s rights that could be so easily taken away from us even if not easily by law but by behavior and words that were clearly not tolerated prior to the election, now being potentially acceptable.
One of my friends wrote this great post on facebook that with her permission (she did not want credit outside of facebook), I am quoting verbatim here:
“I marched with my oldest daughter but assumptions are made immediately by everyone reading this about why I did it with her. The march to me was not about President Trump and we weren’t there to protest him being our president. Were there men and women there to protest him, yes of course. We did not hold signs that had words I wouldn’t repeat to my daughters, let alone show in public. We were not there to riot and cause mayhem.
We were there to send a message to our local elected officials that we are here and watching them.
We were there because I worry about Obamacare being appealed completely including the few provisions President Trump said he would leave including not allowing lifetime caps, allowing kids to remain on parents’ healthcare until 26 years of age and preexisting conditions portion that affect me and so many people I know.
We were there because I feel it is a woman’s right to decide her conscience of what she should do with her body. I do not feel anyone has the right to judge a woman for her choice. That is a decision she makes between her and her God.
We were there to support laws already in place for gay rights and continue to move forward. I am not gay but also see those that are as human beings just like me and do not believe I should have different rights then them.
We were there because I wanted my daughter to experience a peaceful protest, regardless if all of us were there for different reasons, and see how strong women can come together and send a message to the elected officials- we are here and ready to act.
I don’t know about other marches across the US and world, but in Austin it was peaceful, empowering and positive. No one was saying they wanted to blow up anything, used profanity, etc. It was a powerful and empowering message.
So before you judge and make negative comments about those that did march, why don’t you ask why or just remember we live in a country that has progressed because of movements.
I believe in peaceful and constructive discussions, not hate and degrading comments. So please, try not to judge one another and stop with the hateful comments! Instead, let’s learn from one another and move forward! I’m an optimist and believe it can happen. Peace and love to all!”
Another year has passed and another Mother’s Day is almost over. Apparently my Happy Mother’s Day 2012 – Keep Up The Good Work post had several hundred views the last few days via google searches. I still find that “greeting” card I took a picture of and put in that post humorous in an ironic kind of way…not even sure that makes sense or not.
This Mother’s Day, we find ourselves living in an extended stay hotel for a couple of weeks while we wait for our new home to be ready. We’ve already had several friends over to eat and swim with us. Our new home was supposed to be ready in January, and we are crossing our fingers & toes that we will be able to move in soon. So many amazing things have happened on this journey and invariably they involved wonderful people with big hearts who have gone the extra mile to make this transition as smooth as possible given the other unexpected changes in my life. I really can’t thank some of these people enough. I’m pretty sure I’ll be a grandmother with some of the best First World war stories ever! 🙂
So today for Mother’s Day, my son played soccer, the kids did their homework, they took me to Firebowl for lunch where mom’s ate free, we saw The Croods, they went swimming in the heated & nicely shaded hotel pool, they took me to Macaroni Grill for dinner (using gift cards the buyer’s of our house gave us), and they listened to me 90% of the time without me having to repeat myself multiple times. All in all I’d say it was a very good day with the only downer being me having a cold.
I told the kids that I would share the fortunes (or statements) from the fortune cookies we chose at Firebowl in this post, so Happy Mother’s Day and here they are :
Embrace change, don’t battle it.
Don’t be so critical and overly concerned about details.
Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens.
Drastic means are not as necessary as you think.
Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent.
I try not to get too political on my blog, but sometimes an event happens like the killing of 20 six and seven year old kids and 6 educators by a mentally unstable individual, who had access to a semi-automatic gun, that compels me to write something. The stories about their little bodies riddled with multiple bullets, make me shudder. I can’t imagine the horror and pain those parents must feel. I am partly in shock and cannot even wrap my mind around dropping off my 7 year old daughter at school to subsequently find out some lunatic shot her and her friends. It makes me sick to my stomach.
