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Soon Moms across the land will be waking up to receive their Mother’s Day gifts.  I can’t help but  smile when I think back over all the years of finger paint art and sticky pancakes in bed.

I recently read that 91% of Moms would rather get an iPad than flowers this year.  While I highly doubt many Moms will be asking for a spendy iPad, I do think the article was spot on about just how few Moms really want flowers.

In lieu of expensive electronics here is a run down of what Mom’s are probably getting and what they might actually like instead…

The new Mom who hasn’t slept in months is probably getting roses.  What she’d really like is a long leisurely bath and an even longer nap.

Finger Paint Art

The Mother of toddlers is probably getting a bathrobe from her kids.  What she’d really like is her own time out – tell her she is going to be sent to her room alone for the day and she will jump for joy!

The Mom with school age kids is probably getting a kitchen appliance.  She’d really like a day at the spa with her girlfriends to relax and be pampered.

The Mother of teenagers is probably going to get a text message from her kids wishing her a Happy Mother’s day.   What she would really like is a gift card so she can go buy some clothes her kids will stop making fun of.

The empty nest Mom is probably going to get a nice bottle of perfume.  What she wants is to know that you were really listening and her hard work was worth it.

Truth is, Moms don’t want any thing, they want to be appreciated.  And you can’t buy that at the mall.

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I often hear women and men question whether or not they have what it takes to see their idea through.  People frequently come to me for advice about how I found the courage to follow my passion and start my own company.  The fact is many people are selling themselves short.

If you are raising kids, you are already using the very same skill set you will need to run your own company.  The demanding life of a parent is excellent training ground for being a CEO.

1. If you can manage children, you can manage employees

Ask any business owner to tell you their top challenges and inevitably managing employees will be high on the list. Raising children will give you lots of relevant practice!

2. You have already been a CFO

Creating a budget for your family prepares you to manage financial plans for your business. Continuing good financial habits and discipline is critical as you raise your next baby.

3. You have the hours down

Owning your own business is a 24/7 commitment and it usually takes a long time to reap what you sow.

4. Take the sticker chart concept and move it to the boardroom

If you apply the same Gold Star technique to your leadership style, you are going to do just fine!

5. Now you have help!

If your kids are old enough, give them the gift of coming to work with you sometimes to see how a business works.  Teach them the valuable skills of entrepreneurship.

6. Creating the company work schedule will be a piece of cake

After organizing multiple soccer practices, dentist appointments, back to school nights and dance lessons, putting together a simple office schedule will be no problem at all. And now you have Excel!

7. Any parent of a toddler has had plenty of practice with negotiation

So you can thank your two or three year old as you negotiate contracts and work out sweet pricing deals for your business.  Remember where you honed those skills when it comes time to set their allowance.

8. Parenting is really networking 101

Being a mom or dad forces you to network and that skill will be invaluable for your business.

9. Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-o to a tree

Patience is a skill that can’t be taught, but must be acquired for both parenting and business building.  Raising kids helps you acquire more patience than anything else in life.


10. Treat projects like Lego’s

If you have ever watched kids building a Lego contraption you have witnessed the ultimate teamwork.  Bring that same level of collaboration and enthusiasm and success is bound to follow.

11. Don’t forget to sleep like a baby

I recently heard Arianna Huffington say the best way to get to the top is to sleep your way there!  Literally!  Her advice is to get a solid 8 hours of sleep a night if we want to be effective in our businesses.

12. Set a good example

I started my first business because I wanted to be an example to my daughter. I wanted to show her that it was possible to follow your passion and be a good mom.  She showed me I was right.

Having kids has certainly taught me that life is full of curve balls. In the very wise words of Alfred A. Montapert, “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”  You will need to be able to do the same thing as a CEO.  So you better put on your big girl panties and eat your Wheaties!

