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Guest

Seven Reasons Moms Rock as Entrepreneurs

By: Guest | May 12, 2011 | 
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Erica Allison is a mom, wife, and entrepreneur/owner of Allison Development Group: Strategic public relations and marketing firm in Western, N.C.

Many of you know by now that I’m a mom.

I also consider myself to be an entrepreneur.

I jumped into running my own business four years ago, with a brief interruption to have baby #2, then got back in the saddle this past June 2010.

I used to think being a mom and having your own business was “the life.” That was when I had the one. Add in #2 and it’s flipping hard. Really hard.

Please don’t misunderstand. I love being a mom. I also love having my own business and even if I tried, could not deny my entrepreneurial spirit. Therefore, I am both.

What most people don’t know or understand, is how to interact with us, how to evaluate us and if we should be treated differently. I’ve read the usual articles over the years about women and glass ceilings, some edging close to saying that if that woman has a baby or two, the ceiling is pretty much lowered by a couple of floors and we’re out for the count. I’ve ignored them for the most part, not fully understanding what the ramifications of that thought process are for me until I began to ‘feel’ it on a real level.

Before now, when faced with that sort of perception I either walked around it or went in another direction. I was playing to my strong suits. Translation: I’ll go where the perception isn’t so black and white or my children are not viewed as handicaps holding me back from ‘true success.’ However, if I’m to move my business from where it is now (solo with a part-time contract employee) to where I want it to be, I have to challenge the perception that moms can’t be entrepreneurs. Squarely in the face. No walking around it, no going in another direction.

When I read a Gin and Topics post featuring a venture capitalist with doubts about funding a start-up run by a pregnant woman, I realized there’s no better time than the present.

What Paige Craig wants to know is not how we, as women in this role, should behave, but rather how men should treat this situation of moms as entrepreneurs. I would like to point out that he said ‘men’ instead of ‘investors’ in that sentence. Because women without children make assumptions about women with children who choose to start a business, my answers and perspective applies to both.

  1. Don’t count us out: For starters, don’t count us out. Just because we have kids doesn’t mean we don’t want to be successful or that we don’t know what it’s like to work hard. We do. And we will. Here’s the cold hard truth: We have something to prove and we’re going to work twice as hard to make darn sure we do.
  2. We’re in it for the long haul: Raising kids doesn’t happen in a five year period. Successful, SUSTAINABLE, businesses don’t either. They take time. We are committed. We have stamina. We have determination. Does that mean a quick ROI? There’s no guarantee with any start up with regards to your ROI. Working with a mom-owned start-up may mean a different sort of ROI for an investor. Just like the stock market and its many options, there are short-term and long-term benefits. Consider matching your risk level and rate of return to the investment.
  3. We assemble AWESOME teams: Most of us have help. There’s no way to do all of this without it. There’s someone really special taking care of our kids. You can bet on it. Make no mistake that it bothers us to our core. However, that is our problem and our issue to deal with. If you think the question you’re about to ask us about childcare or our children is the same one you would ask our male counterpart with kids, then ask it. If it’s not, consider keeping it to yourself. Better yet, start asking our male counterparts. They may be the ones handling childcare arrangements – you never know!
  4. We’re efficient with our time: Because we miss our kids and can’t wait to get back to them, we are VERY efficient with our time. Sure, we can multi-task, but we can also prioritize and make sure the MOST IMPORTANT tasks are addressed before we head out. That also applies when we have to go home to be with a sick child. We’ll figure out a way to make things happen and keep the wheels turning. Remember, we have a team.
  5. We all have extracurricular activities: Just like you, we have something we want to do after work. The difference is that our ‘something’ is usually our children and yours may be your workout. Careful there. That’s a BIG assumption. Our after work activity could also be a workout, you never know.
  6. Assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about our schedules or how our children affect them. We’ll make sure our clients’ needs are met and our schedule will be what works best for us and our family. That will very likely not be a typical 8-5 day. It may be an 8-3 day with a two hour break and then another few hours later in the day and into the evening.
  7. Being a mother enhances our experience as an entrepreneur: Having our very unique experience as a mom – whether it’s to one or four kids – is yet another life layer that enhances our business acumen and our problem solving abilities. We are given little opportunities daily to problem solve and inspire action. That translates well in the business world.

