A loving moment lasts a lifetime

Why Moms Make The Best CEOs

Raising our future generation is the most important job we’ll ever have.

Raising our future generation is the most important job we’ll ever have.

I had 3 kids in 4 years. They are now 11, 9, and 7. Being a mom of 3 is a dream come true, and they have given me so many gifts. One gift that I didn’t see until recently is that they were teaching me skills that prepared me to be a CEO and true leader of Prodigi Kids.

It wasn’t until my kids were older that I was able to look back and see how the lessons I learned arising out of the craziest situations with them naturally translated into being a CEO. Every parent knows how incredibly challenging parenting can be at times. And, raising our future generation is the most important job we’ll ever have.

I’ve experienced those magical moments where you just want to pinch their cute cheeks and never stop. Then, there are THOSE moments where you just want to run out the front door as you ask yourself is this what I signed up for? Did THAT just happen or am I so sleep deprived that my eyes are playing tricks on me- Like-the time when my youngest was potty training and decided it would be fun to smear poop all over the entire bathroom floor- Uggh… minutes before I had a conference call scheduled for work.

Just like being a mom, a startup is incredibly challenging. It has tested me to my limits, brought me to my knees sobbing uncontrollably multiple times over, and I’ve grown beyond what I ever thought I was capable of. Being a mom and being a CEO have taught me so much about myself and allowed me to expand into more of my potential in ways I never thought imaginable.

One morning this past Summer, I was rushing to get out of the door with my kids and drop them at the camp bus near our apt. I had an early morning meeting with a potential investor, and I loved the pretty dress and cute heels I put on and had my business pitch locked down. We had 10 minutes to go, and things were running smoothly… or so I thought.

Then, in the blink of an eye-total chaos broke out with my kids. In my mind, I was like…wtf just happened?!?! My 6 year old dropped his bagel he made for lunch on the floor as he was trying to put it in his lunchbox. He went into complete meltdown mode in like 2 seconds expressing his frustration that the cream cheese side was touching the floor. Apparently, he got distracted by the lego piece on the floor that he wanted to pick up on the way to get the bagel in his lunchbox and now neither one was where he wanted them.

With now only 5 min left to go, I didn’t have time to make him a new bagel. So, I said, how about we take off the cream cheese part that touched the floor and put on new cream cheese. Justin was ok with this plan…until he discovered a small speck of dirt on the cream cheese that he couldn’t get out. I looked at the bagel and was didn’t see anything. liked- Uhmmm Justin- there ain’t no dirt here. Then he became frustrated again. My stress level was rising.

So, I thought to myself- I have 2 choices. I could simply throw the bagel into his lunchbox with him crying and still being upset and solve my emotional upset quickly or honor his feelings of frustration that he didn’t want it in there. In order for me to do that in a way that was most compassionate to myself, I got down to his eye level and said. Justin- mom wants to talk with you but I need you to tell me when you are done being frustrated so I can help you with you bagel problem. He saw the honesty in my eyes and softened his behavior. I said listen- I need to leave in 2 min and you want to get out the dirt. I need to get my stuff together and can’t help you and still be one time to my meeting. What can we do to solve this problem? You have 15 seconds to decide. I set a time on my iphone so he understand what 15 seconds was.

I chose to honor his individuality with compassion. I bent down, looked into the eyes of my youngest and said- Mom really needs your help- Justie, Mom has got to get out the door in 3 min. 

Just as I finished setting the timer, my 9 year old suddenly told me that he couldn't find his camp shirt. He was going on a field trip and for safety reason, they dress the kids in the same shirt so they can keep track of them.

When I looked up, I realized that his older sister, my 11 year old was wearing her camp shirt and Ryan claimed that it was his! A full blown fight started in like 3 seconds. Now, I was in the middle of a storm. The winds shift quickly with kids and I was in the middle of total chaos. Wow!

I thought to myself- there’s no way I’m going to be late for this meeting.

I asked my 9 year old if he could get another T-shirt from his camp counselor, but he said no. Apparently, it was important to him to wear his camp T-shirt and show he was responsible and be prepared.

I had to think quickly on my feet. So, I turned to my kids and told them to freeze. I said that that we had 3 min to get out the door and they needed to help solve the problems at hand- They each needed to come up with a plan B. I couldn’t do this alone and they needed to help. The most important agenda was getting out the door in 3 min or less AND meeting their needs.

IF they couldn’t come up with their own solution in the next 2 minutes (timer again), then I was going to make a choice and they had to stick to my plan. I explained how important it was to mommy to get to her work meeting on time, and they needed to honor that.

There’s something about setting a timer for kids that makes them feel like they are in charge of their world. They looked at me and sprang into action- my older daughter graciously gave her brother her t-shirt. She grabbed another shirt. Thank you Sophia!

My middle son helped his younger brother get a new bagel ready with cream cheese and I smeared it on. My youngest was happy b/c we honored what was important to him and snapped out of his fit.

I’m a single parent and rely on my kids to work with me as a team. They are old enough now to understand this. It’s important to me to honor my child’s individuality very much. It sends a message to them that what they care about is valued. It’s very important to me that my kids honor what matters to me. Then, the team building skills come into play. My kids helped out each other for the common team goal of being on time for the bus and for my appointment. They used their own unique problem solving skills to do this.

I use these same skills with my own team. I’m truly blessed to be surrounded by amazing “can do” people, gifted and passionate about their work in the world and incredibly devoted to our mission at Prodigi Kids. There is no need for me to make decision for them. As the leader of Prodigi Kids, it’s my job to set the team agenda, let them know what’s important to me and to the company, create a timeline, and give them complete space to create their own beauty in the world. I listen and learn from them very much, and trust them to solve any problems arise. If there’s something that needs to be brought to my attention, I’m always available to discuss it with them.

This is why I know Moms make the best CEOS in the world!

Karen Braveheart

CEO/Founder

Learn more