Ever since one of Laura Fuentes’ kids super-glued her hair she’s become known online as the Super Glue Mom. With an MBA in International Business Development and a desire to help parents with healthier alternatives for packed lunches, Fuentes launched her company MOMables™ in 2011. Born in Spain and raised on tapas, she now lives in what she calls “southern suburbia” with her American husband and three children. Fuentes, who will soon join Mamiverse as a contributor, took time out of her busy day of blogging and chasing after her offspring to talk to us about being a mompreneur.
Mamiverse: What exactly is MOMables and how and when did you come up with the idea?
Fuentes: It’s a school lunch menu plan for busy parents which includes a weekly menu with easy-to-make recipes, a shopping list, and a prep-ahead sheet. I came up with the idea three years ago when my daughter started a two-day-a week pre-school. After a couple of weeks of making lunches, I found myself struggling to come up with fresh lunch ideas. Soon, she began asking for packaged lunches filled with ingredients she couldn’t have (she is allergic to phosphates and some nitrates). So, I found myself making lunches that looked like what her friends were eating, but were made fresh in my kitchen. I soon became known as the “mom who made fun lunches” and when other parents asked me to email them recipes, I knew I was onto something.
Mamiverse: What prompted you to launch the company and how is it doing?
Fuentes: I began blogging on my personal blog, SuperGlueMom, to connect with other moms who were struggling to juggle work, kids, life, and preparing healthy meals for their families. Through my blog, I connected with other women who also had the same need. The company just celebrated its first year and continues growing organically.
Mamiverse: What are your greatest rewards and the biggest stumbling blocks?
Fuentes: I love the daily emails and Facebook comments I receive from the MOMables community. They inspire me to keep going and continue to come up with creative ways to show parents that a fresh lunch is best. My biggest stumbling block is finding time to get it all done.
Mamiverse: How do you manage to blog on SuperGlueMom, be at the helm of MOMables and freelance as a writer while raising three kiddos, one of them a baby?
Fuentes: I schedule everything. I hire part-time help for the infant and work around my oldest two kids’ (who are 4 and 6) school schedules. I limit after-school activities that require me to do a lot of chauffeuring and welcome any neighborhood kid who wants to come over to play at our house after school. After dinner, dad is in charge of the bedtime routines, and I usually get back to the office for a few hours before going to bed. I’ve surrendered to the reality that I will not get it all done in one day so I’ve become more realistic with my expectations and deadlines.
Mamiverse: What are the advantages of being a mompreneur versus working for someone else?
Fuentes: I quit my corporate job when I was pregnant with my daughter six years ago and have never looked back. I love that I dictate my own schedule. Working for myself allows me to be present for my children every afternoon to do homework, take them to activities and stay home with them when they are sick. Being a mompreneur is not easy. Most people don’t really understand what it is that I do and I am often judged for “working” too much since I don’t have an “office” job.
Mamiverse: What does a typical day of yours look like?
Fuentes: I wake up between 5:30 a.m–6 a.m. with the infant and mostly read, catch up with emails, and Twitter. When the other two wake up around 7:15 a.m. it’s time to get them ready for school. I get back home at 8:30 a.m. and usually hit the office around 9 a.m. (with or without a sitter). I work straight until 2:45 p.m. when I pick up the other two from school. We do afternoon activities, homework, shopping, cook dinner, and baths before 7:30 p.m. Then dad takes over and I work until midnight. If I am up in the middle of the night feeding the infant and you send me an email, don’t be surprised if the time stamp says 3 a.m.