So, treat us as you would any other start-up, but know that we have an additional skill set and that we take our jobs very seriously. You can also be certain that before we made the decision to ‘do this’ we evaluated and addressed all the scenarios we could think of to make ‘it a go’. Just ask us. We’ll tell you.

Erica Allison is a mom, wife, and entrepreneur/owner of Allison Development Group: Strategic public relations and marketing firm in Western, N.C. Check out her blog.

94 comments
janbeery
janbeery

Erica,

So glad you've shared your experiences with us. It's good to keep this open and support other people in the same position.

Here's a little support from my two cents. I have raised 3 kids as you know. @Katie Gutwein is my middle daughter between her brothers. All are independent, strong individuals that contribute greatly to our society including but not limited to serving our country.

They had jobs at home to earn money when they were little, the Master Calendar in my office to add their activities as they got older, did their own laundry upon 8th grade graduation and were well prepared for life after high school.

I've lead board room meetings with top level executives and have stepped out of my presentations to except calls several times from my son's while they were serving in war zones. I've also made last minute flights from a business trip to meet my son prior to an emergency deployment. Just to have an hour in the Atlanta airport with him and hug him one last time before he left.

I've had to make emergency calls from business trips out of the country to Katie when she was in college and panicked with an abscessed tooth. Why, because it's my pleasure, my honor, my joy.

All the while, I've multitasked, worked harder, won awards, lead winning teams in business, and raised great kids to become amazing adults.

Is it fair to discriminate against working Moms? Not at all! The glass ceiling is real and makes my blood boil. When I have anyone question my abilities based on my gender and position as a parent, I will, guaranteed, at this stage of my life, choose to do business elsewhere. THAT is the wonderful choice of being an entrepreneur!

I wouldn't change my journey at all. I've enjoyed every aspect of parenthood even when I was removing privileges from one of my crazy boys while being many states away.

Erica, Your children will thank you one day, as you've thanked your Mom. YOU are doing a great job!

We keep doing what we do because it is our right, our privilege and our desire. You go as far as you want to go. We've got your back!

EmmaofCEM
EmmaofCEM

Mom's really have to do it all, so I'm not surprised that they'd have the stuff it takes for entrepreneurial success. If you think juggling several clients is difficult, well, I can't imagine juggling several dependents, either on top of work or even as a separate entity. Running a family is really a lot like running a business (from what I understand, being currently childless) - there's a budget to manage, a "staff" to keep happy and productive, and goals to meet in order to move forward as a unit.

Rock on, moms! I'll gladly listen at your knee for all business wisdom you have to impart.

Katie Gutwein
Katie Gutwein

@EricaAllison , I love this post.

As I blogged about (and you and I have talked about), not only do moms rock as entrepreneurs for themselves, their clients, and their colleagues; but they are also an incredible example to their children. As the daughters of two pretty amazing and entrepreneurial woman, you and I both know this first-hand.

I'm going to start filing all of these conversations and great blog posts for when I have children, and I'm faced with these same questions.

jonbuscall
jonbuscall

@EricaAllison Love this post ! Especially the part about assembling great teams. That is such a key factor in growing from a single operator and it's also one of the hardest things to do. Especially if you're working across the cloud.

How do you go about assembling an awesome team ?

ShakirahDawud
ShakirahDawud

Okay, @bdorman264 said everything I was going to say already, but I'm gonna say it anyway. I'm not one of those people who blindly believes women can just jump and take on corporate America (or corporate anywhere) with one hand and family with the other.

I believe we MUST--with a capital "M"--be able to set our own terms, be responsible for our own priorities, and be sure we're conducting whatever combination of business and home life for the all the right reasons, or we'll be doing the equivalent of drawing circles with both hands simultaneously: one tends to succumb to the rotational direction of the other.

KDillabough
KDillabough

@EricaAllison what an absolutely fabulous post! Although an empty-nester now, I remember when, 26 years ago I had my first child, and five years later, my second.

Many thought I'd be unable to fulfill my duties travelling with our World and Olympic athletes. I happened to be the youngest President of a sport governing body at the time, where most of my peers were men over the age of 60. You can imagine the effort it took to maintain both business and personal life, caring for a newborn and making sure that I worked twice as hard to be sure that motherhood did not become their excuse for keeping me on the sidelines.

