Meet Mom of Reinvention, Carmen Colon
Role Mommy: What did you do before you became a mom?
Carmen: I worked while my husband of 13 years was a stay at home dad. He cooked, cleaned and went on trips. I worked two jobs because I was good at making money and I only went to PTA Board meetings.
Role Mommy: When did you decide to reinvent your life?
Carmen: Life decided for me. After my divorce I realized that I didn't know my sons and they didn't know me. They were 1, 4 and 7. I was a 31 year old woman, newly divorced, not sure what to do with these boys and with myself. I knew I had to change for their sake.
Role Mommy: How have your children influenced your career path? How many do you have?
Carmen: My children were my saviors. The depression of being a divorced mother of three boys, without prospects of a home, a better job, a possible new relationship or even a better future was too much to bear many times. Their unconditional love made me realize that if I could not live for me, that I MUST live for them.
Today my sons are 20, 15 and 12. My 20 year old is a gay youth activist, a fashion designer student at FIT in NYC, a member of the NYC Gay Youth Chorus and I am so proud of him! My 15 year old has been chosen to go to Washington DC as the Youth Leadership Representative for NYS and he is to be a member of Junior Statesmen of America. My 12 year old is my baby bear and he loves melodrama! I wonder where he gets it from? So I suspect he will be the performer/entertainer of the family.
Needless to say, it has been eleven years and while I still have a lot to deal with I know that I would NOT have survived it, I would not have lived to see this day, had it not been for my children.
Role Mommy: What's your favorite "Time Out" tip for moms (taking time for yourself)
Carmen: I am literally having a time out today! I gave the boys $50 for movie tickets, lunch and video games! I am going to work on my blog and other online endeavors for a couple of hours and then I'm going to sit on the couch, watch an old move while I enjoy a glass of wine. If I still have time after that I am going to read another chapter in a book I started early in the month but have had to put down! I am in Nirvana!
Role Mommy: What does your website offer moms or kids?
Carmen: I am a Cyber Publicist, and my commercial website http://carmenmcolon.net offers moms, dads and everyone tips and tricks of the online trade, in helping them get their message out there and more engaged and real sales traffic TO their site.
My blog, http://weblog.xanga.com/Bklynmom3, is just a way of me making sure I'm sane when things out of the ordinary feel totally bizarre. Friends, colleagues and my twitter followers keep me grounded by giving me their thoughts and reminding me that I'm NOT the only one that goes through stuff.
My non-profit website, Universal SISTAS is a place where I can network and barter products, services and advice with other struggling moms. It's not about money at the website, it's about being each others' tower of strength. I find that many of us mommy bloggers are the towers of strength in their families and communities and it's very hard for us to ask for help. Here, we offer those we can help with what we are good at and receive in kind. We pull each other up by all our bootstraps! One SISTA wins and we all win!
Note: I'm updating it for the New Year because I have some new Universal SISTAS from Australia and London that want to join in, so please stay tuned.
Role Mommy: What do you hope for your own kids?
Carmen: My definition of success in parenting is when the chidren can be self-sufficient so that after high school so that whatever THEY want to do or wherever THEY want to go, they can. My personal definition of success is having them leave home, on their way to their futures, with confidence that no one will be showing up with laundry or in need of the basement as their apartment! LOL
Role Mommy: Who is your Role Mommy?
Carmen: My grandmother hands down. She raised me until her death, I was 19. She was the glue to her 7 siblings and my 67 relatives. Holidays were never the same. She inspires me to be the same now as I get older. I hope to be able to have holidays one day with those relatives who I have lost touch with as well as the kids we all had these past 25 years.