Sure, the label “Power Mom” can be a bit intimidating — especially in this city. (Do they sleep? Have talons? What’s the deal?) But we promise, after reading about this group of awesome, accomplished women, even the most wary among you will feel pumped. Representing fields ranging from design, media, education, science, fashion, finance and beyond — and often possessing a killer entrepreneurial streak — these ladies are inspiring examples of sisters doin’ it for themselves, while also making family a priority. (Oh, but “Work/Life” balance? They all kind of call B.S. on that concept, and offer their own take on it.) Click through to meet your new lady-crushes!
Eda Bilir-Messner, Owner, Edamama
No too long ago, Turkish-born and current Fort Greene, Brooklyn, resident Eda Bilir-Messner was living in the fast lane of the New York advertising industry. She spent almost two decades on both the brand and agency sides of the business, and had a blast. "I travelled the world, met the coolest people, experienced the most colorful cultures and managed global brands. It was full-on Mad Men. I loved it." And then, she had a kid (and then another, and another) and as as she puts it, her priorities shifted. She wanted to spend more time with her children — she has three: Autumn Eylul, 10; Weston Suavi, 7, and Aria, 28 months — so decided to stay put and open a small business. "The idea of Edamama was born selfishly out of my own need to find a great place to get stylish haircuts for my kids," she says. Things really snowballed from there. A love of books lead to the addition of independent children's book store to the space; a similar passion for coffee resulted in the on-site espresso bar, and one singalong blossomed into a full slate of classes all week long.
Yet Another Reason To Like Her: In addition to providing a fun spot for haircuts and books, Bilir-Messner is serious about her commitment to supporting parents and fostering community. The shop also hosts low-cost open plays; raises funds for local public and private schools; hosts "mompreneurs" gatherings, and even a "morning mama" event, an early Saturday coffee klatch and play date for area moms.
Work/Life: "I am trying to have a sensible balance everyday. But honestly, I stopped trying to do it all — and feeling guilty about not being able to do it all. My first priority is to be a great mom and everything else comes second, the business included. My tip for the work/life balance is to be involved in something you are passionate about. Passion is what keeps me going. I love what I do, and as a result it does not feel like work. Also having an amazingly supporting husband and a super nanny at home helps. I could not do what I am doing without my husband and our nanny. As they say, 'It takes a village.'"
photo: Eda Bilir-Messner
Who’s the Power Mom in your life? (Besides you or your spouse, of course.) Sing her praises in the comments below!
— Mimi O’Connor