1000 Families Project: Shaorn, Gordie, Josh, Adam and Olivia

1,000 Families Project: Sharon, Gordie, Josh, Adam and Olivia

How the myth of the TV mom and a full extra-curricular schedule was the spark for this mother’s entrepreneurial journey.

When I was young, I would watch TV shows where moms would have full-time careers while maintaining immaculate homes. It didn’t occur to me that the world of a television sitcom is one huge lie. I wish someone would have whispered, “That’s not how it works” into my ear as I was lying on my shag carpet in my worn out Levi’s watching those episodes in a daze.

After I graduated university, I worked in advertising as a copywriter. In a nutshell, I called it my “Vietnam for the Soul” job. I don’t regret it because it taught me that nobody has a thick skin. We just all have different ways of handling stuff.

Back to the 80s TV mom and the dream of a holding down a full-time job while being married with three kids. Today I shake my head, ‘No,’ at the thought. You can Lean In all you want. I felt that I couldn’t give 100 percent to both worlds. All the power to those gals who can. I came to the conclusion that working part-time would be best for me, and an opportunity kind of just fell in my lap. My desire to create something tangible is to blame, and soon I would join the ranks of “mompreneurs.”

It started with organizing my family. From the frustration of writing out recurring activities for three kids week after week came my idea to re-invent the family wall calendar. Day Ja View was born. I chose the name because of the all recurring activities in our lives as a family of five. Ballet or soccer happen at the same time, week after week. There you are, again, at the soccer field, dance studio, and so on, each week the same as the next—like a deja vu! Or, Day Ja View.

The unique design eliminates the need to write down those repeat activities, week after week, month after month. Instead, you use removable stickers to designate all the repeating extra-curricular activities on a plastic overlay that’s transferable from month to month. To keep all those key details in one place, there’s an emergency contact sheet with room to write doctor’s office numbers, school and teacher key contact information, and those precious car-pool contacts.

I now work to produce the calendar with an incredible team from The Time of Day Calendar Inc. This helps balance my life so the business doesn’t all fall entirely on my shoulders, as it does for so many solo entrepreneurs. Each of us has our strengths and we work together like a family.

I am so relieved that my life doesn’t reflect those mothers I saw on TV back in the 80s. Who wants to live in a house that isn’t real anyways?

This is #1000families post number 112. Do you have a family story of your own to contribute to the 1,000 Families Project? Or do you know a family that might want to do so? Learn more about how the series got started and how to get involved here. You can find all of the #1000families posts here.

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Sharon Neiss

About Sharon Neiss

Sharon Neiss-Arbess grew up in Montreal and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University's Communications Studies program and a Diploma in Advertising from Algonquin College. Sharon lives in Toronto with her husband, Gordie and her three children, Josh, Adam, and Olivia. She is the co-creator of the Day Ja View Ultimate Family Calendar. View all posts by

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