How to Balance Work and Motherhood? Read this article written by my daughter’s view growing up in a home where she watched as I strategically balanced motherhood with owning my own business.
My daughter was given an assignment as a freshman in college …she attends University of Vermont!
The assignment? Write an essay about an idea that has shaped you into who you are today. I am so proud to share with you what she wrote.
“Mom I am a Rich Man” by Emma Accardi
When one thinks about feminism, there are many strong women who define the movement. However, when I think about feminism and where it roots from in myself, I think about my mom. She started her own event planning business over twenty years ago, from nothing but a spark of genius. While pregnant with me, my mom held music classes at a small studio in Charlestown and began to form close relationships to her clients and their children. Through teaching music, she realized that her ultimate passion was working with kids and making them smile. She then launched her company Upon A Star Events in 2000, where she officially began planning children’s birthday parties. My mom brought her exuberant energy working with children to her events, thus driving her success. Now, twenty years later, she has two Best of Boston: Children’s Event Planner Awards under her belt, and years worth of success, all because she pursued her passions and never gave up.
My grandparents raised my mom to believe that she needed a man to help her provide for her own family, since it was uncommon to witness women in the workforce with children. During her own childhood, my mom witnessed my grandma as a stay-at-home mom and living off of my grandpa’s working salary. My grandma would garden at home, sew costumes for the school musicals and grocery shop, all while my grandpa worked as an orthodontist at his own practice. Contrary to my grandmother’s lifestyle, my mom aspired to grow up and make a living for herself and her family. There is a quote by Cher that I think perfectly depicts my mom’s attitude toward my grandma’s morals. Cher says, “My mom said to me, ‘You know sweetheart, one day you should settle down and marry a rich man.’ And I said ‘Mom, I am a rich man.’” This quote is a perfect description of how my mom raised me because having a role model like her, empowered me to provide for myself and gain my own financial responsibility, not relying on a partner to be a sole provider. After seeing my grandma go through life, solely doing the stereotypical “mom” activities, my mom refused to go on living her own life in the shadow of her partner. Although my dad holds a stable job, my mom never doubts her ability to provide for my family and ceases to be labeled as the stay-at-home mom. In a working society dominated by men, my mom is one of the women who I believe perfectly epitomizes female empowerment and domination in the workforce.
Growing up, my mom was one of the only moms I knew who was employed. Going over to my friend’s houses after school, their moms would drive their minivans filled with Target bags and fresh groceries that day to pick us up. We would then arrive back at their houses for the playdate to wait for a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies to leave the oven to savor as an after- school snack. The funny thing about these memories was that despite my mom being employed, when friends came over to my house, the same events would occur. Our silver minivan always picked my friends and I up, despite the long day my mom had, and she was never a minute late. In our trunk would be bags from her errands at Target, AC Moore and Stop and Shop and we would pile into our crowded car to drive back to our house. We entered our house to a cinnamon aroma that permeated the air and ran over to the counter where her infamous snickerdoodle cookies would lie on the table, fresh out of the oven. We quickly threw our backpacks to the side and sat to scarf down her cookies, sighing at the irreplaceable sweet taste, while my Mom swiftly walked over to sit with us. As we ate, my mom would eagerly ask about our days, to which we’d explain how school played out that day as mundane with the peaks of the day being recess and snack time, yet despite our answers always being the same, she stayed engaged to our stories. My mom would then proceed on to explain her busy day which blew my mind due to it’s never ending schedule: Phone calls and proposals in the morning, shopping for craft supplies for an upcoming project in the afternoon, and grocery shopping for dinner that she would begin to cook shortly. My friends and I would go on to have our playdate while she would go back into her office and work until it was time to begin making dinner. Then, the playdate would come to an end, and she would immediately begin prepping dinner, breading the chicken for cutlets and boiling the rice pilaf, my favorite. Dinner would take around an hour, and then she would call my Dad, brother and I to the table and we ate our meal as a family, where would we recap our long days. This never-ending routine seemed exhausting, yet my mom never showed signs of defeat as she continued about her day with stride.
What I admire most about my mom is her resilience and determination toward every aspect of her life. Even while working, my mom kept her office at home and was feet away from my brother and I, never missing a moment of our childhood. My mom never missed a beat of our childhood; whether it was cheering the loudest at our sports games, acting as our class parent in school, and organizing the carpools to after school activities. Even while she was busy, I always admired how she still had the ability to spend copious amounts of time with my brother and I. It seemed almost impossible that she could take on so many responsibilities, but she was like a motor– never stopping or giving up on a task. The reason why my mom was able to manage her own business while caring for our family was all because she was passionate and driven. She set high standards for herself, to work hard everyday to satisfy her clients, while also being able to care for our family. Nobody was directing her actions, instead, she knew it was her job in order to live her life to its fullest potential, which is the most admirable part of her personality. Leading by example, she raised me with the belief that my place in society is valued. Due to my mom’s instillment of feminism at a young age, I live confidently as a woman never doubting the power of my own voice.