I originally wrote this post and it first appeared on the insightful and informative site

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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One of the things that was really important to me after starting my first business was continuing to eat dinner together every night as a family. During the early years it was a real challenge and we had to get very creative. We literally moved our kitchen table down to the office. We also ate out a lot—okay more than a lot. You know you haven’t cooked in a while when you yell, “come and eat,” and the kids all jump in the car. But to us it wasn’t nearly as important what or where we ate, as it was that we ate together.

Early on, my incredibly-ahead-of-her-time mother-in-law taught me one of the most valuable lessons on this subject: use paper plates. Linda used paper plates at almost every meal except Sunday dinner—and even then sometimes she would just whip out the Chinet. At first I thought this was a bit odd and frankly uneconomical, even a little indulgent, but after I had my own children I realized just how smart this woman was. I can’t begin to tell you how much of my sanity has been saved by paper plates. (And before I get letters about my wastefulness, please keep in mind we recycle, and all of the water I am saving by not running the dishwasher everyday!)

Seriously, paper plates are a mainstay at our house. I will never forget my then seven-year-old daughter Harlie coming home from having dinner at a friend’s house and reporting that “it was really strange… Lauren’s Mom ironed the napkins and then we had to eat off these hard plates. I didn’t like it.” I tried to explain that some people do things differently than we do and that is okay. But Harlie still couldn’t figure out why in the world you would spend so much time cooking dinner, ironing napkins, and then washing dishes. She was baffled that Lauren’s mom not only cooked so many different foods (think four-course meal), but that she also took the cuisine out of the pots and pans and served them in entirely different bowls. After years of seeing the spaghetti go straight from the stove top to the table at our house, this was simply beyond her comprehension.

Of course hearing this, I immediately started thinking that I was a terrible mom. However, immediately it was what Harlie said next that put things back into perspective for me. She said “All Lauren’s Mom did was work in the kitchen, and when we asked her to play Uno with us she couldn’t because she had all of those dishes to wash.” As quickly as my mind went down the path of unfit mother I realized that, in my child’s world, having time to play a card game together was far more important than what was being served and what it was being served on! It also dawned on me that for my daughter paper plates were (and are) just “normal.”

The point is adults should take lessons from children on adaptability. Kids are amazingly resilient and don’t have nearly as many expectations as we adults do.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I would like to publicly apologize to my Dad.  Back in the day, when I was growing up I used to think it was down right cruel of my father to hide his stash of Pepsi from his kids—especially this kid!

He had gone so far at one point he actually started locking his favorite soda, cereal and candy in a drawer in his filing cabinet.  At the time I thought it bordered on child abuse.  A few decades later I realized it was nothing short of the desperate act of a man simply trying to enjoy a cold soda.

Having now endured the torments of my own children I have what one might call “perspective” or “clarity” — others might refer to it as “crow pie”!  As I too have resorted to my own desperate acts as a parent. If you were to visit my home today you would find my own stashes.

Just the other day I literally laughed out loud as I reached for my stash of chocolate, swedish red fish and Diet Dr. images-2Pepper.  My Dad would be so proud.  My hiding place not only has a lock—but is refrigerated!

You taught me well old man!

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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My dear friend BJ Gallagher is the author of this post in honor of “Take Your Child to Work Day”.   Enjoy!

Every April when “Take Your Child to Work Day” rolls around, I think of my friend, author and entrepreneur Lisa Hammond. She was a young mother of two when she started her business almost 20 years ago. And she managed to keep her sanity while building her business, raising two children, and creating a strong, happy marriage – all at the same time!

Over the years, Lisa has told me some great stories about her multi-tasking life as a Mompreneur. She’s learned a few things that can help all of us juggle our commitments to work and family.

Lisa encourages women to be creative: “Find what works for you and your family,” she says. “It may not be traditional or even conventional, but that’s OK. Don’t be bound by what your parents did or what other people are doing – explore and experiment to figure out what works for you.”

Lisa explains:  “In my case, what was important to me was having dinner together as a family every night – no matter what. It didn’t matter if it was served on good china; it didn’t even matter who cooked it. But it did matter that we ate together.

