Ever wonder how you can balance it all as a mom? This is one interview in a series talking to moms who have found a way to make it work. Meet Kerry, who has managed to have a successful career while raising kids.
She finds that doing both has given her life great purpose and meaning. Going from not wanting kids to having three under three (Jax, 2 years old; George III, 1 year old; and Kenady due March 3, 2011) Kerry Johnson Anthony has undergone quire a transformation. She’s fallen head over heels in love with motherhood and her job as president of: Susan’s Healthy Gourmet, Xan Confections and LifeSpring Home Nutrition.
Indeed, her job hasn’t suffered since having children – under her leadership the combined annual revenue has nearly quadrupled to exceed $10 million.
What do you love about being a mom?
Having babies has broadened the space for love in my heart and helped me be a more patient, kind and humble person. I’ve found places I didn’t know existed in myself for the sole purpose of my child’s wellbeing. Like reaching into the bottom most place in yourself at 3 a.m. when you have colicky baby who won’t settle down and you are so scared you will fall asleep with him in your arms. You pray for the strength to stay awake just until he falls asleep.
What do you enjoy most about working?
Well, I am very good at what I do and it gives me purpose. Those are the two things I need to feel in order to know I am contributing to this world. I am a humanitarian, so managing 75 people at three companies is a perfect place for me. I like to solve puzzles, help people fix things and give people hope in their life that it can get better. I like that I get to create the environment at my workplace. I am challenged and I feel special, productive and busy. I love to be busy.
What’s your biggest challenge in juggling both work and motherhood?
Really, it’s just the scheduling. There are times when I need to stay late but I also need to pick up my boys. Or, when there is a holiday and I need to juggle having the kids at work. Luckily, I have a work environment where they love my children so I can bring them in occasionally. I have a rare situation though. I don’t know…I don’t really struggle with it. Am I missing something or is it just that I have it so good?
How do you deal with the challenges of being a working mom?
Honestly, I think being comfortable in who you are determines your outlook and how you handle things. My second guy, Baby G, had to wear a helmet for his flat head and I know other mothers in my situation were feeling really down about taking their babies out in public. But I know my husband and I are good parents and that the flat head wasn’t our fault. I felt no shame in taking my cute Baby G out and about – we viewed the helmet like braces. We got his helmet hand painted with Dinosaur Train on it. Actually, I got more compliments on what a beautiful and sweet baby he was when we went out with him than I did with my firstborn. It’s all in your attitude, with both work and parenting.
How do you re-charge?
Mmmm, I have been sober more than seven years now. I spend time with other recovering alcoholics and addicts and we help each other get through life together. I learned to let it all go, be grateful for my life and trust it will all be ok. The reminder that I am living a life I never thought possible for myself, and that I have kids and a job I never in a million years imagined, is enough of a re-charge for me.
What advice would you give other women considering being a working mom?
Don’t get sucked into every other person’s opinion about what kind of mom you should be. Trust your instincts. You know what you need to do to be the best mom possible so do that and don’t look back. The biggest shortcoming I see today in the mothers I know is self doubt.
Who inspires you?
It’s not one person, but stories that remind me to appreciate what I have. There was a mom who drove drunk and killed her baby, so I always think of that whenever I even consider taking a drink. Another mom was broke and couldn’t afford formula so she watered it down so much she almost killed her baby over a period of time. I think of her as a reminder to be grateful for the food and milk I can supply for my babies. I often think of moms with postpartum depression or who hurt or lose their babies and I am grateful for every moment I have with mine and that I am capable of loving them. All these horrible stories inspire me to always show my family how important they are to me and to appreciate what we have.
What one thing can you not live without?
If you had an hour of time to yourself, how would you spend it?
Reading or writing.