As mothers, we need other women in our lives so much and so often, it’s your sister, blood or not, that you turn to when you need someone to laugh with, cry with or pick you up a Diet Coke.
Our February curators, Andrea and Alison Faulkner, share so much as sisters – their children are the same age, they both run their own businesses and they have some killer dance moves. (Think they are exactly alike? Not a chance. Check out their Sister Minute series on YouTube to see what I mean.)
Read their thoughts about naming kids, growing businesses and how they are turning into their mother.
Describe your motherhood style:
Andrea: Well, I am just really trying to do my best. Is that good?
Alison: Enthusiastic, unorganized, and confused ☺
As sisters, you shared an upbringing. What Faulkner traditions are you carrying on with your kids?
Andrea: Our mom made a really big deal about birthdays. Like totally spoiled us. Every year she woke us up to a special breakfast and a birthday search around the house. It always started at the microwave and then there were clues taking us from room to room to find our presents. We would do the searches in hotel rooms if we were out of town on our birthdays and even in college she sent them to us in a box. Later in the day we had parties or a special dinner with the family. Usually both. I still think my birthday is the most special day of the year because of her. This has put a lot of pressure on my husband! But, by my mom choosing to play up the day we were born, she has always made me feel incredibly loved and valued. This is something I do with my kids and hope to always be able to continue to do.
Alison: I think my mom did a really good job at making holidays seem fun and special. She's not a crazy decorator, baker or party thrower like I am but we'd always celebrate. Whether that meant corned beef hash on St. Patricks’ Day or special presents on Valentine's Day, my mom was really good at making things special and I try to do that with my kids.
You each run a business and have two children. How does being a mom influence your businesses?
Andrea: I think many people have this notion that when women become mothers, their life stops. Like, they have to give up their careers and become totally out of touch or they have to make this gigantic choice between raising a family and working. Which is essentially saying, making the choice to have children will hold women back from succeeding professionally. I have found the opposite to be true. Since having kids I have felt more confident than ever before. I made the decision to be home with them during the day, which has given me a little more free time then when I worked full time in an office or went to school. This time has allowed me to really discover what I'm passionate about and what my real strengths are. Being a mom has been the most rewarding experience of my life not only because I love my kids, but because through the transition to motherhood I feel like I have really found myself and what I am successful at.
Alison: Being a mom enabled me to grow my business! I mean, without them I wouldn't have to grown to where I am with The Alison Show. Being a stay-at-home mom, or at least one who worked from home, for the first 5 years of my brand, enabled me to grow it to what it is today. I didn't have the pressure of supporting a family with my business so I was able to grow slow and in the way I wanted. I didn't start REALLY acting like a business until last year, and last year was insane. So just this year I've decided to take my work out of the home (I'm renting some office space) because the work/life lines were getting too blurred. I didn't feel as present with my kids because work was always in the next room.
Now that I'm trying to be more business minded and grow and take over the world, being a mom influences every single thing I do. Before I say yes to anything, a lunch meeting, a speaking engagement, a campaign, returning an email, I ask myself if doing it is worth spending the time away from my family. I'm a mom first, a business tycoon (or aspiring one) second.
What do you want your children to remember about their childhood?
Andrea: I want my children to remember that their parents think they are the greatest. Because they are! I want them to feel complete confidence in who they are, what makes them unique and what their strengths are. I am not sure how to make this happen, but I am working really hard at it so hopefully it will, right?!
Alison: That their childhood was fun and worry free. I feel like that is such a privilege and blessing.
How did you each pick your kids’ names?
Andrea: We chose the name Jo, for our three-year-old girl, because it is a name that both my husband and I have always loved. We hoped that she would be strong and independent just like Jo March from Little Women, and she definitely is. Walker Todd, is our son, and he is named after the first members of our family who joined the Mormon church. Walker is also named after Todd the Moose, which is what they called his Dad, Brian Todd, as a baby. We call him Tubby Todd second generation!
Alison: My husband and I both just loved the name Ginger mostly for the nickname Gigi. It was sassy and fun. It was no contest. I'm still not sure how we named Rad, Rad. I like the way it sounded with my married last name, Robertson. I just envisioned him being called Rad Rob his whole life. So yes, basically we named our kids because we liked the nicknames!
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