There are so many random shootings by mentally unstable people and it seems as if this one is really striking a different chord. People are tired of this nonsense. There are no easy answers. I believe people have rights to own a licensed hand gun or even hunting weapons, but semi-automatic and automatic weapons just don’t make sense. The people who fill out the right paperwork and clear the background checks aren’t usually the crazy people. It’s their friends, relatives, or others who have access to the places the law abiding people keep their guns who have the potential to wreak havoc. Can we feasibly check everyone that could potentially come in contact with a gun that someone is legally registering for? Probably not.
I heard America has the worse statistics (behind Somalia) on gun related murders per capita in the world. Some say we should arm our teachers like they do in Israel or Switzerland. Others say the problem with that solution is that both of those countries require military service by all young people who get solid gun safety training as well as psychological screening. Plus, who wants our kids going to school with teachers who have guns strapped to their backs?
I signed a petition at Whitehouse.gov to make discussion on this topic around the proper interpretation of the 2nd amendment a high level priority. The petition is HERE. Based on my understanding, the 2nd Amendment was primarily made to enable the common person to protect him/herself from the government, not insane people. Advanced US Government weaponry is no match for anything available in the civilian market these days. I mean, who is going to say it’s okay for Joe Blow to own a nuclear missile or an armored tank?
There are no easy answers but in my opinion, questions and potential solutions need to be asked & examined that include gun regulation combined with mental health screening. What is going on in our society that enables mentally ill people to hide their illness so well from others? Why is it that those closest to them do not speak up to get them help? Hard questions to answer because of the numerous human, financial, and psychological variables.
My thoughts, prayers, and well wishes go out to those families dealing with so much heartache and pain right now. They can no longer hug & kiss their little darlings good night. 🙁 I hope our country will come up with some solutions that prevent something like this from ever happening again!
Why is it when we are stressed or depressed we usually can’t envision peace and happiness around the corner, but when we are happy and things seem to be going well, we are more likely to anticipate bad things around that corner? Not everyone thinks like that but most people are not as enlightened as Buddha professed to be and events, people, pets, and words affect us. We doubt ourselves and our future. The ironic thing is that if something really bad does happen it’s usually not anticipated. So we get ourselves worked up over things that usually don’t happen because we can never really prepare for the really horrible stuff.
I saw this photo of a little Indian boy rowing in a metal bowl (not sure where I got it now since I saved it months ago) and it evoked several thoughts/emotions in me as a mother: “That could be my son. What a brave little boy! Does he know where he’s going? Where are his parents? Was there a big flood or is this his usual morning routine? Will he be ok? Who is waiting for him on the other side.I hope someone hugs him. I hope someone gives him some food.” Who knows what he’s thinking, but he apparently found a big flat oar like stick, got in this metal bowl, and decided to row to a better place.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous mothers out there! Being a parent and especially a mother these days is probably one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Unlike an OB doctor, who can be liable for a kid’s physical health until they are 18 or sometimes 21, mother’s can be blamed or praised for their kids successes or failures until they die.
I have been blessed with great women friends who are amazing mothers. Most of the older women I know have stood by their now mostly-out-of-the-nest kids through many ups and downs even if their own parenting styles and home situation might have had an impact on some of the “down” parts. They realize they aren’t perfect and don’t expect their kids to be perfect either.
It’s not easy being an adult and raising kids when you sometimes feel like breaking down from exhaustion and other things because you are still trying to figure out life and yet you’re expected to model the best for them. Most of the time motherhood is the greatest thing since sliced bread but sometimes you wonder how those little babies turned into talking beings. Some of us can keep it together better than others and are the poster children of great motherhood, some of us are extremely narcissistic, and some of us keep it together too well and have little emotional connection with our kids.
It’s easy to brag and boast about your kid when everything is going great and the world sees them as well behaved “darlings.” It’s not so easy when things take a turn down the road of bad health, abuse, depression, drugs, alcohol, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, emotional issues, divorce, differences of opinion, lifestyle choices, etc. But to those mom’s and dad’s who accept & love their kids for who they and are there for them despite the sometimes disappointment, pain, health issues, talking back, expressions of sadness & anger, and embarrassment, this post is for you.
The photo in this post is from a card I saw in a grocery store. I found it so hilarious I had to take a picture of it. Inside it says “Keep Up The Good Work.” 🙂
I don’t’ have time to read many blogs these days, but I read about 98% of what Seth Godin writes on his blog. I keep meaning to buy and read more of his books, but time escapes me with the many things I’m juggling right now. I’m so glad he blogs!
