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.
Thank you so much @CharlieGilkey and @AngelaWheeler for inviting me to be part of this conversation. It’s such an honor!
Angela Wheeler says
Thank you for sharing your story here. Your mom sounds like such an amazing source of strength and inspiration for you and your siblings. It’s phenomenal to see the growth that can come from such tragedy.
@Angela Wheeler Thank you, Angela – my mom is amazing and I’m so fortunate to be her daughter. 🙂
@HeathALLHeather I had no idea about your story. It definitely explains so much about you and what drives you as The Mogul Mom! You’re a true inspiration for all of us Moms in Business!
@JeannieSpiro Thank you so much, Jeannie! I feel blessed to have the mom that I do. 🙂
What a wonderful story you’ve shared here. Thank you for YOU and for your story! (:
@JessicaReaganSalzman Aw, thanks Jess! 🙂
Wow…the first paragraph Heather.I had no idea. This reminds me of our neighbor who lost her husband too soon and did the same for her 3 boys. She was from Ireland and also did not even know how much $ was in the checking account the day her husband passed. We all thought she would pack up and go back ‘Home ” to family in Ireland. Instead, she took a job as a custodian at our local HS and sent all 3 boys to catholic school and college…strong like your mother for sure. Thanks for sharing. xo
My mom is Irish too – strength must be in their blood. 🙂 Thanks for sharing that story, Lisa. xo