Posts Tagged ‘stay at home mom’

C4W Member Profile: Leslie Haywood

March 21, 2012

What is your profession? Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, inventor of Grill Charms™ , the “must have” grilling gadget that is revolutionizing the American Cookout.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?  Tennis, vacationing, entertaining friends, and EATING!

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Joined in November 2007

What inspired you to become a member?  When I first joined in 2007, most of us were living pretty high on the hog, so my reason for joining was simply because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself.   Since then “things” have changed and I truly believe that women owned businesses and women entrepreneurs are the answer to our country’s economic problems.  Now if we just had the right women in the white house, we’d be all set!

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you?  Every time I attend an event it reminds me just how powerful we women are and that our potential is limited only by our dreams.  I am constantly inspired by the people around me… and who couldn’t use a little shot of inspiration every once and while?

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Can I get on my soap box for a minute?  This question brings up a topic that ONLY US WOMEN (specifically us mothers) deal with and it effects me greatly.  “MOMMY GUILT”!  I left my career of 9 years to become a stay at home mom (like my husband and I always planned I would do).  Three years into living my dream of being that ideal stay at home mom, I had an idea for a business. It was something I felt almost compelled to do!  (Much like the “need” to have children, I felt this was something I NEEDED to do!)  I followed that new entrepreneurial dream and completely derailed both mine and my husband’s expectations of the “perfect family”.  It is HERE that I feel my mommy guilt radiates from.  Growing up, my mother was a stay at home mom and my two younger sisters and I agree to this day that our childhood was just about PERFECT.  Our home was loving and caring and unbelievably happy.  Because of this, I wanted to do things exactly like the most perfect mom in the world… MINE.  (Which meant being a stay at home mom)  I never planned on having any kind of light bulb moment where I would find this urge… (Compulsion really) to start my own company, but I did.  Now I wrestle daily with what I can’t help but feel are my “selfish” desires to be a successful entrepreneur.  I hate that I feel this way and on an intellectual level, I know that these thoughts and feeling are RIDICULOUS, but I can’t help but feel “mommy guilt” none the less.  I have realized that my guilt stems from my preconceived notions and life experience which tell me that the most perfect childhood comes from having a mom that devoted herself completely to her children. Well…. as happy and wonderful as my childhood was, I am learning through new life experiences that a “perfect childhood” can come in many different shapes and sizes.  I do feel like our home is full of happiness, TONS OF LOVE, encouragement and all the things that make for happy, healthy, well balanced adults in training and the best part is, I’m showing them that it can be done “differently”.  My daughters were 1 and 3 at the time of my “deviation” so they have always grown up thinking all moms were also “entrepreneurs” or inventors. With this, I am hopefully breaking the chain of mommy guilt with them and showing them that happy childhoods don’t necessarily come from one perfect formula.  It’s too late for me, but maybe I am leading by example so that the next generation of mommies won’t suffer from the mommy guilt syndrome quite as much.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? I am the poster child for, “if you have a dream, you CAN Do it.”  Whether it’s inventing a product, starting own business or creative positive change in a business you already in, I guarantee that unless you are a rocket scientist… (and some of you MIGHT be!) what you want to do is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.  It is simply a process that can be broken down into a series of smaller steps that will lead you to your goal. I am proof that with enough drive and determination ANYTHING is possible.  Simply start SOMEWHERE.  Put one foot in front of the other and the path will appear.  But be ready and be excited!!… because the path that appears isn’t always the one you intended to take!

How can people connect with you? People can connect with me at  Twitter @grillcharmer  FB!/GrillCharms

C4W Member Profile: Lindsey Ballenger

October 13, 2010

What is your profession? Full Time Mama to Ella [2 ½ years] and Alex [8 months], Owner of The Charleston Shucker Company, Part Time  Special Projects for nonprofit organizations, and occasional swim instructor.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Although some may say that right now I am “outside” of my career, but I am simply making the most of my time with my babies and always seeking to find the right balance between home and work. Working from home is a blessing and a challenge and I am very thankful for these opportunities.

When I am not having tea parties with the kids or working in my home office, I crave time to go boating and fishing with my husband and friends.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Since 2006

What inspired you to become a member? The amazing women of the C4W! Upon meeting Jennet, Amanda and Leigh Ann I had to join!!

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has been a wonderful connection point for me in our community. I have enjoyed the professional and personal development programs, philanthropy opportunities and connecting with other powerful women!

