We working moms are pretty much pros when it comes to juggling work and home life! But that’s not to say it’s easy – quite the opposite in fact. Having ‘it all’ is a constant struggle for most moms including Kerry Hayden Tunnell, who took some time to fill me in on her busy schedule and tough journey to where she is now.
Before Kerry had children her flexibility and availability meant she could earn good money managing a bar but when children came into the mix and her schedule changed she had to rethink her career and lifestyle.
Kerry found the best option was to let her kids be part of the money conversation – an idea I fully endorse. “I was probably brutally honest and I’ve always been very open and kind of sincere in what the situation was,” says Kerry. “I think as they got older, it made it easier, but when they were younger, and they wanted things and they wanted this and they wanted to go here and they wanted to do that and find that it was like you know, Mommy’s doing the best she can, but we can’t financially do this right now. And I would literally break it down, like okay I have this money we’re going to get groceries, or I have this money, we’re going to get clothes.”
By being open with her kids Kerry has taught them life lessons that they will be able to implement, to their advantage, later in their own lives. Suzanne Riss Editor in Chief of ‘Working Mother Magazine,’ agrees with Kerry’s approach to involving the children in finances. She advises that we don’t always need to be protecting and shielding our children from hardship and that, in fact it will be to their detriment if we do so as we won’t be teaching them how to conserve money and make difficult choices.
Kerry also discovered that financial security was the most important thing – finding a career that allowed her to be a better provider for her family but also provided inner satisfaction which came with the knowledge she worked hard to get where she is now. She says “I wound up really enjoying what I did and I think it’s because ultimately the satisfaction of number one being able to do things, do more for my family. Number two, I worked so hard to get there, there was that personal satisfaction of it.”
Kerry keeps all the lessons she has learnt over the years of struggle with her now and singles out an honest attitude and the ability to share with those around you as vital to her success.
Ultimately Kerry has no regrets and truly relishes being a mom despite the difficulties. She describes how her children have definitely made her “a better person…Financially a better person, more responsible in that respect. I think a stronger person, a smarter person, that’s for sure.’’
For more insights in how to balance the demands of being a working mom why not check out Suzanne’s Riss’ book ‘Working Mom’s Survival Guide.’
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