Meet Cecilia Rowe. She's one of the founders of famgrab, an online place where families can go to get discounts on retailers, restaurants, services, events and other fun activities in and around a local city.
She's an Atlanta mother of two children, who also happens to own St. Angelo's Pizza in Smyrna with her husband. As a busy career woman and mother she says she's still always learning how to balance both, but offers her thoughts and insights with readers on how she's made both work.
1. How did you know you wanted to continue working after you had your children?
I am so immersed in our companies that I never considered NOT working, as it is just part of my life, but my roles have changed. I have also had the great fortune of being able to work from home, and work around my children's lives.
2. For you what are the benefits and the disadvantages of being a working mother?
I see great advantage in showing my children a solid work ethic. They work with my husband and me in the restaurant, earn money by bundling marketing cards or stamping and stuffing envelopes for the other businesses we have and we've been including them since they were old enough to want to. If there are disadvantages, it would only be that we do have many plates spinning and some days I just don't get to spend as much relaxed time with them as I'd like. But, they are very often around and with us.
3. As a working mother how do you find balance while leading such a busy life?
What's balance? ;-) I haven't found it yet, but I'm looking for it! I've found it's important to exercise for stress release, remember what's REALLY important when the kid's are home from school (I can always work when they are in bed), and a regular date night and a girl's night out every once in a while. That's about as balanced as I get right now.
4. What's the biggest lesson you've learned while being a working mother?
That to spin as many plates as I have, you have to have help. Superwoman doesn't work - or at least not for long. I have had to learn (and still work on) letting go of trying to control everything. I'm sure most women will agree, letting go of the house cleaning was the easiest thing - I'm happy to let someone else clean! I do have assistants that run errands and help me run the household, but no nannies.
5. What advice do you have for new moms who plan to continue working after the birth of their baby?
If you have a traditional job, take off as much time as you can to enjoy that baby. There is magic in being able to lie around and bond with your baby and get caught up (a little) on sleep when you can, and get your body back in shape. You will feel so much better. Ask for help with meals and cleaning - don't be proud. And find a "Plan B" as you may not want to go back to work. See if you can supplement with freelancing your talents.
6. Do you think there will ever come a time when women such as yourself will be able to stop talking about the "balancing act"?
Truthfully, I don't talk about it, because I don't know if there really is such a thing. And if there is, everyone has a different idea of what's balance for them. I may look very off balance in your eyes, but it may be good for me. I guess my best gauge is - are you enjoying what you are doing and happy with the way things are? My answer is "not always". I am working towards fixing that.
7. What's the best part about being a working mother in Atlanta?
I really enjoy the city, and I love that our businesses have allowed us to meet and serve so many wonderful families here. There is so much opportunity in Atlanta, you can certainly make your own luck here. I love that. You can do anything if you have an idea and give it everything you have.
If you are or know a working mother in Atlanta that has great advice on how to balance both career and motherhood, and should be profiled in the Meet an Atlanta Working Mom series, please contact me at email@example.com.