I subscribed to his Domino Project emails. Watch this video. If you have kids. If you have a daughter. If you are a human being who has put yourself in the face of challenge and danger. If you want to know you are not alone, you must watch this video on Ted Talk. Sarah Kay is a “spoken word poet.” She starts with a compelling poem. She then goes on to discuss her loves of poetry and theater. She is young. She is beautiful and well spoken. Given her talent now, I wonder how she will sound after she actually has kids…or a daughter. Video is embedded below:
How often can people do/experience all of the above? There are people who have changed the world (e.g., Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, etc.) who didn’t make a lot of money and we won’t ever know if they were truly happy, healthy or content. There are people who changed the world and made a lot of money (e.g., Oprah, Steve Jobs, Madonna, Lady Ga Ga, Michael Dell, Bill Gates, etc.) but we don’t know how happy or content they are or were. Oprah has been the most open about her struggles with personal satisfaction and her weight…the businessmen, not so much.
Do we have to deal with having one or two out of three? I think I can count on one hand the people who appeared to have all three but if you dig a little further… Check out a recent post on TechCrunch called 10 Things Entrepreneurs Don’t Learn in College. All very true, the second being “How To Be Betrayed,” which happens all of the time in business (and politics) whether you are a man, woman, or a duck. I clicked over to the authors (James Altucher) post on how to be lucky and it made me wonder if he had kids because he advises getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. every day and to bed by 9:30 pm with exercising and eating right in between. Maybe I’ll figure out how to do that when I’m 50 and the kids are gone. I guess that’s why some are more monetary successful than others…early bird gets the worm!
The saying “you can have it all, but just not all at the same time” must be true. So it seems the thing we have the most control over is how we feel: happy, sad, content, angry, etc. We can try to change the world but there’s no telling what numerous things will be thrown in our path. We can try to make tons of money, but a lot of shit happens (e.g., kids, health issues, the economy, marriage, divorce, love, hate, indifference, parents) trying to do that. But we will usually find ways to make enough to get by or we become comfortable with a lot of debt.
I was reminded during my recent trip to China that Buddha, who was born and originally spread his philosophy in India before his teachings were embraced by the Chinese, taught that at the root of all suffering was desire (for a person, place, thing, success, money, etc.). As I understand it, he said that if you gave up the desire for earthly things or status that would be the only way you could eventually achieve enlightenment. He certainly changed the world and was arguably content/enlightened but was not rich by American standards.
I guess it depends on what age you are, your genetic disposition, and what cards life has dealt you as to whether you believe you can achieve all three at the same time for a substantial length of time…
Call me crazy, but I’ve joined a book club with currently 14+ moms from the neighborhood. I love reading. I love reading good fiction because I find there is so much tie to real life. I work full time and have two kids so I haven’t had time to really read much for the last 8+ years. I’m hoping that belonging to a book club, something I haven’t really done before, will get me back into reading. I’ve reviewed books before on this blog and mostly they were recommendations from friends that were relevant to what I was going through at the time.
I’m looking forward to being part of a book club where I have a deadline by which to read something. Our first book is called The Help by Kathryn Stockett. See below for link to the book on Amazon. I went to Half Price Books today to see if I could find it and I think because the movie is about to come out they didn’t have any copies on hand.
Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all the mothers out there have a pleasant day tomorrow – May 8, 2011 – with kids not whining doting on you, listening to everything you say, and smiling all day. 🙂 If your kids are grown and if you’ve been a good mother, hopefully they’ll send you something or call you. My kids are still young so I suspect they will give me something they made at school. For one brief second I thought about writing a short Mother’s Day poem, but then I realized how late it was and changed my mind. Being a mother has been the hardest, yet so far the most rewarding profession I’ve ever had. I love my two little human start-ups (i.e., ventures) more than anything else in the world. The mother-child relationship is the only relationship that starts with a human physically connected and constantly fed by another human. I imagine I’ll always feel connected to them in some form even though the connection changes over time. I hope I have as positive an affect on their lives as they have had on mine.
