Photography by Brandi Stage Portraiture
As a busy wife, parent and entrepreneur, Rita Green has reached a startling conclusion: For moms, there’s no such thing as balance.
“You are a mom first and foremost; the children always take priority,” says Green, who has four kids ranging in age from 4 to 15. “That’s the job. I have good days and bad. I’m here having a human experience, and let me tell you, when the flesh is tired, it’s tired!”
Nonetheless, she wouldn’t trade any of her roles or obligations for the world. As the founder and chief visionary of Geaux Fig Co. and the co-founder and marketing maverick of Geaux Rabbit, she simply has lived by her own best advice: “Do what you can, and leave the rest for tomorrow.”
LIVING HER BEST LIFE
As difficult as it is to imagine today, Green was once a career-driven young adult who never thought she’d hold the title of “mother.” Her post-high school career dream was to become a forensic psychologist for the FBI.
“I was your modern-day gumshoe who loved a good mystery,” Green recalls. “However, sometimes your gifts take you in a different direction.”
She found that the hospitality industry was a natural fit for her personality
and went on to work in fast-food establishments, restaurants, hotels and casinos.
“I learned early on in my hospitality career that people just wanted to be greeted with a smile and feel safe when you are in their presence,” Green says. “That is something that I have held with me throughout my life.”
Like many during the COVID-19 pandemic, she lost her livelihood, nest egg and benefits. Previously hesitant due to fear and self-doubt, Green indulged her entrepreneurial bent with a solo venture.
The name of her firm, Geaux Fig, is inspired by life’s “ah-ha” moments, when the solution to a problem appears and you find yourself exclaiming, “Go figure!”
“Good marketing is a form of hospitality, as you have to care about the audience you serve,” she says. “Technology is always evolving and is full of innovation, so the can’t-stand-doing-the- same-thing-twice nerd in me is fed on a consistent basis. “Couple all of that with the science and psychology of marketing, and I am living my best life.”
NO TWO DAYS ARE THE SAME
The benefits of becoming her own boss have far outweighed any obstacles for Green. The biggest payoff, she says, is the ability to prioritize her family.
“I’ve had so much more time with my children, and more flexibility to escape from reality when needed by way of car, train or plane,” she explains. “I must be honest and say that there have been uncertainties, inconsistent income and liabilities that become your own, but again, all worth the grind.”
That grind assumes different forms each day, but Green seems to take it all in stride. She is flattered to be considered a “mompreneur,” as the label affirms that moms can be bosses, too.
“I’ve cried over an email, shouted in a grocery store about a signed contract I had been waiting on for ages and packed up my whole family in 15 minutes on a whim to go to New Orleans for a ‘break’ all in one day,” she says. “I’ve spent long nights in the bathtub with a glass of wine, scrolling through TikTok just to unwind, while a tornado of children destroys whatever is left beyond the bathroom door. I’ve had 18- hour days and three-day workweeks. The most typical thing about each day is that you can bet it won’t be the same as the day before.”
With four active children at home, she quips, “you can imagine what my house is like.” Messes notwithstanding, the family she has created with her husband, Dwight, is clearly her pride and joy.
Fifteen-year-old Bryce idolizes Steven Spielberg and aspires to be an animator, voice actor, and film director. Her 14-year- old daughter, Brooke, loves cats, dance and the arts, according to her mom, while harboring a secret fascination for astronomy and how the world works.
Mason, Green’s 6-year-old son, is a natural athlete.
“If there is a ball, bat, shoe or item that should not be thrown in the house, you can bet your bottom dollar that he is going to challenge the rules and throw,” she says. “As for (4-year-old) Monroe, he is affectionately known as ‘Captain Cuddles,’ and he loves his adventures in the land of pretend play. Play kitchens, pretend camping trips and in-bed doctor’s visits are his pleasures.”
GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Whatever challenges Green faces in a given day, the sight of her children’s smiling faces, and the thought of making them proud, puts her at ease. Personal and professional pressures may mount, but she urges fellow moms to cut themselves some slack.
“Give yourself grace if you had more meltdowns than the children in one day, and allow yourself to say ‘no’ to opportunities that don’t align with your family dynamic or mental health,” she advises. “Allow yourself to say ‘no’ to the stress of having to do it all.
“Don’t worry about the house looking like Hurricane Katrina 2.0., never mind your favorite wine glass being shattered because of the objects you forbade to be thrown in the house. Give yourself grace. And give your children grace, for this thing called life is new to them, too.”
As devoted as she is to her family, Green is equally serious about the arts. In fact, if you’re feeling stressed, she has a simple assignment: Buy a box of crayons, and draw. Put your artwork on the fridge and keep it there for a week. While such exercises may seem silly, she says, they show you how to take pride in something small.
As for Green, while she will always pursue goals, she considers any additional accomplishment icing on the cake.
“I am amazed at how far I have come; I am a completely different person from just three years ago …,” she says. I’ve been blessed beyond compare and am so grateful for it all.”