“In the first year of my business, I was working out of our home, so it was easier to have meals together every night. My kids were five and eleven, so they were in school much of the day. My husband ran our construction business so he was gone all day, too. In the evening, everyone was at home and we sat down at the kitchen table to share dinner together.

“My second year in business, I needed more space so I moved my business out of the house. I moved our kitchen table, too!  I figured out that it took too much time for me to leave work, come home, have dinner, and then go back to the office to finish working. It was much more efficient for my husband to bring the kids and the food to me.

“I would stop working and have dinner with my family. I created space at the office so my kids could stay and do their homework in the evening. There was a rock-climbing gym across the street and sometimes they would go over there and train when their homework was done. We spent our evenings together as a family – but we did it in my office, not at home. That’s what worked for us.

“Did we have gourmet meals every night? No. I would make a pot of soup or chili – and that was on a good day!  But more often we had takeout Chinese food, Mexican food, or even pizza. But you know what? We had fun! We enjoyed our meals together every night and focused on the quality of our time with one another. Who cares if the food of homemade or not? It really doesn’t matter.

“We had an unconventional family life in those early years while I was building my business and raising my kids, but those were great years. Sometimes I’d put the kids to work helping me pack boxes. We were a family that played together and worked together. We had both quality time and quantity time!”

I asked Lisa what else she did to build a healthy family while she built her business.

“My husband moved his office to where I had my office so we could spend more time together. For us, the couple that works together stays together. And with shared office space, we were able to provide even more cohesion for our kids. My husband and I have always agreed: Family is #1 and work is #2.”

I asked Lisa how her business is today, now that the kids are grown:

“I don’t have to juggle so many different responsibilities, that’s for sure. But I think back on those early years as some of the happiest years of my life. In fact, I still have my kitchen table at work – I moved it into the break room. That’s where my employees and I sat for a cup of coffee or lunch. It makes me happy to have my old kitchen table at work.”

I asked Lisa what advice she has for single Mompreneurs who don’t have husbands to bring them food and help out with the kids.

“If you don’t have a spouse, it’s essential that you build a good support system for yourself – friends, extended family members, neighbors, other single moms. Build your tribe. Everybody needs a tribe – whether you call it a clan, a club, a posse, a support group, or a gaggle of girlfriends. You need a tribe even if you’re married – but you need one even more if you’re single.

“I always encourage women to be creative, be innovative, and figure out what works for you. And above all, cut yourself some slack! Don’t try to be Supermom. Give up perfectionism – it’ll kill you. Don’t worry about a clean house or home-cooked meals. Your kids don’t want Martha Stewart at home – they want a mom who takes time to eat meals with her kids, a mom who listens and enjoys time with her kids, and a mom who doesn’t sweat the small stuff.”

Lisa Hammond is coauthor of OH, THANK GOODNESS, IT’S NOT JUST ME! Woman to Woman, Heart to Heart (Simple Truths)

Click link to view It’s Not Just Me! the MOVIE

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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A while ago I was searching all over my house for a certificate I needed to find.  It was an important document so I thought it might be in the safe.  Yet as I started pulling everything out of the safe, I had to laugh.  What is in my safe wasn’t legal papers or fancy jewelry.  My safe is filled with photo albums and old home movies.

It’s something my husband has teased me about for years.  We have ended up with bigger and bigger safes so I could fit more and more pictures and things of sentimental value—not monetary value, but irreplaceable items.

So as I searched for this document, which alas wasn’t even in the safe, I had the pleasure of looking at old photos and flipping through the pages of baby books and such.


The things in my safe are the items I most treasure and want to protect.  For those are the things that represent what truly matter to me.

What do you value and what to keep safe?

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I always wanted to be the best mom in the world – but I’ve rarely been able to live up to that standard.  When my daughter Harlie was in fifth grade and my son Bridger was in kindergarten, I gave birth to a new business.  I had so much going on – kids, husband, home, and now, a start-up. What I didn’t have was sleep!

