Single Mom Superstars: We get our kids to school on time, make stellar sack lunches, have dinner, baths and homework done by 8 AND keeping a roof over everyone's sweet little heads -- on our own. (As Michelle Obama alluded to in People , the complexities of the task make it no easy feat). So, every month, in this blog entry, I am going to feature an exemplary woman who's agreed to share her wisdom about how she gets it ALL done.
One of the most recognizable single moms today is the star of ABC's "The Bachelorette" Season 8, Emily Maynard. Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Emily about raising her daughter on her own, the joy's and struggles of being a single mom, her new jewelry business and what the future holds for her and Ricki.
KZ: What is the greatest joy in being a single mom?
EM: It's the bond Ricki and I have. There is no other feeling like being a mom. People tell you that you won't know it until you experience it. They're right. There is nothing like it. And it keeps getting stronger and stronger as she gets older. (Ricki is now 8).
KZ: What is the most challenging part of being a single mom?
EM: Growing up, my Dad was the disciplinarian. Mom was the fun mom. In my house, I need to be the balance of both. I'm pretty strict with Ricki, I have no problem with discipline. I think the key is following through with what you say. The other side of it is the fun stuff like shopping trips to Charlotte and we visited the American Girl store in NYC last Christmas.
KZ: Do you believe that single moms can "have it all"?
EM: For sure we can have it all. Being a single mom definitely makes it harder. But I believe if you want anything bad enough, you make it work. It takes a strong support system. My mom and Ricki's paternal grandma are the angels in my life. I have a great group of friends, a lot of them are the moms of Ricki's friends. I also have my faith to guide me and I don't sweat the small stuff.
KZ: I am sure your village has helped a lot with the launch of your new jewelry line, Towne & Reese. How did that all come about?
EM: Towne & Reese was started here in Charlotte by two moms, Christy and Jessica. After my appearance on "The Bachelorette," I wanted to open a children's clothing store, but they convinced me to create a line of jewelry with them. I never thought it would be a possibility. But when they suggested it, I just jumped in even though I didn't know anything about creating jewelry. Coming up with the designs is definitely a team effort, but they've given me a lot of creative reign, and I'm a girly girl, so I love it.
KZ: Where can we purchase the jewelry? And when can we see the next collection?
EM: It's exclusively on my website www.emilymaynard.com. The plan is to create new lines twice a year. Right now, the second collection is scheduled to come out around the holidays.
KZ: Being a full-time single mom and launching a new business is a challenge. What would you like to share with other single working moms trying to juggle it all?
EM: I don't have a secret to being a working single mom. One thing that helps me is to always step back and look at the big picture. For example, I can't always pack Ricki an all-organic lunch, so sometimes, she gets a Lunchable. It is what it is. We roll with the punches. As long as you always try to do your best, that's what counts.
KZ: How do you hope being a single working mom inspires your daughter?
EM: It's something I'm definitely proud of. I want to teach my daughter to follow her dreams. That is the lesson I would like her to take through her life. Right now, she wants to be a surfer. So, I tell her if she works really hard at it, she can achieve what she wants.
KZ: Do you have a ritual or something you say that helps keep you motivated and inspired every day? Something you could share with other single moms that they could incorporate into their daily lives.
EM: My faith is one of the most important parts of my life. Praying is what keeps me centered.
KZ: Single moms always struggle to strike the balance between dating and parenting. So, we all want to know how one of the most famous single mom's does it.
EM: Ricki goes to bed at 8 or 8:30. At the end of a long day to get dressed, go out and make small talk is an effort. Right now, I am under no pressure to find a guy. I'm figuring it out on my own. But I will say this: When I do find him, this man will be the best, because he'll be someone who adds something pretty spectacular to our lives.
KZ: Finally, what do you think makes you a single mom superstar?
EM: I feel like all moms are superstars. Single moms get an extra badge on their sash, though. Being a mom reminds me of what's important in life -- to raise a happy kid -- and I think I'm doing a good job because Ricki's the best.
Would you like to be a Single Mom Superstar like Emily? I invite you to join me in the Single Mom Superstar Webinar conversation.