My neighbor shared some of her Mother’s Day roses with me today. She said she had so many and she wanted to share some with me. That was so very thoughtful and sweet of her, and I’m tearing up a bit writing about it now especially given the hard year we’ve gone through. They are my favorite flowers: roses, which are shown in the photo accompanying this post. I’m grateful for people like our neighbors who we’ve lived next to for over 10 years and who have been kind and supported all of us. She’s a wonderful mother with 4 kids, and I think close to 10 grand kids now. When she’s not working, she seems to be always doing something for her kids or grand kids. Her husband is the wonderful guy who helped us plant our new trees, and he has also read my blog consistently since almost soon after I started writing on it over three years ago. So I know he’ll see this post and hopefully tell her about it.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2011 to all. Do your best to be great mothers every day and night (since it’s a 24×7 job) and hope your kids forgive you when you screw up as you will forgive them when they do…unless of course they forget mother’s day or your birthday!
May all you mothers out there be appreciated today (and every day for that matter) for all that you do. There are too many things that we do to list here. Although maternal and paternal roles have changed throughout the generations of humanity, the mother’s role is still very important not only from a biological perspective but also a psychological one. As the saying goes, if mom is happy everyone’s happy! My kids gave me lots of hugs and loving today and kept the whining to a minimum so I was a happy momma. 🙂
Some of you may have been wondering why I took such an extended blogging break and why I’ve been so spotty in the times between posting. I thought quite some time about posting this, but then I thought I might never reach my potential as a writer or even as a human being if I don’t throw caution to the wind and risk offending or for that matter validating/pleasing others. Plus I thought that if it helps one person or helps someone think differently even if just for a nanosecond, then it would have been worth it. Some of you may recall I wrote About Laughter, About Sleep, About Writing and About Car Paint. This post is About Pain.
There’s physical pain and then there’s emotional, mental, and spiritual pain. Most of us have experienced all different kinds in life. The worst physical pain in my life came as a result of breastfeeding my son over 7 1/2 years ago now. I developed an infection that hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep and if I was able to nod off, I would wake up with tears in my eyes. I remember thinking “I want to die right now, but I can’t because I must feed my baby.” I was determined to breastfeed him no matter how many people said I should give up. I have never wished to die before or since. I have wished to be waited on hand & foot while laying in a hammock on a beach drinking a pina colada and having my feet massaged, so if that’s what happens after death, I’m all in! Thankfully the maternal instinct is so strong, and we live in a day & age where antibiotics are available that in a few excruciating weeks the pain was gone. But I still occasionally have memory pain that has diminished over time.
But emotional, mental, and spiritual pain seems to last much longer (unless you have chronic physical pain which probably exacerbates the emotional kind as well). And unfortunately, a week of antibiotics doesn’t cure this kind of pain. This kind of pain can start from childhood and stick with you…flaring up at various times in your life when things trigger your deep seated fears and emotional memories. There’s a theory that you are often attracted to people that have some of the same traits as people in your family did growing up because it’s a known/comfortable pattern. The theory continues that down deep, you want to resolve some of the pain that you as a child were never able to resolve, see your parents resolve, or resolve with your parents. This theory is outlined in a book called Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage (Amazon Link), and I read it before I got married, but I didn’t really get it until now because I didn’t know what those patterns were until I was immersed in it as an adult and mother.
What happens when someone in a marriage (with kids) finally realizes that the pattern is not resolvable or they don’t know how to, don’t want to, or can’t resolve it? They suffer or get divorced and the pain is horrid. Especially the pain you feel for the kids as you imagine the pain they might feel. I lived through a divorce myself as a child and was often caught in the middle of a lot of bitterness and anger, and I have relived that pain for my kids even though it’s a completely different situation and their dad is a very good, involved father.
What’s even harder is when you are both good people that happened to have a lot of unexpected crap happen throughout the marriage. You wonder what is wrong with you. When in most cases, there is really nothing wrong with you, but you look back and realize that neither of you knew how to nurture a marriage or you didn’t see or understand the signs that should have been big clues that something huge needed to fundamentally change in each of you. It’s like you both have blinders on until suddenly one of you takes them off and doesn’t like what they see, don’t see, feel, or don’t feel. Marriage, like life, does not come with an instruction manual and even if it did everyone is so different it would be hard to apply to your unique marriage and you would think you could wing it or that it didn’t apply to you. There are more instructions around a divorce which requires a signed agreement between the two of you outlining your responsibilities than there is before a marriage.
