Speakers offer inspiration and insight on the challenges of being a working mom at first Mother Honestly Summit.
By Cassie Kunze
Mothers from Metro Detroit came together to share inspiring messages focused on the realities of being a working mom at the first Mother Honestly Summit on Oct. 20 at The Lofts at Madison in downtown Detroit.
Beverly Hills resident Blessing Adesiyan, a chemical engineer and mother of two, realized the lack of support available to working moms. This prompted her to start Mother Honestly this year as a members-based community created to support ambitious women taking on the challenges of business and motherhood in the modern world.
The summit, sponsored by SEEN, featured panels with over 20 leaders in business who gave insight into their experiences navigating lucrative careers and motherhood. Speakers addressed an array of topics, including business and personal development, how to maintain healthy relationships and the importance of financial planning.
Panelist Kelli Rapaski, owner of The Lean Body Studio in Royal Oak, shared she struggled with self-doubt when starting her business.
“I was questioning if this was the right decision. Am I giving my daughter enough?” Rapaski says. “But I realized I feel whole with everything I’m doing, and I know I am a better example for my daughter when I’m whole.”
Keynote speaker Kelli Coleman, owner of The TEN Nail Bar in downtown Detroit, discussed the importance of self-care and mental health. “Self-doubt creeps in a lot throughout the day. It is easy to let negativity in,” Coleman says. “Always remember to manage the mind. This will help steer where you want to go and what you want to achieve.”
Between panels, networking exercises were held to encourage bonding and communication among members and guests of the event. One of the exercises required women to pair up and discuss the posters around the room with questions about stereotypes facing motherhood in society.
When asked how she is redefining success on her own terms, Meagan Ward, founder of Femology, a Detroit coworking space for women, says she believes society has created a “blueprint” for how women, and especially mothers, should live their lives. “We must make our own rules,” Ward says.
Lona Bentley, owner of Life Inspired Plans and attendee, says she was an early follower of Mother Honestly and was excited to hear of the summit. “There is something about this organization that is electric,” she says. “It has given me the confidence to not let the life I led in my 20s to lead the rest of my life.”
Visit motherhonestly.com for more information.