It's so disturbing to think that, all these years later, some things haven't changed. Your comment @EricaAllison that we work twice as hard is sad but true: it's like we're starting at a deficit for the mere fact of having children. Your other points...about having stamina, commitment and determination...surrounding ourselves with good people (hiring 11's if we're 10's:)...prioritizing, planning and executing...we're dam good at all that!

I remember a prof at university saying to our coaching class that it would be incumbent upon us to make coaching a viable, full-time profession, and that still hasn't happened. And they said it would be a paperless society, and that hasn't happened. Let's hope that it doesn't take close to 30 years for those who still have a mindset that "moms can't be entrepreneurs" to change that mindset.

TheJackB
TheJackB

At the risk of having rocks thrown at me I want to add that I have had some issues with maternity leave but here is the reason why. There have been a number of occasions where I was involved with projects that ended up being placed on hold because of women on maternity leave.

I don't see that as an indictment of women in the workplace. It is really a complaint about a lack of planning for the future. The question of who bears responsibility for covering for employees who go out on any sort of leave be it maternity, disability or vacation is one that each company has to address.

To be clear, my issue isn't really with men or women. It is tied into frustration at not being able to finish work because no one took the time to adjust for personnel absences.

janbeery
janbeery

Well said Erica!

As a mother of 3 now adult children, I had many many obstacles in my career. I once had a man ask me in an interview how my husband felt about me meeting the demands of travel this position required. He further questioned what type of mother I would be if I was on the road.

I've been an entrepreneur for many years. I've multi tasked, managed teams, built winning teams, won every incentive trip there was to win, made it to my son's football games, my daughter's gymnastic tournaments, my youngest son's band competitions, spoken with clients on the phone while holding a sick child, conferenced called with a CEO on Christmas day, and left a conference early when the threat of bad weather would have kept me from seeing my oldest son graduate from basic training. I've made it clear when I was in the corporate world that any time one of my kids called while they were deployed, I would, and did take the call even if we were in a high level board meeting.

Why do we do it? Because we love our children and our careers. Can you have it all? Absolutely! Will it be hard at times, of course. Would I change any part of it? Not a chance.

Oh, the man that asked me such inappropriate questions? I've been mentoring him for years.... He just had a severe case of my favorite diagnosis, cranial rectal inversion! ;)

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

I know Im' really late on this one - but I just wanted to say that I think so much of you moms out there. Any and every time that I get a chance to say that, I have to say it. My wife has sacrificed so much for our kids. When we graducated from college, we were gifted with a nice little baby girl surprise just a few months after. So, she's never worked since we've graduated 7 years ago. And now with 3 kids, her mother power has multiplied tenfold.

She runs our household like a business. Trust me, it's no oldschool submissive stuff at my home... I get assigned chores just like the kids!

I'm not a mom, but I know first hand how powerful you women are. Thank you all!

Happy Friday!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

Wow Erica! You killed it on this! Unfortunately the attitude of Paige is rampant...and not just for women who are expecting or have kids. I was in an investor meeting in December and they told me they're concerned about funding us because I haven't had kids yet and they're certain I will. It was really disconcerting. So we're bootstrapping Spin Sucks Pro right now...mostly because I have a serious problem with men telling me I can't deliver because I MIGHT have kids in the next five years. Ludicrous.

wendykeneipp
wendykeneipp

As frustrating as it is to hear people express thoughts like Paige did, I think we need to appreciate his candor for putting out there what many people think. When people object to things, it’s not necessarily because they disagree, but rather because they don’t know or don’t understand. By him sharing his thoughts – negative & taboo as they may be – we get the opportunity to have great discussions like this about it and help to change the thinking.

I commend you, @EricaAllison , for writing this and putting it right out there to address an issue that many people try to push under the rug and pretend, on both sides, that it’s not happening. Or address head on to those people who do express their opinions through underhanded questions, which are really trying to get to the real issue, the one Paige stated, that moms are going to fail the company. If that’s the concern, then that should be the question.

There are many great examples included here of situations that work and that’s exactly what we need to be sharing & celebrating. I love it! I have found my own nirvana as a mom and an entrepreneur, and I have to say that so much of my success comes directly because of the business that I have and the business partner I have. @kevintrokey is amazingly supportive of my wacky schedule, and I feel grateful everyday for what we’re building and how it works for our clients, for our business, and for me & my kids.

