Editor’sNote: This is a continuation of our core conversation, “Extraordinary Women Change the World.” In our last post, Molly Gordon shared with us how embracing the fog brought her much clarity and empowerment. Today, Heather Allard, the founder of The Mogul Mom shares how tragedy led to empowerment for her mother (pictured above) and herself.
In 1972, my father died after falling and fracturing his skull during a friendly relay race at my third birthday party.
My mom, Valerie, was then widowed at age thirty two and left alone to raise me (3), my brother (8), and my sister (11). She had to quickly learn to do things she’d never done before — things like writing a check, balancing her bank account, and driving to places she’d never been to before.
These things sound simple to us, don’t they? But back in 1972, the man of the family usually handled them.
My mother is and always has been a strong, intelligent, independent lady, so learning new things didn’t take long for her. But she did take one big life lesson with her: the more you can do for yourself, the better. Especially for women.
Since the day my father died, my mother taught us to be self-sufficient, to learn how to do as many things as possible, to not be like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz seeking empowerment from the great wizard himself — but instead, to have the confidence to be the Wizard in our own life, by learning and doing and believing that deep within, we already have everything we need.
And my mother didn’t just teach us these things. She has spent her entire adult life empowering others to “be the Wizard” through her volunteer work at adult literacy and heart health programs, and as a bereavement counselor with Hospice of Rhode Island for over fifteen years.
Because of my mother’s lessons, I am a woman, a wife, and a mother who can do anything.
I can paint walls in my house. I can do my own taxes. I can fix broken doorknobs. I can mend stuffed animals. I can build businesses. I can earn income. I can help other women.
And most importantly, I can teach my children to do the same.
More About Heather: Heather Allard is the founder of The Mogul Mom and mom to Hope, Grace & Brendan and The Dude, her beloved dog. She’s on a mission to help mom entrepreneurs run a business, raise a family and rock both. Follow her on Twitter for bite-sized blips of daily life as a mogul mom.