Nandi Bosia talks about guilt, support, and creating success for her children
Nandi Bosia is an insurance broker by day, assisting small-business owners and community members with building their legacy; then, when she’s not sleeping, she’s building her small business: Gorgeous Brown Productions. She wholeheartedly believes in multiple streams of income.
Q: What are the names and ages of your children? Who are they, essentially?
A: N’bushe is my old-souled 16-year-old daughter. She is the one who keeps me in check, noticing every little thing with her meticulous artist eyes. She amazes me with her freehand drawings, anime, and paintings. She is the quintessential “Lisa Bonet–esque” teen, feeling everything deeply and oozing creativity.
Njideka is my “Disney Channel-y,” precocious eight-year-old middle child. In all things, she finds a way to be dramatic or intellectually compelling. Nji could literally run for the entire day and not tire. I’ve mixed her activities to include both chess and ballet.
Nkosi is the resident charmer. At three, he is already the height of a six-year-old. He follows the girls in his enjoyment of music and books. His most prized possession? His New York Public Library card. As he recently told me: “Mommy, you can even get movies!” Who could resist that type of talk and a dimpled smile?
Q: What’s the most challenging part of balancing work and family?
A: My biggest challenge is that I feel that I am always heavily contending with guilt: guilt over being a disciplinarian in times when I would like to be “the fun one”; guilt that I can never devote my full attention to any one thing or person; guilt that I am never doing anything quite “right.”
There have many tears shed over what I am not able to do. Missed field trips and appointments always make me question my authenticity. Internal dialogue has to be incessantly checked.
Q: How do you find time for self-care, and what do you do for yourself?
A: I steal time. If the little one’s watching the remake of Annie for the 14th time? I go have mommy time. Little things that are free: pics in front of street art, a full-hearted massage from the little people, a dance-/sing-off in the living room with the kids, reading a great novel, an uninterrupted catch-up call with a good girlfriend.
Q: Do you like your job, or would you prefer to be doing something else?
A: My first love has always been writing. I am all about flexibility in scheduling—that is what keeps me going. My long-term goals include relying more on the residual income from insurance and concentrating on writing.
Q: Where do you find support?
A: I am thankful that my sister and some female cousins are very close to me. I can get away, even in the next room, when they are around. I can commit time for growing my business when I reach out to my team of women. I position myself to be with other entrepreneurs who are interested in balancing work and family opportunities.
Q: What are your goals spiritually, mentally/emotionally, and financially—for yourself and in parenting?
A: Spiritually, I’d love to be able to do my yoga and have an herbal tea every morning after meditation. I’m not there yet, so I read a lot of inspirational material. I’m in favor of positive postings and reminders to persevere.
Mentally, I am beginning to redirect when I’m overthinking any situation. Emotionally, I rely on my faith and my circle. Every emotion can come and pass if I feel and let it go.
Financially, I know that I must be fiscally conservative for our well-being. I want my kids to know that nothing is guaranteed, so save, invest, and create. I pull a specified amount from each check that will be entered into a savings account, IRA, or investment vehicle. I’m serious about that rainy-day fund!
Q: If you could improve one thing about your workday, what would it be?
A: It would be having a great assistant. I love presenting! Paperwork and technicalities, not so much. Time management is my weakness, and I long for my businesses to be a well-oiled machine.
Q: What do you want your employer, or folks in general, to know about your struggle to balance work and family?
A: A little understanding goes a long way to getting the best out of a Solo Mom. We are working on all fronts with very few breaks. A typical day for a working Solo Mom starts around 6:00 a.m. with getting all parties to their respective destinations by about 8:00, with homework checked, forms signed, lunches/snacks packed, hair done neatly, and outfit matching. Then she goes to work for eight hours, plus lunch. There is coordination with teachers, day care, and after-school [care]; pickup is usually between 5:00 [and] 6:30 p.m. Guess who is cooking dinner? Yes! In 30 minutes she must have something nutritious in front of her picky bottomless pits. Then there is a Q&A session, baths, reading, emails to answer, bills to pay, etc. Bedtime is typically between 11:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. She is perpetually exhausted!
Q: Nandi, what would you tell the world about empowering and supporting Solo Moms?
A: Sometimes she just wants to remember what it was like for people to ask about her first. Send articles, gift certificates to Starbucks for a pick-me-up, go thrifting—if only to have a fitting-room photo shoot, let her see a movie with a higher rating than PG. Let a Solo Mom know that perfection doesn’t exist. And as long as she is doing her best, you will devote your strengths to helping her make it to the other side of happiness. Her successes are for her lineage, and her lineage is the reason she wants success.
Want to connect with other Solo Moms like Nandi who get it? Join our confidential community of Sisters.
Former Solo Mom VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia, ESME’s Resource Guide for Domestic Violence, is a painter, published poet, speaker, and facilitator. Through her business, Soul Revival Healing Arts, she offers original paintings and products, and teaches workshops. Her first poetry collection, Butterfly Spirit, was published in 2015. VersAnnette is passionate about empowering women, eating great food, and traveling the world. She and her family currently reside near Chicago.
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