Friday, May 7, 2010

Fabulous Fridays: To The Moms We Love

Being a working mother and juggling today's contemporary lifestyle must not be an easy task. Corporate culture and being a mom are both demanding in of itself. Put them together and you'll find an amazing woman. This woman has learned to carefully balance her time between managing her career and family life.

To honor all the sacrifices Moms do, The National Mother's Day Committee, held a lovely luncheon at The Pierre in New York City on Thursday afternoon where a mix of hard-working career mom and media came together to attend the 32nd annual Outstanding Mother Awards.

I was so inspired by all the hardworking moms in the room. I could feel the motherly love in the air. Soledad O'Brien, the CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Dr. Holly Atkinson, chief medical officer with HealthiNation, Maureen Chiquet, the global chief of Chanel, Mindy Grossman, the chief of HSN, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, a lawyer and advocate and Alfre Woodard, the award-winning actress and activist were all honored for demonstrating strong family values and job leadership.

What all these successful women, all from various backgrounds and career paths, had in common was having a strong mother in her corner, rooting for her and instilling in each of them the gift of self-confidence and a firm belief they could do whatever they wanted in life.

Laurie Dowley, Dr. Holly Atkinson, Mindy Grossman, Maureen Chiquet, Mark Shriver, Victoria Kennedy, Alfre Woodard, Stuart Goldblatt at the Outstanding Mother Awards. Photo courtesy of Berns Communications Group.

These leading women shared stories of their own mothers and offered their own tips on how to juggle a demanding career while raising a child.

When asked how to raise a child with good character, Dr. Atkinson said you need to set an example. "It's the only thing to influence a child," this human right advocate and educator said. "It's about being present in the mist of love." Dr. Atkinson got a chuckle from the sold-out crowd when she recalled her one sacrifice she made when she became a step-mother to Zoe. "I gave up a Jaguar when I got together with my husband. She explained that his daughter Zoe complained about the backseat of the luxury car being the size of a Chanel bag and Dr. Atkinson had to sell the car. Today Zoe now appreciate the merits of a Jaguar and now complains about not having one.

Maureen Chiquet, who was decked out in a lovely cream Chanel suit, told the audience that despite having a permanent first class seat on Air France, she is happiest when her children are happy and they are doing things they love. "That's when I feel the most successful," she said.

Victoria Reggie Kennedy reflected on words her grandmother and mother whispered to her: "You could be anything you want to be," her family told her.

Alfre Woodward told the crowd: "All of these children belong to us and I ask you to step up as big chiefs," she said.

But there was not a single dry eye when Mindy Grossman spoke so eloquently about her family. Two weeks ago, Mindy lost both her mom and dad within 72 hours of each other. Choking back tears, she said her parents always told her she was special and she could do anything. "I had the unconditional love and it has made me who I am today," she said.

The proceeds from the luncheon will benefits Save the Children's U.S. programs. If you want to donate to Save the Children, click here.

Later that night, I went to a special dinner in Westchester in honor of Lisa Gjelaj, who works with me at Arbonne and who is a mother of six children, all under 8 years old. Lisa was rewarded for her hard work and dedication with a brand new white Mercedes. This dynamite woman has successfully lead a huge team while raising her own army and has done it with such grace and class. When I talk to her on the phone about starting my Arbonne business, it sounds a little crazy in the background, but Lisa has always made the time for me.

I was raised by a working mom. My mom brought up my brother and I and at the same time received her Master's Degree and worked full time as a New York City school teacher. She would be home by 4 pm, drive us to our after-school activities, make dinner, help with our school projects, grade papers and if she was lucky, got a moment to herself. She always was there for us, made us feel loved and has always been my biggest supporter even though sometimes didn't deserve it.

Me and my Mom at the World Series in 2001.

My mom has given me the love of reading, knitting and she has certainly influenced my views of femininity and personal style which I'm very proud of. As I get older, I appreciate my mom more and more each day and I'm so glad I have so many of her wonderful traits. My mom is beautiful, strong and is full of compassion for all. A day doesn't go by without me placing a call to her and asking her opinion on everything I do. Now that I'm 40 and wanting a family of my own, I can only hope to be half as great as my Mom is to me. Thanks Mom for making me the woman I am today. I'm looking forward to celebrating with you this weekend.

Wishing all my fabulous friends and family members a very happy mother's. We wouldn't be the strong women we are today without your love.


  1. great article. So sorry I was not there to enjoy the festivities with you..I was glad I got to stay last year, it is an amazing event honoring ALL mothers!

  2. Thank you so much for your lovely kind words. Not every Mom gets to see her child's love for her in writing. I'm a very lucky woman to have you as a daughter. xxoo Rainie

  3. Aw, you and your mommy look so adorable and happy! Love it! I'm getting choked up...

  4. So well done, Jen. I love how you wove the Mother's Day event into a tribute to your own mom. What a beautiful picture of you two!

  5. great post jen-so true......women today do it all and more :) love you and your mom!