I am a mom. My husband and I have one beautiful little girl, and within the next couple of weeks, we will welcome another little blessing to our family. I am also an event planner. It is a stressful career by anyone’s definition, unless your knowledge of the industry is based on the movie, “The Wedding Planner”.
With the long demanding hours I spend with my clients, staff and on site in various destinations around the world, intertwining the two most important parts of me seems like an insurmountable task. My family always comes first, and I’m always trying to find the perfect balance to make both parts of my world work like a well-oiled wheel.
One side of me is fueled by the maternal desperation to be a “super mom” and the other part of me is driven by the desire to be a successful entrepreneur. It’s been difficult enough with one child, but as I contemplate the impending arrival of baby number two, I began wondering how I am going to manage the time and the energy to tend to both my business and my growing family. I realize that I’m not the first mother to ponder this thought, and so I turned to the Internet to see what I could find.
In between the web, and talking to colleagues I have discovered there are many other women out there that struggle with the same challenges and they are eager to share ideas, provide support, and engage with other women (and dad’s too) about being both a great parent and a successful “Mompreneur”.
I’ve found several great examples of women that are managing both worlds very effectively. Let me share a success story with you.
New York Fashion Week: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff Empowers Fellow Mothers with ‘Strut: The Fashionable Mom Show’ Read here
In addition, I found some social networks that offer support to women in business that are moms:
Social Network: Circle of Moms: Circle of Moms
Mommy Masters™: Mommy Masters™ was created by mom blogger Ellie Hirsch, who has become known as “The Mommy Master™.” She is the proud mother of two little boys under five, along with baby number three on the way. She often functions as a single married mother while her husband travels during the week and spends her free time and nights tirelessly building her Mommy Masters™ business. Mommy Masters allows women to share their experiences, both triumphs and hardships, enabling them to become better mothers, wives and friends. She has become the go-to mom blogger for moms who are seeking motherhood blog advice in the form of ideas and encouragement, living up to her title of a woman to watch in 2012.
So you see, “Mompreneurs” are taking the world by storm, and even within our own industry of special events the idea is really taking hold and businesses are creating better, more flexible opportunities that support being a mother and a successful businesswoman. We are a powerful group of women!
That’s what the WOW! Moms session at the 2012 The Special Event Show in Tampa, Florida was all about – mothers inspiring and supporting other mothers in the special event industry. I didn’t personally get to go since I can’t travel until after the baby arrives, but a colleague and friend of mine, Ruth Moyte from Red Dandelion Creative was one of the panelists along with eight other industry moms in various stages of motherhood all moderated by “WOW Moms” founder, Michelle Bergstein, Marketing Director at Exhilarate Events in Orlando.
The group shared, inspired and engaged with mothers and mothers-to-be who are business owners and businesswomen in the industry. I’ve heard nothing but great feedback from the session, and you can bet that I will be front and center next year if they offer it again.
Ruth was kind enough to share with me her Survival Guide from the session. She has a 25-year old daughter, so she closed out the session and this was her portion of it. Reading these made me laugh, and lord knows I need to laugh right now. I think we can all relate to some of these:
Top 10 Survival Tips for Event Moms:
10. Don’t forget your child at school. The police will call and your child will ask you…”Do you want me anymore?”
9. Do make sure that your child gets to see an event you produce. They WILL think you are a superhero for creating such magic.
8. Don’t expect your child not to ask you a question when you are on an important phone call at your home office. That’s the only time they need something.
7. Do use your child as a resource for opinions and ideas. They are bundles of inspiration and creativity.
6. Don’t forget to pay attention when your child says they have a surprise for you. It might just be an “event” they created to get your attention.
5. Do create an event for YOUR child. They will know that you use your “magic” for them too and you’ll be the coolest mom on the block. I still am.
4. Don’t expect your child not to say something embarrassing in front of a client. That’s part of their job and they take it very seriously.
3. Do plan play dates with your child. It’s your special event time, and they become important communication sessions.
2. Don’t try to push your child to be an event planner when they grow up. Chances are, they are going to see that it takes entirely too much time out of their day.
1. Do take steps to make sure that your child knows that the sun actually rises and sets on them. Those two very important moments during the day ensure that you will have a healthy and happy relationship…even when there are moments you will surely wonder.
I know that I haven’t gotten the whole “Mompreneur” thing figured out perfectly yet. I do feel better knowing that there are millions of other mothers out there that, like me, are looking to interact, share tips, laughs, tears and stories and together figure out how to manage everything in our worlds. I feel inspired, joyful and ready to take on the challenge. So, I guess I better get the nursery ready – cause according to this little bundle kicking away inside me, I’m going to need it VERY soon.