Meet Three Moms of Reinvention
Meet Wendy Missan, Jennifer Chrzanowski and Joanne Fisher - three women who left their jobs in publishing, corporate PR and finance to become full-time stay at home moms turned bloggers and authors. Their new book, "The Mommy Code" offers a guide for parents attempting to navigate the minefields of playgrounds and playdates.
Role Mommy: What did you do before you became a mom?
The three of us all worked in Manhattan--in publishing, corporate PR and private equity, respectively. Wendy and Jen left New York when their children were born. Joanne stayed on until her second son was born 18 months later.
Role Mommy: When did you decide to reinvent your life?
We all met in a playgroup in New Jersey when our kids were about 16 months old. Besides learning how to be good parents to our children, we were struggling to make sense of the new world we found ourselves in--playgroups, playdates, enrichment classes, competitive preschools, you name it. After about a year of friendship, we came up with the idea of a guidebook to help new moms navigate this world, also affectionately referred to by us as "the mommy scene." It just wasn't practical to call each other four times a day to figure out how to politely decline a playdate request.
Our kids are a lot older now--and we've interviewed hundreds of moms since those days--and in the process, have gleaned a lot of the answers, or at least, a sensible approach to just about everything involving other mothers and their kids. Our book, The Mommy Code, will share everything we've learned, with some good humor along the way. We're also blogging about the mommy scene at Weird Things Moms Do
Role Mommy: How have your children influenced your career path? How many do you have?
We have six children between us, four boys and two girls, ages infant to age 7. We all live in different towns and our kids go to different schools so between us, we've heard just about every mom scene social dilemma and weird mom story imaginable. Of course, now that we have the blog, people are coming out of the woodwork to tell us even more weird and funny things.
Role Mommy: What's your favorite "Time Out" tip for moms (taking time for yourself)
To have a passion outside of parenting. We have our book and website which is a collaborative project where we get to have fun with each other. Two weeks ago we held a meeting and photo shoot with our kids at Jen's house. The sheer energy of the kids running around while we tried to conduct business on mismatched chairs in the driveway was just the right amount of chaos and humor to remind us why we got involved with this project to begin with. It's challenging, stimulatingand fun.
Role Mommy: What does your website offer moms or kids?
Whether they work full time outside of the house, freelance or stay at home with their kids, moms have to navigate the mommy scene. Our blog gives moms the chance to laugh at themselves and their world without making fun of it. We're all in it together! We also offer advice for navigating the Mommy Scene in our What If? section.
Role Mommy: What do you hope for your own kids?
Joanne: That they are able to enjoy the pleasures of childhood as long as possible. Also that they have a rich imagination and a wealth of friendships. What more could you want for a happy life?
Jen: That they really enjoy life every step of the way and not try to grow up too fast.
Wendy: That they feel good about themselves and in turn are generous and think about others outside of themselves.
Role Mommy: Who is your Role Mommy?
Joanne: The writer Elizabeth Berg. She was devoted to raising her own children and yet has also launched a brilliant writing career while they were still young. I was fortunate to work with Elizabeth in my twenties and her simple yet profound ideas about work/life balance are with me still.
Jen: It may be a cliché, but definitely my mother. She was able to have a career, a happy marriage and raise loving, well adjusted children.
Wendy: My friends. I think they are all very loving, devoted, hard working and good humored. I guess these ingredients are what drew me to them in the first place.