I was hardly an adult staring down at the largest life-shift that I never anticipated – an unexpected pregnancy. Visions of baby coos and ruffled dresses were short-lived as I caught a glimpse of my prestigious college acceptance letter - that just days earlier, I accepted. My heart sank as I realized exactly what being a mommy would cost me. My hopes, my dreams; my world was shattered. I didn’t want to decide between my future dreams and my future daughter so I decided to embark on a seemingly impossible journey: to have both. Gender scripts have taught women to not only put your family first, but also to put “you” last. The social barrier that society has created has made many women “purpose paralyzed.” We were all created with purpose, both men and women alike. Otherwise, we would not have that innate desire to leave a mark or be remembered, if only in your community or inner circle. However, none of that is possible without fulfilling your mission in life. So what’s your mission? That’s the easy part; what are you passionate about? What gets you off the couch and into action? What atrocities make you want to stand up and shout? What problem are you the solution to? I guarantee that if you can find your passion, you can find a way to monetize it. In fact, I can help you. We all have embedded passions and goals we’d like to achieve that if left ignored will leave you feeling void, passionless and empty - or, in other words, unable to give fully, teach wisely and love freely. So why then do women pigeonhole ourselves into situations that suffocate our ability to be the best moms that we can be? I’m not saying motherhood alone doesn’t bring an immense amount of joy and happiness into a mother’s life, because that’s undeniable. Nevertheless, in my experience, that joy and happiness you experience with your children typically happens when you are watching them live up to their full potential; embrace love, take their first steps, make the right decisions, sing the lead in a play or receive a science award. Whatever their talents are; they are unique to them and you want nothing more than to see them use their talents, excel and live up to their full potential. But just as you want that for your children, at one time your mother wanted that for you too. Your child needs you to live up to your full potential so that you can teach them how to live up to theirs. Teach them how to touch a star, stand against the wind, rally for justice or just live the best lifestyle for you. This Mother’s Day, give yourself a gift… permission to say, “Mommy has a dream too” because it’s the best thing you can do for your child.
Let’s get real…The Leave It to Beaver days have ended. Times are tough and this world isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In the Leave It to Beaver days, mom’s only job was to be a stay-at-home mother and wife. As a woman who was raised by a mom who used food coloring to write “I love you” in my Cream of Wheat each morning, I knew the value of having a mom dedicated to her family. The problem was: even if I financially could find a way to be a stay-at-home-mom, the lifestyle never appealed to me. As much as I wanted to be there full-time for my children, I was - as many women are - a special breed, one with ambitions and dreams beyond the walls of my home. I knew that the travel, the long hours and the rat race were to the detriment of my family - not to mention the mountain sized laundry pile - but I reassured myself that my children would someday thank me when I could buy them a car or send them to college. But something happened that forced me to realize the career-mom lifestyle has many obstacles and traps out there to not only damage the family but in many cases destroy the family. I realized that while I was focusing on increasing income and obtaining titles, my children were being raised by Hannah Montana. Reflections of my own childhood made me very aware of my shortcomings as a mom and wife. I knew life had to change before my children were nothing more than strangers to me, but I wasn’t ready to give up my own dreams or the ability to afford the luxuries of life. It was at that time I realized that in order be the mom, wife and provider I wanted to be, I couldn’t accept the status quo. I started treating my life as a whole as a corporation, “Kim, Inc.” if you will. Under that umbrella, I decided my priorities, my pay and my schedule. I became a momtrepreneur or as I like to refer to it, the ambitious mom’s “have your cake and eat it too” lifestyle. I realized that I was in complete and total control of the life that I wanted to live. I also knew that by changing my perspective of who I wanted to be professionally and as a mom, my children would finally have an opportunity to know me, know the value of hard work and best yet know that life’s standards are what you make them. Status quo isn’t really the best thing for everyone; it certainly wasn’t for me. I believe that the next generation of women needs to take charge of their lives and recognize that even though it may become necessary to earn an income, earning an income from home has never been easier in this internet age. The Next Generation Mom is a powerhouse business woman of her own life. Find a passion that you can monetize and start becoming the woman who has all things: a healthy happy family, a thriving business and complete fulfillment in every area of your life. You do not have to accept the status quo. I didn’t, and I’ve never looked back.