It was late October and I was scrambling to get ready for my first serious busy season at work. Bridger’s teacher had scheduled a Halloween party for his class. Since I am not Martha Stewart, rather than sew Bridger’s Halloween costume, I ordered it from a catalog. On the day of the party I got Bridger all dressed up in his tights,pumpkin-costume_th bright orange round pumpkin and matching stem hat.  He looked adorable. We raced out the door and I dropped him off at school on my way to the office.

I had only been at work for about five minutes when I received a phone call – it was the school. Bridger was on the phone in tears.    “Mom, you had the wrong day!” he sobbed. “The Halloween party is tomorrow!” He was the only child at school in a costume. He had been hiding in the bathroom when his teacher found him. Now I was in tears, too.

I made the “drive of shame” home to get Bridger’s school uniform and then back to the school so he could change. I’ll never forget this angry little boy – dressed like a pumpkin – waiting for me when I got back to the school. The look on his face still haunts me and I cringe when I think about it – a “bad mother” day, for sure!

Excerpt from my new book Oil for Your Lamp, order your copy at

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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SinkWhen I first wrote this, I thought it was a summer fling.  Now it seems this has turned into a long term affair.  According to what my friends are telling me and from what I am reading in the news this trend is here to stay.  Apparently our  adult children are descending upon us like locus.  Maybe they arrived back home because they could no longer afford rent, maybe they lost their job and had to return to the nest, perhaps they just graduated from college only to discover their degree isn’t going to help land the job they had hoped for in this challenging economy, or maybe they are just home for the summer between semesters?   Whatever the reason may be, more and more adult children are living at home these days.

We thought we needed an owner’s manual when they were born!   Ha!  Where is the guidebook to help navigate this ever-shifting landscape???   What exactly are the rules for this adult child chapter?

One summer when we experienced our own empty nest filling back up, my husband, and the father of these two lovely offspring who descended upon, reached his breaking point.  After nagging and painstakingly pointing out that the dishwasher is mere inches from the sink, and that the dishes must actually be loaded into the dishwasher—not just be left in the sink—thus a sign was hung.

We all survived that summer.  My advice is lower your expectations.  Communicate often. Make sure there is a light at the end of the tunnel – aka move out date.  And most importantly keep your sense of humor.

Now we live in our own places and get to look back and laugh.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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The topic of sex came up with a group of friends discussing what was too racy or offensive to put in a gift book.   The conversation made me once again grateful that the religion of my youth didn’t “take” and I was not only able to avoid a temple recommend but keep my libido!

It seems many, many women are struggling with the messages of their chaste upbringing and the desire to now have fulfilling sex lives with their husbands.

I had a friend who went to Catholic school and the nuns made sure that impure thoughts were beaten out of them – sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally … with a ruler.

When another friend finally met the man of her dreams and got married, years of chastity training left lasting impressions. She adores her husband, but still finds it difficult to really enjoy sex.  Her inhibitions make her anxious and nervous. What is natural to him seems distasteful to her.  It’s not easy to transform from being the “good girl’” to the passionate woman.

How on earth are women who are taught to treat their bodies as temples supposed to transform into sex vixens overnight once they cross the threshold of holy matrimony?

“Sex is dirty – save it for someone you love.” That pretty much sums up the mixed messages many girls receive. Talk about confusing!  What can Mother’s who are raising daughters now do to make sure they enjoy sex later?

According to Dr. Laura Berman, the talk shouldn’t only be about being moral and STD prevention and pregnancy. It’s also about empowerment—and Dr. Berman says the conversation needs to include pleasure. “You don’t want her to have sex right now. … But you eventually want her to have a fulfilling, happy, loving, intimate sex life,” she says. “When the time comes, she’s that much more likely to make those healthy decisions since she feels good about who she is as a sexual person and not just give away that gift to anybody—the first time or any time.”