Thanks so much for sharing, Erica!

amvandenhurk
amvandenhurk

Erica - thanks for your post. I'm finding that there is a disconnect as to how businesses interact with female entrepreneurs who just happen to be moms.

PS - we should connect I'm at the other end of the state... Eastern NC...

TonyH
TonyH

As the man who (very bravely) wrote an article concluding that you ladies Tweet better than the men I had identified that there a load of 'Mom Entrepreneurs' out there promoting their entrepreneurial skills on Twitter.

Well done for articulating so well the reasons why 'Moms' (and by extension stay at home Dads) should be taken more seriously in the business world. To my mind people should all be given the opportunity to make something of themselves whatever the circumstances may be in their personal lives.

Many thanks for your thoughtful article Erica.

TheJackB
TheJackB

I have never understood why some people view families as an impediment to work as opposed to something that provides stability and incentive. You did a nice job of slighting so many of the reasons why parents should be considered assets to businesses.

redpage75
redpage75

You tell them, sister. I'm playing with the idea of starting my own (very small) biz, and I intend to live by every one of those principles!

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Erica, This was a really excellent post, and I think it is important for people on the other side of the gender gap to hear these stories once in awhile. There is a tendency to think these things are behind us as a society.

I’m actually a bit surprised that you’ve encountered this much glass ceiling as an independent business owner. Not that it's permissible in any context, but when you hire a business, why would anyone care about anything other than results? What does it matter if you get the work done at 3am or 3pm, as long as you deliver a quality product on deadline? It’s just foolishness.

I have a somewhat unique perspective on your situation because of our geographic backgrounds. While I understand that this happens many places, how much do you think the area of the country you work in has affected your experience in this area?

Griddy
Griddy

Hey Erica,

Although I'm not a mom, all I wanted to do was clap for you at the end of this fantastic post :-)!

Thank you for defending the honor of working women with families - for if anything - they work twice as hard as many!

The moms I know that work can juggle and multi-task unbelievably well - it actually still boggles me how they manage for I'm even behind them in that sense. But it seems they know how to organize their priorities and get things done in an efficient manner.

Thanks for sharing this and a part of your life with us Erica and for telling it like it is to the non-believers and those that still have these biases. It's actually encouraging for us who don't yet have kids to know that things will get done just as well, with the same amount of passion and professionalism.

Cheers to you, your family and what you do!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

Emma, that's so nice of you to not only read the post and share it, but leave a great comment like this! I appreciate the support and while I don't like to subscribe to the Super Mom school of thought, it is a bit like running a business. What I find to be true in this scenario, just like in business, is that everyone has a different style. I just want the business world to recognize that just because I might be a mom, does not mean that I can't be a smart business woman.

Same applies to running the family: I'm more the run my family like a business type, but I know plenty of others who run it more like a "club"...to each his or her own, right? @EmmaofCEM

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@Katie Gutwein Thanks, Katie! We are fortunate, aren't we? I really do think about my actions today and how they affect my daughter's view (as well as my son's) of the world and how they will act and behave in it. Much like @ginidietrich 's post today on whisper ethics, I hope I'm teaching them responsible behavior and how to do the right thing, even when no one is around or watching. Those are also the motivators for what makes me be the best entrepreneur I can be!

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem

@jonbuscall @EricaAllison That was the one that jumped out at me too, Jon & Erica. You bet your arse they assemble great teams, because it takes a team to coordinate childcare needs. I may not do it, but I've seen it.

It always makes me beam when I see women accomplishing so much. Go Erica!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@ShakirahDawud I love what you said about "drawing circles with both hands simultaneously: one tends to succumb to the rotational direction of the other." I feel like that sometimes and man, is it frustrating! I have no doubt, Shakirah, that you are in control of your day, your life, your family and your work. Kudos to you!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@KDillabough Wow, thanks, Kaarina! Your comments and your experience mean a lot! My mom was a teacher when we were young, but always worked with my dad in various 'ventures'. Teaching was and is a female dominated profession and one in which it's almost expected that children are part of the package. It was as we were teenagers that my parents went into business for themselves and I began to see a different impact for my mom - men preferring to talk to my dad instead of her (they are in construction) and quickly realizing that they had better deal with her if they wanted to get anywhere!