So, yes I just got divorced after what was probably close to a year of being separated mentally, if not physically. This past year is somewhat of a blur. It’s the hardest emotional, mental, and spiritual pain I’ve ever experienced and unfortunately there are no legal drugs I can take to make the pain disappear in a few weeks. Despite the fact that 50%-60% of marriages end up in divorce, it is the 2nd most stress inducing event anyone can experience behind death of a loved one. And it doesn’t really matter if you are the one leaving, the one being left, or it’s mutual. Mix divorce with unusual work dynamics, kids, and other personal issues and you have a recipe for a potential breakdown. Fortunately, I am very lucky/blessed to have wonderful friends, co-workers, family friends, and family who have supported me and let me cry on the phone, on email (yes, it’s possible to cry on email) or in front of them and repeatedly (until I’m sure they were sick of it) told me that everything will be OK. They let me say and write stupid (although sometimes funny) things and were kind anyway. I have never felt so out of control in my life! I mean I’ve gone months without reconciling my check book, was late on a couple of house payments, and my house (although overall neat) more disorganized than I’d like. Plus a whole shit load of other emotional stuff.
I’m still a ways away from being back to normal whatever that is, but we both love the kids immensely and right now we can’t foresee not being friends and friendly for their sakes. From my perspective, we both still respect each other and as hard as this has been, we’ve both taken the high road because that’s the kind of people we are, and we know it’s best for the kids. A child counselor told us it was obvious we loved the kids and they loved us. She also said that they got along so well with each other, were exhibiting normal behavior for going through what they were going through, and seemed happy despite what they were experiencing which of course took off about 80% of my maternal guilt. I did a post back in September 2009, called Double The Trouble, Double The Fun which stemmed from me feeling glad they had each other during this hard time their parents were going through. I felt that I/we had done at least one thing right by giving them the gift of each other to weather storms that life will inevitably bring them.
So now you know why I had such a long break from writing on the blog. My personal life started to bleed into the blog, and I needed to get a handle on things for a little while. I think back to that Entrepreneurial Ledge where I stood almost a year and a half ago. When your sleeping heart wakes up suddenly, it’s a very disorientating, scary feeling. It’s like gasping for air while at the same time trying to soak in all the colors, beauty, sounds, smells, shapes, feelings that you have not noticed/felt for years. You start falling in love with life again and it seems that pain is a part of love. You unknowingly/desperately reach out to people, anyone kind nearby to help ease this searing pain. In the case of some friends and family, they are there for you in ways you never imagined. In the case of others, they can’t or don’t know how to be there like you want/need them to be and it exacerbates and magnifies the pain. You start to realize that you are really reaching out to your lost self and the only one who can save you from drowning is YOU. Then you start the process of excruciatingly, slowly mending a broken heart and falling in love with yourself…and you wonder why and when you fell out of love in the first place.
Thank you for reading.
About the photo: The photo above is of a piece of art that my cousin, who goes by the pseudonym of Isaac Falconer, made for me when I told her I was getting a divorce. I didn’t get to see her that often growing up. She is a unique, vibrant, passionate individual. She has followed her own path and seems to have found happiness in doing so as well as people who appreciate and buy her art! She has even exhibited in Italy. The piece is called No Pleasure Garden (c) 2009 and it’s made of Chantilly lace from Italy with hand made hypo allergenic orchids affixed to two locations on the huge piece of lace. In her words, “It’s meant to be placed across the bottom of your bed as a reminder to you of YOUR personal glory – which has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with your life-mate or your kids or your professional work.“ It looks so lovely at the bottom of my bed and makes me smile when I enter the room.
Here is a thought provoking quote from Gay’s interview:
“You get knocked down a couple times and your confidence gets busted and you draw back a little bit,” she says, “but you have to allow yourself the mistakes and the rejection and not let them eat you up.”
