I first met Akilah Richards, purveyor of the smokin' hot site EXECUMAMA, at our African Dance Class. I didn't know what I was doing, and Akilah claimed she didn't either, but when those drums kicked up and Sauda, our instructor, started working it out on the dancefloor, Lil' Miss Thang hadn't a problem dropping it like it was on fire. The girl's got moves. Akilah's also got gifts. We'd long bonded over the fact that we're both mothers of two super smart, gonna-rule-the-world-one-day little girls, that we both stan hard for Maxwell (moment of silence for his FINE, talented, singing self!), and that we rock natural hairstyles. But when Akilah revealed her mutual love of the written word, it was just over for me—I became a HUGE fan. She puts me in the mind of my sister-in-law/BFF Angelou—young, pretty, energetic, fly, and fresh. Unique. These are traits she embraces on Execumama, a website that brings to life her book, Execumama: A Pocket Guide for the Twenty-something Mommy on the Move. In the book and on the site, she chronicles the struggle and ultimate triumph of women who blaze career paths without compromising the care and attention they give to their children and partners. Indeed, Akilah is a jill of all trades—a community volunteer, a licensed realtor, a property manager, a poet, a wife, a mother, and an author—an Execumama. And I absolutely adore her. Here's why:
My name is… Akilah S. Richards
I live in… Metro Atlanta, GA
My brown babies are… Marley, 5, and Sage-Niambi, 3.
I make a living… writing, editing, and selling/managing residential property.
The last time my kids cracked me up… is when Sage told me that she loved me very much even though I was “the bossiest mommy she ever had!”
The last book I read with my kids was… "Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten"
My favorite place to take them is… the library. They read, have computer time, and I get to read/write.
My proudest mom moment was… one day, while at the park with the girls, an older child asked Marley if she could count to 100, and when Marley said no, the girl said, “I knew you weren’t smart!” Marley’s response was, “Not knowing everything doesn’t make me not smart! Besides, I’m not even in kindergarten yet, so I have plenty of time to learn things, so you better just knock it off and back up!” ROFL! I could’ve high-fived that child 100 times, and it wouldn’t have been enough.
My most embarrassing mommy moment was the time when… My then 1.5 year old pulled out my breast in a popular, (and rather packed at the time) Caribbean bakery while yelling, “I want nursie”, which meant she wanted to be breastfed. A kind woman behind me helped me get my “nursie” out of the limelight. SMH!
The thing I most want my children to know is… that they are made from and surrounded by love, and that means they can safely reach for the stars in all they do, every day, without fear of falling too hard.
The one family tradition I hope my kids continue when they grow up is… keeping in touch with our Jamaican heritage, and passing it on to their children, should they decide to have any.
If I could invent one thing to make being a mom easier, it would be… a “pause” button for the girls.
The best invention for kids ever is… children’s books with accompanying CDs. I could NOT survive without them, and neither would the girls.
The kid snack I’m most likely to get busted eating is… Goldfish.
The most important life lesson I want my kids to learn is… the realization that God is their only true “Boss,” so there’s no need to chase the typical dream. Instead, find what they love to do, and have enough faith in their process to see it through.
The one thing no one knows about me is… I’m insanely shy! At networking events, I’m totally clueless on how (and why, quite frankly) to go up to a total stranger on some “so, how ‘bout them Lakers” type joint!
The thing I lost as a mom that I wish I could get back is… 30 freakin’ minutes of quiet time per day. Seriously, I might give up my favorite pair of Hot Mama pumps for that!
My “I’d Rather Be…” bumper sticker would say… getting fish gravy all over my latest book-in-progress at Helshire beach in Jamaica!