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I love being a woman! I think I’d make a horrible man anyway. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a mom to two girls. It will be my challenge and honor to raise them to be self-confident and independent young women.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Don’t be afraid to ask. Stand up tall, find your voice, and your seat at the table. So many times, as women, we do not ask for what we want. Hearing NO is the worst that can happen anyway. Whether it is a raise, a more flexible work schedule, a special discount or the ability to use an expired coupon, ASK! Because you will be amazed at how often you hear YES!

Stay connected to your career

August 19, 2010

By Hannah Morris, the owner of HBM Human Resources & Career Consulting, and has 15 years of experience in Human Resources management, recruiting and career counseling. Additionally she is the owner of Pots & Petals, a gardening business

Q: I’m taking time out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom. What should I be doing to keep my skills and experience relevant and up-to-date?

A: If you have made the choice to stay at home with your children for an extended period but you plan to eventually return to regular, full-time work, then there are several things you might consider doing to keep your skills, knowledge and credentials updated. Here are ten suggestions:

1. Read! Continue subscribing to industry magazines or newsletters that will provide you with the latest information and updates about what is going on in your field. Additionally, consider starting a book club in which your group reads and discusses books about business-related topics.
2. Maintain your memberships in industry or business-related organizations. By continuing to attend meetings you will stay connected to people in the business community. Once you begin looking for a job again, these networking contacts will be essential. Your active membership in such an organization is something you can definitely include on your resume.
3. Join (or start) a networking club/meeting with other moms who are taking a break from their careers. Without a doubt there are other women who have made the same choice to stay home with children, but ultimately plan to go back to work. Seek out women in your neighborhood, children’s school, or other community group who are also interested in networking and mentoring one another.
4. Attend continuing education seminars and educational programs. Take advantage of classes and programs related to your area of expertise or other business-related topic. The Center for Women is an excellent resource for this type of event. Also check with industry organizations and local colleges and universities to find out when and where they will offer training or continuing education classes in your area.
5. Volunteer in your field. Use what you know to benefit those who may not be able to pay for your services. Although a paycheck is great, volunteering still allows you an opportunity to utilize your knowledge as an expert in your field and could be a nice addition to your resume.
6. Manage a community, school or non-profit project or event. Even if it is not specifically related to your career, taking a major role in the planning and execution of this type of event will allow you to use the same organization, prioritization and management skills needed in a work environment.
7. Look for consulting opportunities in your field. Taking on an occasional project for a client is a great way to keep your skills fresh, to build your resume, and earn a little extra money. The best way to find this kind of opportunity is through networking. Utilize your business contacts and pursue connections through family, friends, and neighbors.
8. Keep your resume updated and your interview skills polished. You never know when you might be asked for a resume. A great consulting opportunity may arise and you want to have your resume read to send out upon request. Make sure you have a nice suit that fits well and makes you feel confident. Take time to practice selling yourself as the best candidate for the job.
9. Keep your licenses and/or certifications up-to-date. Stay on top of what training or coursework you need to complete to maintain your credentials even if you are out of the workforce. If it is important to have certifications in your field, be sure that you are keeping yours up-to-date in preparation for when you return to work.
10. Have a mentor. Contact a former boss, co-worker or other professional whom you respect and ask them to be a mentor to you. Get together every couple of months for coffee or lunch to catch up on business-related news and to get advice on what else you can be doing to keep yourself prepared to re-enter the workforce.

If you are staying at home to be with your children, enjoy this time. It won’t last forever. Little children grow up and the older they get, the more time you will have for your own pursuits. You will have a chance to get back to your career. For now, make an effort to keep your skills, knowledge and connections in tact to help smooth your transition back into the workforce when the time comes.

First appeared in Moxie section of The Post and Courier on Friday, August 14, 2009.

What is mom worth?

August 1, 2008

This picture says it all: “I’m torn between wanting to stay at home, and wanting to escape.”

A few moms that I know are doing things differently now. We have more options, or at least I’d like to think so. Some moms give up their careers and/or social lives while others go back to work. Then there are some that do both – maybe work from home while looking after the kids. Let’s not forget about those stay at home dads! Some of us have a choice while most do not. Money plays a huge factor as well. Is daycare or a nanny worth all of the expenses? Should you work from home and take a pay cut or lose benefits? At the same time there are those horrible feelings of guilt with going back to work, or the gut wrenching fear of losing your identity if you don’t. So, you weigh the options – what’s best for you and your family? What if money were not an object?

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