As for adults, perhaps its time to leave the mixed messages behind and follow the sentiment of Mae West who famously said, “When I’m good I’m very, very good but when I’m bad I’m better.”

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Christmas just doesn’t feel the same once the kids are grown.

The magic of watching young children on Christmas morning is something to be treasured.

Fioan and her holiday rubber chicken

Fiona in Santa Hat

This year our grand-dog Fiona is providing the laughter and the magic of the season!

Happy Holidays!

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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me and harlie zoot suits

My favorite holiday tradition is getting new pajamas on Christmas Eve.  When I was a kid I loved getting the pj’s with feet in them!    I looked forward to opening up every Christmas Eve what in our home was called a “zoot suit”.

Last year I thought it would be fun if my family had the pleasure of getting zoot suits on Christmas Eve.  I couldn’t stop laughing, but oddly my kids didn’t seem to think pajamas with feet in them were so great!  Imagine that, my adult kids not loving these!   Oh well, this picture of me and Harlie and our feety pajamas still makes me smile.

I hope your holidays bring you laughter, happy memories, and the magic of the season!

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Maybe your Thanksgivings tend to go kind of like a lot of mine…not quite like the Norman Rockwell paintings?


Whenever extended family tends to gather with wide ranging political and religious views it seems like we are left with the humdrum pass the salt small talk or the other extreme that ends in a heated argument or as we like to call them a loud discussion.

Maybe this year we could all try something new, just chatting and actually getting to know each other.

Let’s start with this great quote by Nancy Thayer as our talking point.  Because I truly believe it is never too late to revise—or learn something new about our friends and family.

Who knows we just might find common ground after all.

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I have always been the one to say age is only a number.   My birthdays have never mattered to me.  I have decided that it isn’t actually my birthday but rather my kid’s birthdays that have started making me feel old.

I had managed, thus far, without much fuss to have several birthdays, crossing the threshold of four decades just fine.  However, as my children cross into their second decade, for some reason now the birthdays are starting to hit me—their birthdays!

cake403Well after over two decades of the proverbial kids blaming everything on the parents, I get to blame something on them for a change—it’s their fault I am starting to feel old!   Ha!

My Dad always laughs and says; “I don’t understand how I can have kids turning 50 when I am only 49!”  His favorite joke is finally starting to make sense to me.

Let them eat cake!

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I have been getting a lot of questions about my darling little grand-dog Fiona.  She is recovering nicely after her surgery.  She got her stitches out.  She has been doing her physical therapy in the swimming pool.

Fiona hiding in the bushes 9-09

She is so happy to be free of the cone she had to wear for weeks and be able to play in the backyard once again, that when we try to bring her back in the house she hides in the bushes so we “can’t see her” in hopes she won’t have to come inside.

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Ironically, a bird had built a nest on my patio, just as I was facing my own empty nest. Each day I watched the other bird fly off to get food for her babies. It had been my morning ritual that summer.

My kids know I have a full life, actually enjoy spending time with their father, and have raised them to be independent and spread their wings.

Having said that, I was still trying to wrap my head around the notion that my son was moving out, signing his first apartment lease, and heading off to college.

How did we go from swim diapers to dive master in 18 short years? Is it just me, or is there a lot more to worry about than when we left home? Did I teach him everything I needed to? Did I run out of time? It sure felt like it.

As I faced this scary time of letting go, letting my kids grow and take risks, I found myself taking lots of deep breaths and reflecting on when they were little. The challenges we faced then seemed so overwhelming. I had no idea potty training would be the easy part.

I often wonder if we are here to teach our children or if they are here to teach us? With each new challenge they face, our own comfort zones here to expand to accommodate their broadening horizons. I have learned that as our children grow so do we.

With so many of my friends facing a leap of faith this fall and that daunting task of sending a child off to college, it seemed the perfect time to share this video with you, and I hope you will share it with anyone in your life who is in the midst of spreading wings and learning to fly.

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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