I was recently given the opportunity to speak with three incredible mothers and business owners. When I learned about them, I was excited to share their inspirational stories with the world. Initially I had planned to write a single article featuring all of these women and their stories, however; upon speaking with each of them, I quickly realized that they each had this uniqueness, strength, and inspiration about them that trying to combine their journeys into one article wouldn't do them justice. As a result, I decided to feature each woman on her own so each would receive the attention and recognition they deserve. The first woman (chosen in no particular order because they are all superstars) in this series is Becky Torrez.
Becky Torrez is a mother of two and owner of BrightStar Care, a home care and medical staffing company in Las Vegas Nevada. Last year, Torrez was recognized at the BrightStar Care national conference as a distinguished recipient of the company's Rookie of the Year Award.
Before she was a successful business owner, she was a stay at home mom for 13 years. For 13 years, Torrez spent her days, stepping on Legos, cleaning up vomit and dirty diapers, attending PTO meetings and eating cold chicken nuggets as her "Power Lunch". She recalls being exhausted by the time her husband came home from work and severely lacked adult interaction. Motherhood is a full-time job and truth be told, most aren't receiving the proper recognition for what they do in a day.
With her husband working all the time, Torrez felt like a "single mom". They just weren't happy with the lifestyle and decided to do some "soul-searching". That was when a family friend suggested they open a business. After a little research, Torrez found BrightStar and knew she had found her business.
In the early stages of balancing her business and motherhood, Becky struggled with the guilt of choosing between her career and her family, "It is physically impossible to do everything you used to be able to do. There are days that I have to choose between my family and my business. You simply can't be two places at once, so you have to choose. In the beginning I would be wracked with guilt over having to make that choice", said Torrez.
Over time, Torrez was able to stop feeling guilty all the time by not comparing herself to other moms, "You will drive yourself crazy. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I will get on it at times and think, "Wow, that family is so put together." Deep down, I know (myself included) that people are putting an image on Facebook that they want to portray. No one is putting a picture up of them plunging the toilet at 2:00 a.m. On the first day of school, I took the obligatory pictures. My kids just weren't the ones holding a bedazzled chalkboard announcing their grade and teacher. I used to stress myself out over that, and I have to make a conscious effort to let that go. Kids are very resilient. We let things upset us more than they do."
As Torrez points out, mothers wrack themselves with guilt if they miss an event in their child's life. What we don't talk about is what happens when mothers devote all of their time to their children--they forget to focus on themselves. This may come off as selfish to some, but if mom isn't happy, how can she make everyone else happy?
Devoting all of their time to their children can create a sense of lost identity for mothers. It's important to keep track of goals, hobbies, ambitions, etc. It's difficult to be expected to be someone's mom and that's it. Women are that and much more. They are entrepreneurs, doctors, business owners, artists, etc. The idea that if women want to become mothers they must stay at home is outdated. So the next time someone gives you a hard time for showing up to the PTA meeting without baked goods, remind them of the legacy you are busy building for your children.
As long as you are present in your child's life, there is nothing wrong with dividing your time. Children admire their mothers and will recognize the hard work, sacrifices, and achievements you have made in your life.
When asked what type of advice she would offer to her fellow moms who are thinking about pursuing careers, Torrez offered these four points:
- Make sure you have a great support system. If you are married or in a relationship, you need to have a very supportive partner. Build a good team at work and have great friends and family that will carry you when you need it.
No, you may not make it to every sporting event or school play, but what important is that your children see you supporting them, your partner, and yourself. Your kids will be proud of you for not only being able to play the mommy role, but for also being a successful business woman. They will recognize you for the superwoman you are.
Deciding to pursue a career and motherhood may feel like you are choosing between your family and your career, but in this case, it's possible to have your cake and eat it too (or at least most of it). No one said it would be easy but if you follow your heart, it will be worth it. Torrez has "loved each aspect of her life" and is "thankful" she had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom for several years, but is also thankful and "thrilled to be a business owner and do something for [her]".