From the Farm:


Published in the Casper Journal February 2, 2011

I am a CEO.  I manage the personal schedules, finances, needs and lives of ten people.  (Well, almost ten.  My husband manages his own most of the time.)
For me, like any other CEO, it’s all about the numbers.
Yesterday I did 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, read 26 verses of scripture, made breakfast for ten people, packed five lunches, sent six people out the door, washed one batch of dishes, did three loads of laundry, gave three children baths, and shampooed three bedroom carpets, all before 10am!  Those sound like pretty good stats to me.
I then drove to the store and spent exactly 50% of my monthly grocery budget on 45 meals. I saved $12 buying non-brand products, and $10 of next month’s grocery money buying butter on sale. (Did I mark that in the notebook?)  I also set aside cash for two weeks of piano lessons and school book orders (due tomorrow).
Back at home, I fed four people lunch, put three children down for nap and then spent 98 minutes catching up on personal projects.  At exactly 3:35, I turned off the computer, started dinner and welcomed home two middle school students.  During the next two hours, three more children walked through the front door, I listened to five different versions of a ‘day at school,’ baked eight loaves of bread, and cooked dinner for ten, making an additional casserole to go in the freezer.  After calling “time to eat” exactly four times, we had ten people sitting at the table, where we spent 18 minutes eating what had taken me 78 minutes to prepare. 
I then gave five children baths, sent the other three to the shower, signed three homework sheets, drilled 28 phonograms, listened to forty minutes of piano practice, changed an additional two diapers, and checked and trimmed 160 (yes…160) fingernails and toenails.
By 9:00, eight children were tucked into four bedrooms, complete with teeth brushed, pajamas on, drinks had (well…almost), and prayers said.
Did I mention?  Being a CEO is all about the numbers.
But more than numbers, it’s the growth.  How many eggs did we get today?  What grade did you get on your test?  Did you study your spelling words?  When does swim team start?  What book are you reading right now?  And, did you make your bed? 
My clients are my responsibility, and I aim to help them succeed.
Being a CEO also means I can make the tough calls. “No, we’re not watching that movie.”  “Yes, we are eating our beans.”  “It’s time to come in and do chores.” 
In addition to my clients, I have responsibility for our business facility, as well.  I sweep, mop, scrub, clean, polish, vacuum and cook…every day.
Oh, what I would sometimes give for a janitor, cook, maid, nanny, or…  Weren’t those common in the olden days?  Even the Brady Bunch had a housekeeper.  And, I certainly could use Mary Poppins sometimes.  Or, a good, resident cook. 
Despite my dreaming, I’ll be the first to explain that my husband is extremely helpful.  That’s the only way it works.  When I’m tired and cranky—and even when I’m not—he steps in, washing dishes, giving baths, folding laundry, even fixing meals when I ask him to.   And, in the business world, I suppose he’s the one with the “real” CEO title.  Isn’t it nice that CEOs aren’t above changing diapers and vacuuming floors?  His support is a key factor in this company’s survival. 
Like every CEO, my job has its perks:  ice cream after 9pm, always sitting in the front seat of the car, and choosing pancakes over oatmeal for breakfast.   Those decisions are all up to me. 
When it’s all said and done, who dares to claim that mothers aren’t business savy?  We juggle more balls than most executives can imagine.  And, I’d say we do it fairly well.  In my book, every mother is a hero, eight kids or one. 
Tonight there are five report cards on my desk…all A’s and B’s.  An encouraging quarterly report and a parent’s payday.   This deserves a company celebration!  I just checked the budget and am making an executive decision:  we’re ordering pizza out tomorrow night.  And, there’s even enough money left over for ice cream.  Success?  Most definitely.

Nettie Francis is Editor of The Wyoming Woman Magazine


  1. Great article Nettie. I couldn't agree more!

  2. I wonder if I analyzed one of my days whether I would feel better or worse about my life...but I am happy about my quarterly reports too. We've been top of the market for 14 years now. Fun article to read.