"I have two boys. Going through the pain of labor and then forgetting the pain once you hold the baby and then an overwhelming feeling you are responsible for a person. I constantly question whether I am doing this right." - Carolina Rojas lives in Los Angeles and is the mother of two boys.
"I have amazing kids. Being a woman and being able to have children is wonderful but it can also be confining. I couldn't continue with my career because my husband and I started our family. With my husband's career and schedule it would have been really difficult to maintain a house and a family if we were both working. It was a choice to stay home. I am a rather conventional person and I couldn't see myself taking to the streets. This was during the 60's it was a time of turmoil in this country. It was the beginning of the women's movement. But I wasn't going to go out and burn my bra in protest. That just wasn't me." Ellen Hagler has two children and four grandchildren. This is my mother and what better day to feature my mother to whom I am grateful for so many things including the spread she cooked today.
"I have one child and one on the way. I've had the opportunity to give birth and the opportunity to be a guide for them, to teach them to be good people and to help others." - Michel L. is originally from Guatemala and lives in Santa Fe, NM and sells clothing near the plaza.
"Being a teen mother at 17, changed my life. I remember looking into my baby's big blue eyes and I was determined he would have different parenting than I did. I didn't want him to feel unloved or uneducated like I felt. So, I signed up for emotional intelligence classes and I signed up for a parenting class that I went to once a week for many years. And then I sent him off to Duke University where he will be a senior next year. I have three more children and all of those parenting and education skills trickled down to them as well. And, after getting my GED I also received my EMT and nursing licenses. And most recently I've become a licensed real estate agent." Amanda Tafoya is a real estate agent in Taos, New Mexico.
"My parent's, who are community leaders, really cared for me when I was growing up. My father always said, "You are a girl and you need to be cared for and protected." - Sandra Elizabeth Lopez is a kindergarten teacher from Xacana, Guatemala.
"My father was one of six boys. His mother kept having children because she wanted to have a girl, but she never did. Instead she dressed my father like a girl until he was 5 or 6 years old. Not sure if this is why he was so gentle. My mother was the more hand's on, no nonsense parent - she worked hard and I don't think she ever had a manicure in her life. I was less receptive to the idea of sexism and it wasn't until recently when a female friend, who is a welder, was telling me about how her boss was always trying to get her to smile or laugh at his stupid jokes to gain her approval. She just wanted to get her work done and didn't think it was her job to make the boss feel good or laugh at his jokes. I had a boss once who used to pass by my desk and tell us to smile - it was annoying." - April Greene is a writes about workplace strategy for PlastArc.
"Being a stepmother has given me the opportunity to learn from and teach my step-children how to set the bar high. To highlight for them the potential that woman have, as well as the challenges that we face. I want them to know they need to be all in, to be dedicated, because they already have what they need to change the world." - Tracy Mack Parker, CEO, The Philanthropy Workshop.
"I had a son that I gave up for adoption when I was 22 years old. It was the biggest heartbreak of my life, but now we are in touch and he has a child and get to sneak peaks at my grandchild. I have four more children who I have raised - three daughters and one son. Motherhood has really been the most empowering thing in my life. My youngest child, my son, is transgender and wants to be called Hazel. So I guess I really have four daughters." - Cara Valente Compton is a Truman Scholar and she attended the Truman Foundation's 40th Anniversary Party at Gracie Mansion earlier this month.
note: While telling me her story of why she started her own business, Wendy broke down and cried. This is why I am doing me&EVE - to create a space for women to be seen, heard and respected. "The whole reason I became an entrepreneur was to escape the sexism in the graphic design and marketing industry. The only way I would ever be in control of my destiny was to start my own business. I went back to work after my second child and my new boss was younger and less experienced than me. I knew I would never be fully valued. Instead, on my own, I was able to create a six figure income." - Wendy Piersall is an artist and author. See her work at WendyPiersall.com
"Sometimes I just can't imagine my life without my son. By the time children are 18 months you notice how unique they are and it is such an amazing experience watching them grow. He is 21 years and in the National Guard and was deployed for the day he finished training. Fortunately he is not in combat and we Skype once a week." - Bonnie Novella is a real estate investor in Schenectady, NY.
"I didn't end up having a baby or adopting a child. Knowing this campaign was so important - being a woman has brought me into this activism. I'm doing this for future generations and I don't even have kids. I think, "How dare some people sit on the sidelines. I am doing this for your kids. I don't even have kids. I'm just really emotional, we all thought, I thought, Bernie was going to take this all the way."- Julie Tyler is the founder of Golden Goose Films.
"After becoming a mother I felt I lost my identity - I struggled with feelings of failure, shame and insecurity. But getting through this has inspired me and lit me on fire and it's why I started Babies on the Brain, to support new mothers and families. Now, I have a sense of unstoppability. I used to say to my baby daughter, " I'm going to change the world" and then we would laugh together. But now, in the last few months, I say, "I'm going to change the world," and I don't laugh afterward. This vision that I have is much bigger than me." - Jena Booher is the founder of Babies on the Brain.
“Did you have a natural childbirth? – That's the question that women are often asked. I was at the gym working out two days before my daughter was born – I was healthy and strong. I never even considered a C-section would ever be a possibility for me, I viewed them as “unhealthy”. But the day she was born, I realized you can do all the thinking and planning you want in your life but ultimately you aren’t in control of what happens. Afterwards I realized, I didn’t do anything “wrong” – that no woman who doesn’t have a vaginal birth has done anything wrong." - Ursula Liebowitz
"Now our culture says that women can do anything and I've done it all. My life is possible because women can do anything. I am an architect, I'm a belly dancer, I'm a mother, I love clothes and I moved from India to the United States 25 years ago on my own. Men don't get the "You can be anything message." I can engage in a mostly male profession but men can't enter into mostly female professions as naturally." - Ritu Saheb is a real estate developer/architect.
I don’t believe there is a male or female role in terms of taking care of children. I think today there is a call for someone to step up for both parents to share the responsibilities. I am a business woman and a mother and I couldn’t travel and do my business if my husband weren’t caring for the children too.” - Mary Phan is a entrepreneur and founder of The Sketchbook Series.
"Having kids was the best. Things in life can go downhill but with my kids it will never be downhill. I have three children, I wanted to have four but I stopped at three, it was enough. Raising them gives you more responsibilities and more worries but they really keep me going. When they were little my husband could drop them off at school in the morning and then head to work. I had to leave much earlier to commute from Jersey City to my job here in the city. Now I see mothers racing around to get their kids to school and still get to work on time in the morning. Luckily I didn't have to worry about that." Lillian Martinez works for the United States Postal Service and she has three children and six grandchildren.
"The ability to be a leader has little to do with how many hours you are in the office and more to do with your innate leadership qualities. When I had my second child I chose to work a four day week. I'm in advertising and taking that one day off held me back, my career stagnated. The silver lining is that my career has progressed and I just started at a new firm so that I can have more flexibility. My work week is different and I never have a full day off, but I can sit here and have a cup of coffee because I work from home and work all over the city. Today I can pick up my daughter and take her dance class. Next week I am going on a school field trip, I haven't done that in years. If I were a man I wouldn't have wanted to have a four day work week, I have never come across a man who wants or requests a shortened work work."