Monday, April 4, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Jennifer Lynn Pereyra -- Children's Author

Last month I did a book review on the new book, Mommy and Daddy Work to Make Some Dough, by Jennifer Lynn Pereyra.  If you missed my review post, click here to read it now.  Today, I wanted to share my Spotlight on Mommy interview with the author, Jennifer Lynn Pereyra.  She shares with us how she balances being an author and a mom.  Enjoy!

Name: Jennifer Lynn Pereyra, Author
Company Name/Product/Service: Author, Children's Picture Book for Working Parents
Company Location:  Columbus, NJ
Company Website:
Facebook URL: 
Twitter Handle: @ I don't have one yet but I suppose I should really get on this one!
Age of Company: 1 year
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: 
"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstances." ~Bruce Barton

"If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it.  If you don't ask, the answer is always no.  If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place." ~Nora Roberts
Favorite Book:
Wow!  That's just about one of the toughest questions I've been asked.  There really are so many great ones out there.

Here are some that come to mind:
1776 by David McCullough
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
And finally, some of the very first books that I ever read were the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty MacDonald.  I don't recall the details, just that I really enjoyed them.  Perhaps I should go back and re-read some of them.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc. 

 I have been married to my husband, Ignacio, for 12 years.  We have two daughters, Rebeca (6) and Sofia (2).  I met my husband while studying in Madrid, Spain. I suppose one thing that people find interesting about us is that we only speak Spanish at home to our girls.  Everything else around them is in English and we want to make sure they are able to communicate with their family overseas.  I also enjoy baking immensely!  It is something that I can do with the girls and is a definite respite from my day job as a Regional Account Manager in corporate America.   

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

One day, shortly after Rebeca had turned 5, she started asking about why we would leave her and Sofia at pre-school every day and go to work.  I did a Google search to try to find a children's picture book to help me to answer her questions.  The only books I found were about mommy working or daddy working. Actually, there was one about both working but it really focused on what the child would do each day while at school.  I felt that it was most geared towards a 2-3 year old.  So, I literally grabbed a carpenter's pencil and a piece of computer paper and sat down at the kitchen table and started writing.  I suppose the rest is history! 

What is a typical work day like?

Ha!  There is no such thing as "typical" in my life!!  Honestly though, each day is different depending if I'm working in my office (at home) or out on the road visiting with customers (in New Jersey and Pennsylvania).  Juggling my career, my writing, and my home life make it interesting, to say the least.

Having said that, most of my days end up looking somewhat like the following:  First, keep in mind that I am not much of a morning person so the morning rush is a bit of a struggle.  We are usually out of the house by 7:45am to drop Sofia off at pre-school and get Rebeca to kindergarten.  After the "official" work day ends, either my husband or I will pick up the girls by 6pm and head home.  I'm lucky in that my husband does most of the cooking so he'll prepare dinner while I work on homework with Rebeca.  After eating around 7:00pm, one of us will get Sofia ready for bed while the other does the dishes and prepares the lunches for the next day.  Rebeca gets to bed around 8:30pm and then I'll usually open up my personal laptop so I can respond to customer e-mails about the book, update my FB page, etc.  My husband laughs at me because at the same time I'm doing that I have my iPhone next to me where I'll also respond to the intermittent "work" e-mails/texts that I'll get in the evening.  Since I'm a night owl, I really do get more accomplished during the evening hours, however, I've been trying to force myself to shut everything down and be in bed by 11pm.  It doesn't usually happen that way, though. 

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?

Being completely transparent...the biggest struggle has been an internal one.  This is going to sound strange to those who know me and would classify me as being fairly confident; however, putting something that I have written out there to be read, commented on, criticized, (and hopefully praised on occasion) is a scary thought.  See, I have always promoted products that have been developed by others.  Sure, I would never be involved with promoting/selling something I didn't believe in but if those products were somehow rejected, it wasn't a direct reflection of me.  This time, since I have written this book, the situation is different.  However, I keep going back to my favorite quotes to remind myself that nothing ventured, nothing gained.

What did you do in your past work life?

I don't really have a past work life.  I guess I would say that the two are running in parallel to each other right now.

What have been some of your major successes?

If I'm referencing my "daytime" career, I would have to say that I have climbed the corporate ladder fairly quickly and in conventional terms, that could be defined as a success. 

In terms of this new venture, I think getting the book accepted for publication in the first place was a pretty major success.  Again, being totally transparent (You'll find that transparency is a pretty common theme with me.  I think life is too short to be anything but completely honest.), I have put you expressing interest in me and my book, in the success column! Seriously...I'm not just saying that.  I don't give out compliments gratuitously. 

Of course, I would love to be able to say that a major figure like Oprah has shown interest as that would definitely be a success but that hasn't yet happened.  Maybe she'll read about it here!  One can have dreams, ya know!  

What have been some of your major challenges?

Ahhhh....the infamous "B" word.  Yes, balance and my own need/want to be all things to all people. 

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going? 

I remind myself of those that are depending on me whether it be my family, friends, or colleagues.  On those days that are beyond impossible, I refer back to my "kudos" file for a pick me up.  I think that everyone should have one whether it be electronic, paper, or both.  It's where you put e-mails, letters, or cards that have made you feel good for one reason or another.  It really does's also useful come review time each year!

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family? 

A husband that I've trained really well!  LOL!  Totally kidding there.  Honestly, though, we don't have any family that lives near us so we have both really had to step up to the plate and pitch in equally.  I also have an awesome best friend that I can turn to for help when life gets too crazy and I need a hand. 

I think that the one secret that I would share with others is the realization that balance is not something that can be least not on a daily basis.  Heck, in many cases, not even on a weekly basis.  Being a woman in business is different than being a man.  It's not that I'm some ultra-feminist type but I knew very early out of college that I was going to face something that my male counterparts wouldn't.  I knew that I was going to want to have babies at some point so I made a very conscious decision to put that much more energy into my career before having children.  I felt like I needed to get that much further ahead, that much sooner.  Why do I bring that up?  Well, I suppose that one could make the argument that balance is something that is achieved over years.  Sure, we do what we can to keep things balanced each and every day but if we are being honest and true to ourselves and those things which are most to us, there are going to be chunks of time, perhaps months or years, where we will be more focused on career and others where the greater emphasis will be on our lives at home.

Now that I've given folks something to ponder from a philosophical point of view (whew...that was heavy! ), the one piece of practical advice that I would offer is to ask for help!  Whether it's help getting the kids picked up and dropped off or whether occasionally needing to ask a co-worker for help on a project, don't be afraid to ask!  There really is no such thing as superwoman and we shouldn't stress ourselves out over trying to do it all.  

What is next for your business? 

Next is the official release date of Mommy and Daddy Work to Make Some Dough, which is set for April 5th.  That is the date that the book will be available for order where books are sold.  (Until then, I have pre-release copies that can be purchased directly through me.)  

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to do your homework before jumping into anything.  Ask questions of those that have already been on a similar path to the one where you are headed.  You'd be surprised at how much people are willing to share!

If you've already started and are struggling, take a step back and look at your business critically.  Better yet, ask someone else to look at your business and give you an honest opinion.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the "Spotlight"! Update: I am on Twitter...finally! @jpereyraauthor