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Work-At-Home-Mom – Tawanna Chamberlain

Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.

My immediate family is comprised of myself (age 41, my birthday is on April 23rd and I’ll be turning 42), and my two boys: Mekhi & Maxwell (ages 7 & 4). My extended family lives in Detroit and I also have three younger sisters, Brandi, Alicia & Kiara, who live in Orlando.

“I am not Superwoman. I just do the very best that I can with the time and resources that are available to me each day.”

Tell me about your business and how it got started.

I’ve been working in the field of public relations for more than 17-years, but I knew that sitting in a cubicle every day and working 40 plus hours per week for someone else was not going to cut it for me. In 2016, I made the decision to reduce my hours to part-time for working for a company and launch my own public relations firm, The Posh Publicity Firm (aka The Posh Firm). I created my company to provide luxury publicity and marketing services to small business owners, as a way to level the playing field and provide my clients with the visibility that they deserve at a more affordable price point.

How do you balance family and business?

I’m not sure I’ve befriended the word “balance.” There never seems to be a true and perfect balance in my world, but what I have learned how to do effectively is make adjustments and figure out workarounds. Sometimes I like to wear my Superwoman t-shirt to bed, but in my waking hours, I know better. I am not Superwoman. I just do the very best that I can with the time and resources that are available to me each day. I write down my top five priorities that I want to accomplish “tomorrow,” each night before I go to bed and each day, my goal is to accomplish each of those top five priorities and most days I do!

Do you have any parenting hacks or tips?

Yes, utilize crock-pots! Throw some chicken and veggies in a slow cooker around lunch time along with your favorite sauce or gravy and by dinner, you’re all set. And I’m not sure whether this is a “hack” or not, but I ALWAYS iron school clothes the night before, so that my mornings are less cumbersome.

Tell us about any cultural challenges being a mom of Black boys?

With today’s cultural climate, it is challenging to raise Black boys in today’s society. When Trayvon Martin was murdered, the narrative shifted. Black mothers across the nation quickly realized that our sons are an ‘endangered species.’ We were reminded, that in this country their skin color is a stigma. I, like millions of other mothers of Black boys, understand the gravity of racism in America and how it can adversely impact young Black boys. I teach my boys to be respectful to their elders, teachers, and those who are in a position of authority. I’m really big on manners, “Yes ma’am,” “No ma’am,” “Yes sir,” and “No sir.” Aside from the challenges, I instill in them the importance of being proud of their African-American heritage. I tell them that our history didn’t start on slave ships, but that before we were brought to this continent, we were kings, queens, rulers, and emperors in Africa. I’m thankful for movies like the Black Panther, simply because it helped all of us, young and old, to remember our nobility.

How important is culture to your family?

Culture is paramount. My mother taught me that Black is beautiful. So I grew up believing that it is an awesome privilege to be a Black woman, and I still do! I read books to my boys about African-American history all of the time and not just in February. Sometimes schools will only teach kids about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, I also like to teach my boys about Nelson Mandela, Malcom X, Marcus Garvey, Sojourner Truth, Mary McCleod Bethune, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Ntosake Shange, Thurgood Marshall, Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Muhammad Ali, Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and all of the other trailblazers who paved the way and made it possible for me to go to college, earn advanced degrees, and own my own business.

What has given you the most joy as a mother?

To see my children THRIVE. They are good at a lot of things and they are fearless. They are open to trying new things! They honestly believe that the sky is the limit. My heart leaps with joy when I see them really go after whatever it is that they want in life. They have inspired me to become more fearless!

What was your dream job when you were a young girl?

I always wanted to be an entertainment reporter. I used to watch Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight and dream of becoming an entertainment reporter. Mary Hart was EVERYTHING to me! As she would talk, I would take some serious notes. I would try to write down everything that she said, and then as soon as Entertainment Tonight would go off the air, I would run in the bathroom, read my notes, and pretend like I was Mary Hart hosting Entertainment Tonight. I did that every day for years. Truth be told, that is STILL my dream job!

What freedoms does your business allow you to have for your family?

My business affords me a great deal of freedom. I can be actively involved in my son’s PTA. I can volunteer in my community. I can teach etiquette workshops at the library. I’ve been teaching my “Manners Matter” workshop at the libraries for over 10 years now. I can work with your participants in my non-profit organization, “Poised For Success Leadership Academy.” But one thing that I’ve learned over the years is this, freedom is not free. It requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

What does your family think about you running your business?

They are very proud of me and they are very supportive. I’m thankful that they believe in me.

Does entrepreneurship run in your family?

Yes, my mother was an entrepreneur. She had her own advertising business and I would go with her to barter, sell ads and close deals. My mother was a real boss! Additionally, she owned her own commercial cleaning business, she made decorative baskets and sold them throughout the holiday season. She was a self-taught make-up artist and people would pay her to apply their make-up for special occasions. My sisters and I all adopted my mom’s entrepreneurial spirit. Aside from my mom, there are several other entrepreneurs in my family on both sides.

What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?

Sleeping and getting adequate rest.

What’s the best thing about being a mom?

Unconditional love from your kiddos!

What does being a mother mean to you?

Being a mother means to be selfless and willing to put my children’s needs in front of my own if need be. It means being a role model. It means being a parent and not trying to be your child’s best friend. It means to protect your child, mind, body, and soul. It means to be a nurturer and a provider. To me, being a mother is the quintessential role that God has given me the opportunity to experience.

What do your children think?

Mekhi: Me being his mother means that I help him to find the NBA All-star slam dunk competition via YouTube on his iPad!

Maxwell: Me being his mother means that I don’t burn up his mac & cheese! (These were the exact answers given by my boys when I asked them that question).

What is your mom really good at?

My mom is good at reading books to us.

What is she not very good at?

My mom is not good at singing the words to rap music.

What makes you proud of your mom?

Mekhi: I’m proud that my mom is a good driver.

Maxwell: I’m proud that my mom gives me hugs.

If your mom was a cartoon character, who would she be?

Mekhi: Wonder Woman.

Maxwell: Hello Kitty.

What is your one wish for your mom?

Mekhi: Mommy wants to go to Paris & Wakanda one day.

Maxwell: Mommy wants to be the president and eat ice cream in the White House.

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Successful Black Parenting is a positive, uplifting publication that supports and advocates for Black parents internationally. We help you to build your children up, so that society can’t break them down.


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