Photo credit: Anel Lestage/Tender Nest Portraits
Connie Gomez navigates between working a traditional job, maintaining a family style blog and of course raising her two children with her husband. She shares in the interview an accomplishment she achieved as a first in her family and the message she has for at-risk youth. Read more about how she uses her blog as a platform to change the minds of kids who otherwise may be labeled by society to fail.
Tell us about your blog Momma of Dos? What was the inspiration behind the name?
My blog started as a “writing experiment” when I started it I worked in communication for Harris County and I wanted to practice my technical writing since I had not written much since college. I found out 4 months after beginning my job that I was pregnant with my son. And, my blog quickly turned into a personal journal about my pregnancy and soon to be motherhood. It was real and raw, straight from my head to the blog, no filters no real editing. I received quick responses from other momma’s and soon-to-be momma’s who felt what I did and how I did it but didn’t know where to share or who to share it with. I was inspired to build a community where mommas could openly share and relate to one another. It has since grown, tremendously and that in itself has been a huge inspiration to keep me going. It has motivated me to move forward. The name came about because I found out that I was pregnant for the second time when my first son was only 9 months old. My children are 18 months apart and life was about to change drastically. So I renamed my blog from “Sleep Deprived and Hungry for More” to “Momma of Dos” or Mom of Two. And, my blog tagline is Sleep Deprived and Hungry for More. I wasn’t sure if I would ever have another baby and years later, my kids are now 6 & 7, people still ask if I had a 3rd child what would happen with my blog. But, as of now, I have no plans for another baby, my “Dos” are plenty of chaos for this 30+ something Momma.
You are a first generation, US-born college grad in your family? How did the support of your loved ones help you to accomplish your academic and professional goals?
My parents were immigrants and didn’t have the opportunity to finish school in Mexico and because of this, I have made it my mission and goal to make them proud and fulfil their “American Dream” of seeing their children succeed. I graduated from the University of Houston in 2005. My Momma was one of my biggest motivators. Her words to me were always real, she would ask, if I wanted to go to school and do well, or clean toilets like she did daily? Not that there was any shame in that, but she wanted (and continues to want) something better for her children. With her and that fact that I had three younger siblings watching my every move, I graduated from college and moved into an onset of careers within different industries, which has today afforded me a great amount of experience. It has also allowed me to have a vast network of well-rounded connections.
What are the challenges of working a traditional job along with your entrepreneurial endeavors? How do you balance the two and family life?
Funny story. I didn’t consider myself an entrepreneur the first couple of years I started blogging. It has only been recent that I have accepted this title. I saw it as a hobby so it was easy to maintain the separation and to keep going. I have a full-time job, which I enjoy and will probably continue in for a while to come. But, then I realize that there is a need and value to the workshops and services that I provide because of my blogging experience. It’s not easy to keep it all going and help run and provide for a household. But, with a lot of support from my husband, a good flexible schedule and prioritizing I have managed to live this lifestyle for about 5 years now. I run my own blog, create workshops about blogging and speaking engagements to help women of all ages discover their potential, creativity and remain motivated. My message is that as women we CAN do it all; Maybe not all the time but certainly if we put our minds to it, being a wife, momma, employee, entrepreneur and anything else is doable! I am actually in the process of creating content for a class I will give on work/life balance this summer with a professional Latina leadership organization. So this, all ties in very well.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who maintain a 9-5?
You can do it! Make sure that both your day job and dream are creating benefits for you and that you enjoy what you do both 9-5 and after hours. Because if something starts feeling like a chore, or like you “have to do it” then you will struggle. As I stated maintain a good flexible schedule and be realistic about what you can and cannot commit to. I’ve learned the hard way, that while we want to be everywhere and do everything, it’s not possible. And, that’s ok! You don’t have to be superwoman to accomplish and achieve your goals, no matter how big or how small they are still goals! Also, DON’T quit your day job until your dream job is secured. Be realistic about it all and don’t be so hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned. And, remember if your dream doesn’t come out as planned, your 9-5 is always there!
You often tell at-risk youth they too can reach their goals. Why is this important? Do you actively use your blog for this platform?
It’s important to me because I grew up in that “at-risk” group. But, from an early age, I told myself that I was not going to be a statistic, that I wanted to do better for myself. I learned from my parent’s mistakes and took their constant advice to go to school and become educated. My Mother is a housekeeper, my Dad a contractor for remodeling repairs. We didn’t grow up with much and I know about struggle and sacrifice. But, despite life’s setbacks I have never ever, allowed that to stop me. I got through my senior year in high school working 10-15 hours a week to help provide extra income for my home. I got through college working different jobs and 50+ hours a week to help provide extra income for my home. I still managed to complete college in 5 years and obtain a degree. I have had major obstacles in my life. MAJOR. And, I want young women to know that they too can overcome the difficult moments in life to reach their career and life dreams. I spoke recently at a school and I’m sure those kids looked at me and heard me and didn’t think that I was once in their shoes— immigrant parents who don’t speak the language, low-income, welfare, and being told you’ll never be anyone…I’ve been there. I want them to know, you can survive and overcome. And, guess what, you’re already someone!!
You love empowering working women and young ladies to move forward with their passions and goals. What local women/minority owned businesses do you support?
Oh my, so many, here are a couple:
Shunte Gamble, of Women Empowering Change because her vision is SO clear anyone can see it. Her drive and passion for what she does is just amazing. She is resilient and a survivor of life. I can relate so much to her and what she does. And, she does it all while working her 9-5 and being a mom!
Alicia Araujo Elatassi of Thinking Girls Boutique a local clothing boutique that also provides workshop space for classes and other events. Alicia was one of the first to really push me towards launching events and creating content for workshops. She’s also a very driven and accomplished woman who is also a wife and mom!
There are SO many others that I love and who have supported me in the same way that I support them!
Complete the following, family is…
NOT perfect but a TRUE Blessing!
For more on Connie Gomez and her blog visit her website www.mommaofdos.com
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