Last Friday, which was officially the FIRST day of summer break for my sons, I found myself at Chatham College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) speaking on the new mom and social media. I laughed along side my co-presenters, Debi Gilboa of Ask Doc G and fashion designer, Kiya Tomlin, there was no special, start of summer vacation pancake breakfast at my house that day. It was only fitting when our outrageously talented moderator, Vonda Wright, MD and entrepreneur, asked me ‘How do I do it all?’…I answered,
As women, who now hold down a myriad of positions and responsibilities in 2013 such as working inside the home, outside the house, and often combining both along with being a wife/partner and mother and daughter, we talk a lot about balance and fitting it all in. Well, quite simply – it doesn’t always all fit in to a nice neat package, so when Vonda asked for my opinion, I gave it.
I explained: We are not perfect, and some days I feel like I am a pretty good mom and other days, I let myself think that I am rocking my business plan. What seldom happens is feeling I am fabulous at both on the same day. I use to burn the midnight oil trying to be all perfect at everything I touched, and more days than not, I felt defeated. So, I just simply do my best.
Echoing the message of fellow panel member, Kiya Tomlin, I concur that there is some strange longing and pride in letting my kids see my struggle, achieve, and conquer. I can only come to the conclusion that my sons watching me on the days that I am a so-called fabulous woman in business, I am in essence reaching a different parenting goal than being June Cleaver. According to Doc G, we are a generation of parents who want to teach our kids to be resilient, which to ME, means showing them how we continue to grow ourselves as resilient adults…
I spoke on how one day my sons would be partners and husbands, and more than likely, need to support their significant other in their own endeavors. Watching me readies them for this task. Therefore, if they are forced to wear a dirty sports uniform or eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner, so be it. They are experiencing what it is like for 2 parents to climb higher and do what is best for them individually along side being married and raising a family.
We talk about the big, bad internet all the time these days. Just turn on the news or open a paper or eavesdrop on a conversation, and you will more than likely see or hear a snippet of something internet related. Most of the time this focuses on the dangers of the netz or the reliance of the younger generation on technology, but the internet is not all bad. Namely, it has opened a big world to many parents, who traditionally have held roles at home or perhaps, could only grow their small home-based businesses as far as their neighborhoods.
The world is flat now. This is not news to anyone. We can network far and wide, sell our services and products all over the world, and grow our knowledge right from our home offices. Which is allowing moms to widen their bandwidth. With email and social networking, moms can work off and odd hours to often turn an idea or talent into a business. One thing is this: It is not as easy as it looks, but it is do-able now.
Regardless of whether mothers enter into an entrepreneurial venture or work in a professional career, or stay at home for some period of time, we all struggle to do all that is on our plate. So, the world may be flat and broader and bigger, but it only makes our plate fuller….and we can’t always do it all. Admitting that is first and moving forward is second. I am pretty sure that all of these issues are here to stay for good, so we are pioneers of the digital moms.
We are creating a landscape for future women and moms to make all their dreams a possibility because we are raising the kids who are witnessing just that and supporting that (without even knowing that they are doing that).
When asked, How do you do it all? How do you respond? …and Feel?