My mom was an entrepreneur. Now I didn't understand it at that time growing up, but my mom enveloped everything that an entrepreneur is supposed to be - visionary, creative, determined, resourceful, and above all was the hardest working person I knew. My mom spent her life finding places where there was a need, and filling the gap with a project, a new initiative, or a product. Back then, we didn't think of it as entrepreneurial, we just thought of it as "being mom." If only my mom had social media, I can imagine that she would absolutely be trending right now! As I reflect on this past year starting my own business with my husband, and working to juggle motherhood, teaching as a university faculty member, and getting my doctorate, I think to how my mom truly set the standard for me in how to use your talents to make a difference and to make your way in this world.
Ok, mom's first invention - "Juice Jugs". What do you do when you have two growing boys who are drinking pitchers of juice themselves before the day has even begun? That's right, you find an easy and fun way to ration it. My mom, always resourceful and environmentally conscious, took old Jiff peanut butter jars, washed them out, drilled a hole in the lid, add a straw, and voila! She made them into our custom juice jugs for my three siblings and myself. They were a staple in our house growing up, and I swear I saw these on the market recently. If only there was Etsy back then, my mom would have made a killing!
My mom had her own rubber stamp business. Yes back then, before Park Lane jewelry, Rubbermaid parties, and Rodan and Fields consultants, rubber stamps were all the rage! My mother's business, Sealed With A Stamp, allowed her to showcase her creativity and artistic talents, and we even used the stamps to emboss the images on my wedding favors.
Mom could have also made a living as a jingle writer! She always made up songs for the family to sing at birthdays or special occasions. We will never forget the classics she created sung to Sinatra's "That's Amore'" and Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start the Fire." At the time of creation, did we think it was cheesy, of course. Years from now, will we look back on the memories with smiles, laughter, and tears - of course we will.
My mom started up my church's youth group and was the church's Director of Religious Education. She started her own dinner party club when she and my dad were first married, called "The Gourmet Club". Before there was Pinterest, she scoured magazines for craft and cooking ideas and each week in the summer my cousins, my sister, and I would create and bake together, and make some of the best memories I can remember.
On top of all this, she was the most wonderful mother anyone could ask for. From making homemade Halloween costumes, to reading to us, taking us to the pool, park, countless dance lessons, piano lessons, sports games and practices, plays, and always helping us with homework, thinking back, my mom was a superwomen who wore an invisible cape. Even today, she still is always thinking of her children and doing everything she can to make sure we are safe, happy, and healthy. She has helped make me into the wife and mother I am today and I would not be able to do what I am doing without her inspiration and support.
Did my mom set out to be all these things - nope. She just did them inherently. Far too often we take the job of mom for granted, and see it as something less than a professional title. In reality, it is the highest, most challenging, and greatest role anyone could take on.
On this Mother's Day, I thank my mother, Linda Heiss, for all that she has done for myself and my family. We would not be where we are today without her. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Till next time,