You’ve had a reality TV show called Love Thy Sister on WE TV. How did that impact motherhood for you?Â
Ione: My kids were not able to participate in the show so it was hard because they wanted to be a part of it and couldn’t. However, I thought it would be best to have the show focused around my life and not my children. I am very open with my kids about the choices I make and the things I do for the betterment of our family, so I would say the only impact it had was showing my kids that mommy really knows how to multitask.Â They were on set most of the days and got a kick out of seeing their mom on TV and also being recognized by fans of the show. It was all in fun and a welcomed opportunity to promote our haircare line, Rucker Roots. At the end of the day, I would never do anything to negatively impact my children.
Ellen: My daughter Kai was on the show and it was great for her to share in this moment with me. Kai is an only child and before my husband, Bakari, was in the picture, it was just us at home so we definitely share a very special bond. I would say it positively impacted our family because it was on the show that my now husband proposed to both Kai and myself. We shared a very personal moment with the viewers and we are so fortunate for the experience. Also, despite a few hiccups in the portrayal of our family, we showed an overall positive, educated, African American family.
With very busy schedules, how do you carve out time for yourself?
Ione:Â When the kids are off to school, hanging out with our family, or spending time with their fathers, we are enjoying some very necessary ‘me’ time. We love the simple things, like getting our hair done with Rucker Roots, of course. Going to the nail salons or grabbing a meal with friends. On the days when I just want to decompress alone, I sit by my pool and scroll through Instagram for the latest and greatest hair tips. I am a little addicted to social media, but like I tell my family: it can be very informative.
Ellen: My husband is in politics and a news contributor. So, he is always on the go and we are always planning events to showcase the haircare line, which leaves us with limited time to be alone. Lucky for me, Kai and Ione’s daughter, Kathryn, are like sisters. So Ione will gladly take Kai for the weekend so that Bakari and I can get away for an overnight stay in the city. Nothing like a good staycation to renew you for a busy week of meetings, school activities, and family functions.
What are 3 key pieces of advice that you have for women balancing motherhood and career success?
1.Â Be true to yourself. That means know who you are and what you want to achieve. While your children always come first, it is important to make sure the priorities you have also align with the goals you have for yourself. You have to take care of yourself and your needs before you can properly take care of anyone else.
2. Stay organized. Because in confusion, there is chaos, and when balancing a career and motherhood, chaos leads to disaster. It is important you keep a schedule that you share with your support system, and constantly stay in communication so everyone is on-board with the day-to-day plans. Â Always stay ready for the unexpected.Â Â
3. Don’t be afraid to burn the midnight oil. After homework is done, lunches are packed, and children are off to “dreamville,” it is your time alone to catch up on emails, read about business trends, and set the plans for tomorrow. Being an entrepreneur and a mother can be exhausting, but everything you are doing for your business is to create a better life for your children.