Monday, May 2, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Jennifer Bright Reich of The Mommy MD Guide Book Series

This week I would like to introduce you to Jennifer Bright Reich of The Mommy MD Guide Book series.  These books are great for expectant moms, new moms, and second, third, ... time around moms.  They are written by professionals, but from a mom's point of view, and extremely helpful.  I have enjoyed the book Jennifer sent me to review, and can't wait to share my book review with you further Friday in my Feature Friday post.  But, in the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Jennifer.

Name: Jennifer Bright Reich
Company Name/Product/Service: Momosa Publishing LLC/ The Mommy MD Guides book series
Company Location: Allentown, PA
Company Website:
Facebook URL:!/pages/Mommy-MD-Guides/151187998688
Twitter Handle: @ MommyMDGuides
Age of Company:  2 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.—Walt Disney
What you think about, you bring about. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. 
Favorite Book: The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth tied with The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year

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

I have two sons. Tyler is five, and Austin is three. I love to watch them learn and grown and play with them. They have two speeds: fast and asleep. When they are asleep, I like to scrapbook, read Walt Disney World websites, and watch TV.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about? 

The idea for The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth began with a cry in the night. Well, many cries in the night, actually. My sons both had acid reflux as babies, and they didn’t sleep well. They cried—a lot. The record number of wakings was 11 in one night, or at least that’s when I stopped counting.

In desperation, I talked with their pediatrician, a wonderful doctor and also a mother of four, including twin babies at the time. She called me one night after work and talked with me for more than a half hour, explaining how she had solved her own twins’ sleep problems. Her method would call for more tears on my sons’ part, and more tears on mine, but it had worked for her, she explained. Her reassurance and her experience gave me the courage to try it, and it worked for me too.

Over the years as a writer, I’ve interviewed hundreds of doctors. Every now and then, a doctor would say, “When my kids were little, I…” That always piqued my interest. If a family physician juggling a busy practice and a busy home or a resident working 110 hours a week used a tip, no doubt it worked. And I figured that if it worked for her, it’ll likely work for me too.

In 2008, I had the incredible good luck to meet Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH. That year, we worked together on a few projects. Then in early 2009, we decided to join forces to publish the Mommy MD Guides, a series of books filled with tips that doctors who are also mothers use for their own families. To accompany the book series, we also created the website

What is a typical work day like?

I work from home, which is wonderful. In the morning, I get my sons ready for school, and then my husband usually takes them to and from kindergarten and preschool. I work a few hours while our sons are in school, and then I make and enjoy lunch with my family. Then both boys take a nap, or at least a rest, and I get some more time in. At 3, I work with my kindergartener on homework, then we all play and make supper. The hour after supper is sacred, family time, where we play outside, “dance” downstairs, play games, and enjoy spending time together. Then my boys have a snack while I clean up, make lunches for the next day, and most important set up the coffee maker! After that, I give my sons a bath, read them stories, and tuck them in. Then most nights I do some more work before watching some TV.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Having the courage to take some risks. 

What did you do in your past work life?

I worked on staff for seven years at Rodale Inc, and then I ran my own freelance editorial services business, Bright Communications, editing and writing for five years.

What have been some of your major successes? 

Publishing, joining forces with some amazing companies who have become our product partners, and co-writing The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth.

What have been some of your major challenges? 

Not checking my email 50,000 times a day.

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

Remembering how incredibly fortunate I am to work from home and get to spend so much time with my family.

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

I try to focus on whatever I’m doing at the time. For example, when my sons come into my office, instead of thinking it’s a distraction, I remind myself how wonderful it is that I get to see them during the day. I stop typing, spin my chair around to face them, and focus 100% on them until they get what they need, and then I spin back around and focus 100% again on work.

What is next for your business? 

We’re writing the second book in our Mommy MD Guides series, The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, which is “due” in fall. ( We also just launched the Mother of All Ideas Contest, with Cord Blood Registry, looking for the best new idea by a Mom, for Moms. ( Next year, we’ll write the third book in our Mommy MD Guides book series, The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years.

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

Sit down with your partner and determine how much money you need to make to cover your bills and feel comfortable. Then open up two separate accounts for your business, put 75% of the money you make into the main account and pay yourself an even salary from it every other week, just as if you worked on staff. This evens out the bumps in the road of freelance pay. In the second “tax” account, put 25% of the money you make, so you have the funds available to pay estimated taxes. (Note the 75/25 split is what works for my family; talk with your tax advisor to see what makes sense for you.)

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