Mom now has her GC license, alongside my dad, owns the business and keeps us all in line. I so value having women like my mom, you and countless others showing up in the comments here to provide great role models. I also SO appreciate all the men who've so bravely wondered into the room and given us their honest and real perspectives, especially Paige Craig, who started this whole conversation. Open dialogue like this will continue to reshape ALL of our roles in the future (moms and dads) and for that, I'm so grateful!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@TheJackB Ha! Rocks indeed. I was wondering when we'd hear some sort of alternative opinion expressed here and I'm glad it's you, Jack, who's throwing something new into the mix. I would say based on my personal experience of going through it twice and not really having 'maternity leave' as you define it here (solo biz rarely does), I'll say that I learned a lot the first time around that helped me create a better transition the 2nd time around.

For most first-timers, there's an expectation with the mom that they'll just get right back to it! I know I did and for a couple of days, I did and then exhaustion set in and I couldn't keep up. I was finishing up a guidebook for a state public health organization and wowza, there was a delay. Fortunately, we rallied and finished it- but I hated that feeling of letting other people down because I didn't plan well.

Second time, I knew that you never know how you're going to feel or what type of baby you'll have, so I prepped my clients months in advance and starting handing over ad calendars, schedules, etc to them and my assistant. It seemed to work much better.

I can' t speak to the situations that you've referenced here, but you're right, for any type of leave, prep is essential so that the flow doesn't stop. For moms, I'll say we sometimes have difficulty admitting that we may not be able to do it all and that could lead to unrealistic expectations of what we can deliver after the 'delivery'.

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@janbeery I love you! Can you be one of my new mentors, please? I've already hijacked @ginidietrich , looks like you're next! You, in a word, ROCK. Way to set the boundaries, determine your priorities and make it all come together really, really well. I'm honored you stopped by and commented and so appreciate it! Best, Erica

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@Jk Allen Thanks for coming by! Your wife has made a very honorable and admirable choice and is very likely following the path she's supposed to be on, so my hat is off to her! I'll bet she runs a tight ship! Good for her and great for you, Jk!

janbeery
janbeery

@ginidietrich It infuriates me how much of this is STILL rampant! If you were a man, that question NEVER would have come up!

We as women have to fight hard for everything we do. I've been part of a male dominated industry for ever, I was the only female in the board room at a company and when they dished it out, my "southside" went into action. There were times I would question, "do you really want to go down this road with me?" I blew my male counterparts out of the water every time.

I'm part of an organization called PWH Professional Women in Health care. Our mission statement is To Empower Women to Lead and Succeed in an Industry Equally Lead by Women." We've got a long way to go! We're not stopping OR going away!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@ginidietrich That is ludicrous, but it does happen. To @wendykeneipp point, I am glad people like Paige raise the issue and throw it out for public discourse. If he hadn't, I might not have *thrust* this guest post idea on you! :) Thank you so much for letting me hang out here for a day; it's almost like being there with you in Chicago, but you're not there, so I guess it's like Vegas? Esp when @bdorman264 shows up...

Seriously, if this post had been on my blog only it would not have gotten nearly the exposure that it's getting now and I'm so appreciative of that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

wendykeneipp
wendykeneipp

@ginidietrich OMG, my parents were denied a mortgage in 1960something because my mom's salary didn't count...because one day she might have kids. That was like 50 years ago! It is long time to move beyond that kind of thinking. We definitely need to continue these conversations!

bdorman264
bdorman264

@ginidietrich And that's ludicrous because you do have a track record and a body of work. That should count for a whole lot in my book and I don't care if you are a martian and might be beamed up at some time.

I know what you are talking about bootstrapped too; I told you about our project and whereas it is being funded it's coming in dribs and drabs which can be frustrating. I talked with our IT guys and they said if we could just have X we could go ahead and finish this up and launch it.

Personally, I'm waiting for that rich aunt or uncle to incl me in their will; the bad news is I haven't found a Dorman yet w/ any money. Heaven forbid one of us wins the lottery.....

