My conversation with Blessing really made me think about what motherhood and success mean to me. My whole notion of motherhood has become so closely tied to the doing….laundry, lunches, baths, birthday parties, drop-offs and pick-ups. If I’m not doing all of these things then I feel like I’m not being a “good” mom. But the doing keeps me so busy that I’ve never really stopped to consider how I want to spend my time with my kids. What are the parts of motherhood that I really enjoy and what do I wish I could outsource or simply not do? I don’t have any answers yet, but I’ll be thinking about this a lot.
Watch + Listen to the whole conversation:
Blessing grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. She was determined to dream big and be successful in spite of the societal expectations that boys went to school and pursued careers and women prepared to stay at home. Blessing came to the USA for college and pursued chemical engineering. Once she entered the male dominated profession, she learned to stand up and advocate for herself and other working moms. Blessing continues that work through Mother Honestly- a community that brings together women and empowers them to stop comparing themselves to others and start defining their own success.
How did you start your career as a chemical engineer?
I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, one of the largest cities on the continent of Africa. It was a largely patriarchal society where boys were sent to school and women weren’t. And I grew up wanting to accomplish a lot but I was surrounded by women, including my mom, who haven’t had the opportunity to live out your dreams. It just didn’t sit well with me. I decided that I was going to do something audacious and I actually enrolled at the University of Florida to study chemical engineering.
Chemical engineering is also a very male dominated field. How did you navigate that?
Often times I was the only woman, or even only Black person in a room. It’s something I’m really used to. So when people talk about being mistreated in the workplace, I have had to navigate that myself and find ways to stand up for myself and really advocate for myself. I think that has really helped me. I was excited about my work at Mother Honestly, because it gave me an opportunity to continue to advocate for myself and for other women, at home and in the workplace.
How has Mother Honestly grown and changed over time?
We started in July 2018 as a conversation. People were asking for more, so we decided to host a conference. We had about 250 people attend and kept the conversation going afterwards. Our second conference was about 4 times the size of the first. At that point we realized we needed to open an LLC and formalize the business. And so now Mother Honesty is a community of about 300,000 mothers across the country and globally. We are really at the intersection between motherhood, work and life. We strive to make sure that we serve the whole mother- our visions, our goals, our needs, and our wants. We do that through our podcast, social media platforms, conferences, and various programs that we have with employers as well.
Can you tell us about your new venture that you’ve started, Villo?
It’s very much still in the beta phase. Villo is a company that is trying to help you outsource your family’s to-do list. We started by thinking about how many tasks that moms were actually completing at home, and we found about 500- from wiping countertops, changing the sheets, picking up laundry, washing it, folding it. The list is endless. We are trying to find a way to take a mom’s to-do list and actually break it down so that we can actually get the support we need when we need it. All of those tasks are like a full time job in itself before you even start your full time job. Villo is hoping to provide that hands-on support for families.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.