I agree with Gay that many entrepreneurs give up is when they let their mistakes eat them up instead of learning from them and moving forward. I struggle with limiting thoughts often.
Gay has 3 kids and came from a long line of entrepreneurs so she saw the reality of how it is to build a business. She started helping her mother with her kindergarten program when she was 13 years old after her father died!
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I can’t say I’m surprised for a variety of reasons. I have an MBA and although I never thought of completely opting out of the business world to be a full time stay at home mom (other than the first 6 months of my kids’ lives), I did choose a more flexible transition back into the workforce by starting my own company. That way I could start them off in part time care until I felt they and I were ready for them to go to full time care.
According to the article by Reuters, “The University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business study of nearly 1,000 Harvard undergraduates found that 15 years after graduation, business school graduates were more likely than doctors or lawyers to leave the workforce.”
It continues by saying “Those surveyed were about 37 years old and had at least one child. Fifteen years after graduating from Harvard College, 28 percent of the women who went on to get MBAs were stay-at-home moms. By comparison, only 6 percent of MDs stopped working outside of the home.Of the MBAs surveyed, 27 percent had careers in the financial sector and 17 percent worked in consulting. The majority of the MDs worked in specialties centered on women (13 percent in obstetrics/gynecology), children (31 percent in pediatric medicine), and family.”
As a business student, there’s not often a set path like there is for med students. In the medical field, you finish school, you do your internship, you do your residency, and then you get hired into a private practice or university to continue in your field. Sure the field of medicine changes but apparently not as fast as the field of business.
Business is all about your network and skills. Moms/Parents who stay at home with their kids are advised to continue building and keep up with their network. Medicine is definitely about your skills, but you usually don’t get hired on to a hospital or private practice based on who you know, it has more to do with what you know and where you got your degree!
I find it interesting that I know several MBA women friends who have opted out of pursuing a career while their kids are young and at the same time my OB/GYN and pediatrician (who both happen to be women) came back to work shortly after their kids were born. Our pediatrician came back to work only about 8 weeks after her baby was born. I think both of them are amazing and incredible doctors!
I remember my OB saying how important it was that I take it easy after the baby was born and to take as much time off as possible. I then made a comment to her about the fact she returned to work after her babies were born and she was able to manage it, and she kind of stared at me blankly and didn’t seem to know what to say.
So what do you think the reasons are for the different parenting choices made between moms who got a business degree and those who got a medical degree? I have some ideas, but I’d love to know what you think.
And now for a very cool guest post from Michelle Yozzo Drake author of a newly released book: “From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom’s Wisdom on Leadership.”
MBA Class: Mom’s Business Acumen…Or, “How to Take Skills Learned From Mom to Kick Butt at Work”
As Aruni braves the balancing act that returning to the “formal” workplace brings for a working mom, I was thrilled that she asked me to do a guest post for entrepremusings.com.
I love to work with women…they just get it, even if they don’t know it! Generations of women have been successfully running the home-based business that we call “The Family”. They have had to utilize all of the skills needed to address the same issues that Fortune 500 companies struggle with. And they’ve done it with grace, style and, okay, maybe a few bad hair days here and there!
My version of an MBA class focuses on “Mom’s Business Acumen”:
Risk Management-The art of baking bread, taught to me by my Aunt Giovanna Yozzo Fanelli (Aunt Jennie), yielded a surprising class in risk management, crisis management and plan-failure recovery. As I made loaf after loaf of bread (according to Aunt Jennie’s half Italian/half English instructions) and failed every time, I had to learn how to push past my fear of failure and create new plans to minimize my risks of future bread baking failure! Hours of work sometimes yielded sub-par results (a.k.a “lead-bread” – this made Aunt Jennie laugh as she encouraged me to persevere and continue on my quest for the perfect loaf of bread). My ultimate victory (at least 20 loafs and 80 hours later) was the title of Bread Maker in my family’s eyes. And after Aunt Jennie died at 96 years old, she passed her pans to me. I had become the bread and the baker, and she would be proud!
