For a guy who believes “sacrifice” means cleaning up the dishes, I feel like an idiot after hearing the sacrifices these women make every day.
Take Liz Corah, the entrepreneur/owner of a successful dance and exercise business called Studio 310 in Rockville.
She’s 28, divorced, raising three kids younger than 8, and frequently works 12-hour weekdays and half the weekend. She also owns her own townhouse, drives a sport-utility vehicle and makes a six-figure income.
Corah has been on her own since 15.
Corah, whom I plan to write more about in the future, worked four jobs and saved $40,000 one year so she could rent space and establish 310, which was founded in 2007. Back in those early days, she spent $500 a week in child care for her two daughters (her son came later), not counting the babysitters she paid at night so she could run to teach evening dance classes.
“When I tell you I worked my tail off, I worked my tail off,” she said. “I started the day at 7 and was not done until 9 or 10 p.m. I never saw my two daughters.”
But, she adds, “I am doing exactly what I was meant to do.”
Corah took the long view, sacrificing the social life and everything else that goes with your 20s in order to establish security for herself and her children, and gain more time with her family.
“I think you get your 20s or your 40s,” she said. “And when I am in my 40s, my kids will all be out of the house, and I will be more financially secure and smarter and wise. Having children and being a mom makes me a better and stronger person.”
Jamie Ratner, 33, mother of two children, ages 2 and 3, and founder of Certifikid, an online coupon business catering to family activities, loves the freedom of owning her own business. But she just can’t get enough sleep.
“I feel like I want to be the best business and give the best service, and I want to be the best mom,” said the Bethesda mompreneur, who resigned her manager position at the District’s Williams & Connolly law firm in 2010 as her start-up took off. Her husband is a partner at another firm.
“I have been able to balance the two and specify certain days for kids and certain days for business,” Ratner said. “Because it’s my own business, I can make my own schedule,” which can include pushing a stroller, conducting a business call and jogging all at once.
“The lack of sleep is the hardest part. The kids are up by 5:30. When I put my daughter down for a nap, I do as much work as I can. Sometimes I play hide-and-seek with my kids, and I hide in a good spot so I can write a business e-mail on my BlackBerry. You have to be creative as a mom. Anytime a child is sleeping, I am doing work. ”
And making money. Certifikid is grossing up to $100,000 a month.