Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For those of you that don't know....

I have begun a new segment on my blog. Who else would it be dedicated to but moms? I think that blogging is an outlet for many of us who need to reach out, be lifted up and encouraged by one another. What better way to do that then to find out more about those awesome moms that inspire us?

Enough said! Here is another mom that many of us find Awww... Inspiring. Her dedication to family & work is tireless and she manages to squeeze in blogging amidst all of her duties.

Here's our second interview with Aww...Inspiring mom Akilah Richards.

Q. How has becoming a mom changed you for the better?

A. I know understand the value of time, specifically, making time to do the "little" things that mean more than the day-to-day. Since becoming a mom, I have a new perspective on career goals, because I see how my actions directly affect the lives of two people who didn't ask to be here, and deserve the world!

Q. Did you struggle with your transition into "mom"? What (or whom) do you credit with helping you to overcome the transitioning process?

A. I definitely struggled with the transition from law-school bound file clerk at a large Atlanta law firm, to pregnant chic trying to figure out how to handle this "baby plus career" thing! That is how my book, Execumama: A Pocket-guide for the Twenty-something Mommy on the Move, came to be. I spoke with dozens of women who successfully managed careers and parenting, and by the end of the project, I was certain that I could pursue my true passions (writing and entrepreneurship) while being a full-time mother, engaged in my children's lives, and enjoying every day with them. Through the stories of these incredible women, I found strength, inspiration, and proof!

Q. What do you find to be wonderful about parenting? What do you find to be difficult? What tip would you give to help other moms remedy that issue?

A. One of the most wonderful things about parenting is the opportunities for self-growth. Our children are mirrors of the environments we've created, and through my daughters, I truly learn to be my best self. One of the more difficult aspects of parent for me is the level of selflessness it takes to be a committed parent. Some days, I'm tired, frustrated, etc., but that has to fall to the wayside to some extent, so that I can be there for my daughters and their needs. I am only human, so certainly I allow myself to feel my full range of emotions, taking moments to "lick my wounds", but at the end of the day (for me), it's about them, not me; not while they're this young (5 and 3).

Q. Where & how do you find the time to take care of you amidst caring for a family?

A. Fortunately, there are built-in fail safes in regards to parenting and self-care. In my house, if mommy's neglecting herself, then everyone pays the price (LOL!), so I exercise regularly at the YMCA where there's a Kidzone so that the girls can play safely for an hour or so while I handle my business. I also have a great support system with my husband and the girls' grandparents, and I utilize them when necessary. I also pray often and meditate to keep the external noise to a minimum and stay in tune with Creator's plan for me, which I believe is NOT limited to the blessing of parenthood.

Q. What is the most inspiring advice you have received as a mom that you would like to extend to other moms reading?

A. I don't know that there's one piece of advise in particular that stands out. What I would like to share is the overall thought that the women from my book drew me to conclude; that is to Define, Design, and Live your FULLEST version of Woman! If that means kicking butt at your corporate gig, then using your weekends to goof off in Happyville with your children, then so be it. That might mean giving up a great paying 9 to 5 in exchange for a part-time opportunity that may cause you to live in a smaller house, but gives you more quality time. But if that's what makes you feel like your fullest self, then go for it. The message is simple: you deserve to feel fulfilled by your daily actions, period! If the things you do from day-to-day leave you fatigued, unsatisfied, and in search of more, then you have a responsibility to yourself to work towards happiness, and create a life of fulfillment for you and your children.

Akilah is an awesome example of how to make your family and work life the best for you. SO often we get caught up in drawing the line and saying you have to parent this way or staying home is the best of working is better. The truth is we must do what we have to do, in order to do what we want to do. Everyone's needs /priorities are different and instead of tearing one another down we as moms need to extend a hand to help those who need it up. Akilah, I wish you and your family all the best. My hope is that you continue to inspire the execumama in us at all, whether we work it at home or in the office! Definitely another aww..inspiring story!

Be sure to check out Akilah's blog when you have the chance! And remember lovelies -to take some time today to take care of you!

- Just a thought.....

P.S. Mommies, if you know another mom that you look to for inspiration just send me a line at: candacejcs@gmail.com with her name, a link to her blog and a short message about why you find her inspiring and she may be the next featured. Check next Tuesday for the new aww inspiring mom. Enjoy!


Margaret said...

Beautiful interview! Thank you for sharing this and for your wonderful blog! I found you at MBC.


Melinda said...

Hi Candace! It's been a while since I've popped by ... I've missed you! Great interview. Children have prompted more growth in me than anyone or anything else in the world!!

Hope all is well with you and your little one! ;)

Execumama said...

Thanks so much, Candace! So many women inspire me, so if I can share my light w/ just a few, I'm doing what I'm supposed to!

Candace Sheppard said...

You are more than welcome! I was very moved by everything that you wrote so sharing it with others was a must. Keep doing what you do!

Candace Sheppard said...

Thanks for stopping by Melinda! I always check out your blog to see how you are doing - and read your hilarious posts- my hubby even loves to read your stories. Thanks for the compliment on the interview - there's really no work on my part - it's just the inspiring moms. You're next so watch out! Take care.