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@wendykeneipp So glad you stopped by! Even if you do know @bdorman264 : ) I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm glad Paige had the guts to put it out there not just for the internal discussion, but to raise the issue so that more of us could discuss it and begin to shine a light on the taboo and the ridiculous. I'm glad you liked the post and so appreciate your thoughts shared here. I'm also glad you've got an understanding partner like @kevintrokey to support that wacky schedule. What do you guys do?

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@amvandenhurk Ann Marie, how in the world did you end up in Tarrboro!!!???? I'm from Lumberton, NC and so familiar with the tobacco fields that surround you. Wow. Would love to connect. Just a quick look at your website tells me you've got quite the story.

But to your comment, I must say, thank you and you're welcome. Yes, there is a disconnect and I'm wondering if it's a generational thing? In other words, the businesses and clients that have the hardest time with the mom/entrepreneur equation or those of a certain age who perhaps didn't do it this way, or their wives didn't do it this way and therefore their frame of reference is limited. I would almost bet that by the time my son and daughter get to be of working age and into their 30s and 40s, the landscape will be quite different. The reason? Their role models (you, me, dads like @RobertDempsey and @John Falchetto ) are creating entirely new ways of working and living in the world and because of that, we're painting a very different picture for our children.

bdorman264
bdorman264

@TonyH I think that's where I picked you up Tony; I remeber that post. I don't know if they tweet better, but I know I like hangin' with them better......

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@TonyH you are SO right, this does extend to stay at home Dads. Of course I speak from my perspective as the mom in the business role, but I'm glad the lessons apply across genders!

You hit the nail on the head with this sentence: "To my mind people should all be given the opportunity to make something of themselves whatever the circumstances may be in their personal lives." If we all embraced that, think of the intellectual power and business strength we'd all see and feel!

ShakirahDawud
ShakirahDawud

@TheJackB This is where my "Yes!" moment came. There you go, Jack: people who have familial responsibilities--whether mothers of children, stay-at-home dads, or even adult children taking care of ailing parents--face a similar wall, as if they wouldn't be just that much more eager to prove themselves so they'll be *free* to take care of their responsibilities at home without stress.

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@redpage75 Awesome! What is it? I can't wait to hear! I'll bet once you do, you'll have your own set of principles to live by.... Thank you for commenting!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@Adam | Customer Experience I think the geographic location (i.e., the South) plays a huge role in this perception. As @bdorman264 points out, there are a lot of middle class white guys floating around here and just as many stay at home moms. When someone walks in that isn't one of those 2 things, it creates more than just a little mystery and intrigue.

Unfortunately, I have encountered this as an independent business owner...questions that may seem really sincere actually set up an expectation that I'm 'limited'. For example, client asks: "Can we talk at 3:30 tomorrow...or will you be with your kids?". While that's very sweet that they ask that and acknowledge it, they're making assumptions that I'll not likely be able to do anything ever at that time. I'd much rather be asked the first part of that question and let me answer with a yes or no based on my schedule than have the assumptions thrown into the mix. As I type this I'm afraid it's going to sound like I'm negative or have a chip on my shoulder! Hope it doesn't come across that way.

bdorman264
bdorman264

@Adam | Customer Experience North Carolina; they are pretty liberal right? Some regions are better than others, but the good 'ol boy network is still in place. And most of it is not intentional, it's just we have a tendency to hang around w/ like minded people. If you are sitting in the board room and everyone is middle class white guys, it's probably because they are all your friends. Sometimes it's hard to break this cycle.

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@Griddy Thank you! That means so much, especially if it resonates with folks who are not *exactly* in my situation, but can nod their head or think that if they do pursue motherhood at some point, they will still have a career if they want it. There's another side to this equation and that's the mom's who had a career but no longer do in order to pursue motherhood with abandon. I admire these ladies as well and would bet they get misunderstood quite often for all the wrong reasons.

I'm have no doubt that if and when you pursue motherhood, just as you have with the blogging and 'social' world, you'll rock it like no one else can Thank you, Griddy for stopping by!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@jennwhinnem @jonbuscall Thanks, guys! To answer your question, Jon, it takes a lot of work to assemble those teams and a lot of trial and error. If you've ever hired someone, you know that sometimes those first impressions aren't always what they seem or we're really trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. That happens with childcare often, unfortunately.

