Laurie Cummins-Wheeler is owner of Southern Charm and Meryl Norman Cosmetics, and the mother of two.
Q. What is the hardest part about being a working mom?
It's trying to juggle everything, like the kids' doctor appointments, making sure both of my stores are covered, and making sure we show up at the correct places at the correct times with the kids and their schedules. It can be complicated at times, and trust me when I say more so than not, I've been confused, and in the wrong place at the right time. Thankfully I have my husband, Gabe, to depend on and help when it gets too hectic.
Q. You run your own business and have two children. How do you manage?
I try and make the most of my time from when I drop the kids off at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. when both shops close. I generally do not take my work home with me unless it's crunch time and I have deadlines to make; but for the most part that's just a couple times per year.
Q. Do working moms still carry a stigma that working dads don't?
I've never been too concerned with what others think of my decisions or choices. Every person is different, every situation is different, and every individual has a story. It's no one's place to judge. As long as the kids are taken care of to the best of our ability, that is all that truly matters.
Q. What is some advice you would give to new mothers who are unsure about going back to work?
Be true to yourself. No one should be expected to stay home 24/7 just because it's frowned upon by today's society. If it makes you happy to stay home, then by all means stay home. However, if you're like me and the thought of being confined at home with little to no interaction with the real world makes you feel like you could go over the edge, then I believe it's much healthier for you and your kids to have the option to go back to work.