Mergers and Acquisitions-My sister and a few of my sisters-in-law now have new “blended families”. With divorce rates and remarriages at an all-time high, there are new things today’s mom has learned. Creating a family with kids from previous marriages and new ones with new husbands takes a lot of hard work and effort…no wonder the idea of running a newly merged company is child’s play for the mom that has balanced issues with siblings, half-brothers, step-sisters, etc.!
Cultivating Strong Teams and Leaders-Lessons learned from the women in my family who are masters in the kitchen – my mother Mimi and my Aunt Marie, specifically – have been priceless in developing my ability to coach my clients on building strong teams and leaders at work. Have you ever watched two strong women in the kitchen putting out a holiday meal for the family? Mimi and Marie were masters at leading and following as they consistently put out a quality product (the seven-course Italian holiday meal) for their customers (35 family members and a few stragglers). The big news is, I never remember a moment of tension in either of their kitchens…but always lots of laughter!
Budget Cuts-My mother-in-law Marty used to take her twelve children (my husband Rich is number NINE) to the beach on the ferry every Wednesday…because kids ride free on Wednesdays when accompanied by their parent! She knows how to work a budget! Examples like that guided me during my family’s lean years – when I was sewing shorts for my two young sons out of my husband’s old shirts – and during the first crucial years of my businesses when breakeven was only a dream.
Sales and Product Issues-Have you ever negotiated with a four-year-old over why Oreo cookies are not a breakfast food? Successfully selling those eggs over the Oreos takes a sales master! How easy negotiating with a customer over the price of your products or services is compared to “selling” bedtime to a child!
So when I meet a mom getting ready to return to the workplace and she’s fretting over her perceived “resume gap,” I see the opportunity to educate a sister on how to talk about her degree from the “Mommy Management Training University!”
What have YOU learned from your mom, “mom-figures” in your life, or being a mom yourself?
Michelle Yozzo Drake is a management consultant who has just released a new book: “From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom’s Wisdom on Leadership.” Her Workplace Wisdom Blog is hosting Lipstick Leadership Week -July 14-18 – where Michelle is highlighting other women’s stories about what they have learned from their “moms” or as a mom that helps them succeed at work! Submit your story (and get a plug for your website!) at LipstickLeadership.com or KitchentoCornerOffice.com
I recently received the following email from one of Whirlpool’s PR reps. Although I don’t recall being upset (maybe disappointed) about not knowing about the program (which I can’t recall at the moment) she was referring to, I figured I’d share her email about this contest because it seems like a cool idea. I do have a vague recollection of commenting on a Washington Post article and if I didn’t, she’s a pretty good PR rep to tell me about this contest, because I like to post about programs that support entrepreneurs!
The cool thing is that if you win you not only win cash but also appliances! Also, upon reading their site you cannot submit a company/idea for a new appliance. Your business idea has to be totally unrelated to Whirlpool’s primary business of appliance creation and manufacturing.
I also noticed that one of the guest judges is Julie Aigner-Clarke, founder of Baby Einstein!
I haven’t figured out yet if I can apply for Babble Soft (no issue about us being an appliance 🙂 ) but I haven’t read all of the fine print yet. The application looks pretty simple and straight forward so chances are I will apply. I encourage you all to check it out too and tell other mom-inventors out there about the competition.
I saw that you commented on a Washington Post blog entry about a grant program and that you were upset you didn’t know the program was going on. Just wanted to share with you another grant program that I thought might be of interest to you and your readers.
Whirlpool brand has recently kicked-off the fourth annual Mother of Invention Grant Program. In the past three years, Whirlpool brand has recognized and helped more than 15 moms turn their innovative ideas into reality.
The Whirlpool brand Mother of Invention Grant Program provides seed money and expert guidance to moms to turn their invention, business or service ideas into full-fledged businesses. Contest winners receive:
A $20,000 grant for the grand prize winner
$24,000 in grant money for the four runners-up
Invitation to business boot camp where winners will receive guidance from Whirlpool and industry experts
This year, we are greening the program by adding a new category focused on moms who create an environmentally friendly product/service or use natural/recycled materials to create their invention.
More information and entry forms can be found at www.whirlpool.com/moms. Entries are accepted through July 31, 2008.
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information about the program. I’d also be happy to share information about our past winners, should you be interested.