We were blessed when a wonderful lady came into our lives when my son was still in utero. We met and fell in love and she was with us for 7 years, surviving lung cancer, only to succumb to a massive stroke less than a year ago. It rocked us. We had become so dependent on and in love with this lady that we knew no other way to be. We've managed to assemble a new team of 2, one much younger and 'nimble 'for my active kids and one that almost fills the hole left in our hearts by our sweet Ida - older, nurturing, etc. I realized my kids needed that nurturing side just as much, if not more, than the active, go to the park side that we have with our younger sitter. Because I'm not around as much as I'd like, they miss the nurturing.

The other part of my team are the professionals that enable me to be in both worlds: awesome subcontractors and an office assistant who keeps me on track and fills in the missing pieces of work that I can't do (can we say code? websites?). I go with my gut, but I also watch how my clients interact with these folks and if there's not a connection, then we're not continuing.

Sorry for such a long response, but it is what it is! Thanks to you both for your comments!

KDillabough
KDillabough

@EricaAllison Your post brought back many memories, some not so pleasant, because I really didn't have the experience and wisdom to deal with some of the "challenges" and inequities back then. But boy, did it give me a quick education!

On the note of men preferring to talk to your dad instead of your mom: here's a rich one.

My husband's a heavy construction inspector: multi-million dollar projects, tons of subs and trades to work with. When we were meeting with a supplier when we were building our house 20+ years ago, our baby in his stroller, whenever I asked a question, the guy would look at and answer my husband.

After about 15 minutes of this, we both stood up, and we walked towards the door, baby in tow. When the fellow asked what was wrong, my husband just chuckled and used the Pretty Woman line (which we both use frequently)....BIG mistake! Whether or not he ever got it, I don't know: but he didn't get our business! That's a GOOD memory. Cheers!

janbeery
janbeery

@EricaAllison @ginidietrich haha, Erica, you're adorable. Of course, one of my favorite things in life, supporting people who are trying to tackle life's curve balls. If I can help you avoid a few hits along the way, I'm happy to.

bdorman264
bdorman264

@EricaAllison @janbeery @ginidietrich Alright, I see somebody getting this kind of praise I'm thinking I need to check them out; especially if they are being put on the same pedestal as Gini. I know Gini, you're really not all that, even if you do have that Bones thing workin' for ya, but I wanted to make you feel good for all the times you play it forward. I would take a bullet for ya, but I'm hoping some of your others fans might be a little more passionate about ya and want to jump the line...........just sayin'...

wendykeneipp
wendykeneipp

@EricaAllison @bdorman264 @kevintrokey Have you read Jessica's response to Paige's article? It's a full article unto itself, and she puts it all out there. She is a bright, together woman who seems to really know how to run a company and has an impressive track record. She definitely seems like someone to be following!

We're connected to @bdorman264 's paying gig, so he's kind of like family - we've got him like it or not! We have a niche consulting firm focused on growth strategies for employee benefits/insurance agencies. However, much of it is directly applicable to any industry because we largely talk about business topics on our blog - part of that nirvana I referred to!

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

@EricaAllison@bdorman264

You know, the common thread through both your comments is how much these problems stem not from intentional malice but from habit and custom. The good news: that should mean that change can come sooner.

And no Erica... I don't see a chip at all!

ShakirahDawud
ShakirahDawud

@EricaAllison You bring up the women who leave the workforce, and I know many who left of their own will, before the economic crunch. And a friend of mine said her own mother left an impending career as a chemical engineer *forever* when she got pregnant with said friend.

She said this in a public forum and there were gasps and mouths dropped open. I was a little thunderstruck myself, but I understood how that could happen.

Mothers generally want to be with our children as much as we can, but the passion to move and shake the world in a better way tends to jive with that, and two years ago I found out we'll do what we have to do to have both happen.

bdorman264
bdorman264

@EricaAllison @Griddy BTW Erica, I thought you told me you WERE independtly wealthy. Let me send my agent over; I'm getting paid a penny a word for my comments. Everybody thinks I'm this cool, hip, caring kind of guy but really I'm a 76 yr old curmudgeon w/ a rent-a-Avatar that's pulling comments off dead, abandoned blogs........

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@Adam | Customer Experience @bdorman264 Thanks, Adam! You're right, it's in large part due to long held traditions and perspectives here in the South...and as our kids rise up through the ranks, that should begin to change more and more.

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