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Meet Melinda Hicks: Atlanta Mom and Founder of Little Me Tea

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Melinda Hicks, like many other mothers, was fed up with the lack of healthy drink options for her child. So this Atlanta working mother decided to create her own - an organic, caffeine-free tea for kids with the added bonus of being sweetened with fruit and vegetable juices.

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Little Me Tea now offers kids as little as age two a natural source of antioxidants and polyphenols, that come in two flavors: Julia’s Tropical Tea and Zane’s Grape Tea.

Little Me Tea, launched in 2011, under Ms. Hicks' parent company Big Time Tea which she founded along with her husband in 2008.

As a working mother overseeing the operations of her own company, Ms. Hicks understands the care needed to balance both work and family. She recently shared her own work and family experiences.

1. What do you believe are the benefits to women who decide to take on the additional stress of raising children and working at the same time?

The first benefit is that you can provide a better life for your family. But there are intangible ones as well, such as your child seeing that hard work and devotion to a passion pays off, not just financially but in self-fulfillment. When moms feel good about themselves, when they’re doing something they believe in, they’re happier and we all know when mom is happy, everyone’s happy.

2. Do you have any advice to help working mothers 'keep it together' and get through those times when they may feel overwhelmed?

Breathe, breathe, breathe. Remember, a period of stress is just a moment in time and that moment will pass. The thing to remember is to look for signs that you’re getting overwhelmed and catch it before it turns into a major meltdown. (yes, even moms have meltdowns!) Give yourself a break. Superwoman only exists in comic books.

3. How do you make time for yourself?

You literally schedule it in. I’m a nature girl at heart – I love hiking, biking, gardening, anything outdoors. It refuels me. I schedule hikes with a friend; when she shows up at my door waiting for me, I’m forced to stop what I’m doing and walk away from my office. Our family also goes on bike rides every weekend. Sometimes, I steal 10 minutes to do a little gardening. It’s enough to recharge my batteries.

4. There are a lot of people who feel staying at home, not working and raising kids is better for the overall well-being for children. Why do you believe children of working mothers are not at a disadvantage?

It’s all about the quality, not quantity, of time you spend with your child. When I’m with my daughter, I try to give her all my attention. I’m fortunate that I can take off in the middle of the day to pick her up from school and just spend time with her playing games and sipping tea. Not all moms have that luxury, but you can still make your child feel as though they’re the most important person in the world to you during the time that you spend with them. That knowledge stays with them even when you’re not around, and it makes them feel loved and secure and confident. Nothing makes a child happier than having 100% of your attention.

5. What or who are your motivators and inspiration in balancing work and family?

All my mom friends motivate me, even those who don’t work a “traditional” job. We’re all working moms, as far as I’m concerned – whether we’re getting a paycheck or working for hugs and kisses. Even if your job includes a list of chores a mile long, you’re doing a balancing act between the work you have to do and spending time with your children. We moms are multi-taskers extraordinaire!

6. Why is Atlanta a great city for working mothers?

Atlanta's climate and easy access to in-town diversions as well as outdoor activities make it easy for moms and their kids to take all types of cool "field trips" without taking a whole weekend. A quick trip to the Aquarium or the Fernbank is really do-able. Or you can get to a fabulous in-town trail for some biking or take a drive to the north Georgia mountains for a great hike or picnic. The great weather in Atlanta gives moms lots of chances during the year to take advantage of this great variety of options for quality time with their kids.

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