Interview conducted by Ayanna Muhammad, Editor-in-chief
Aishah Taylor is a wife, mother of two, sister and friend to many, and business owner of Cheesecake Heaven. With her flavorful and creative cheesecake recipes, she has created her own lane in the world of desserts and keeps her customers always coming back for more.
AM: Being a business owner, there is a stigma that it’s either success in your career, OR having a family. Did you ever think like that it was impossible to successfully manage both? In your ideal world how did you personally see it working for you before you were actually living it?
AT: I’ve never thought it was impossible because we have so many examples before us who’ve done it successfully. When I first started I honestly didn’t think that far down the line. I was still working a full time job, my daughter was 2 years old and my son 10. It was very overwhelming, even with very little business and customers I had, but I gradually got the hang of things.
AM: Tell us a little bit about Cheesecake Heaven? How was your business born?
AT: So I created Cheesecake Heaven in 2015. I took my mothers very own Strawberry Cheesecake and created over 25 Cheesecake flavors. My products are made with all natural ingredients, no preservatives or artificial ingredients. I also offer a daily lunch menu Tuesday-Friday with Lasagna, Pizza, Cupcake specials, Cookies, fresh made smoothies and lemonades. I offer a delivery service to the Chicago area. I cater any and all events 7 days a week. Baby showers, weddings, birthdays, graduation etc.
AM: What has been the biggest adjustment to being a full time mom and having a full time career? Did you take any time off from work once you had your children? And if so, was it a difficult transition to get back into the swing of work? Share with us some tips on how you learn to adjust.
AT: The biggest adjustment was giving up majority of my time. Embracing the fact that I’ll pretty much always be busy. Just learning to balance my time. I took 3 months off work when I gave birth to my daughter, but that was prior to starting my business. It was difficult being away from her when I first went back to work but she’s always been in great care.
AM: Thinking back to your childhood, and now having children of your own, are there certain challenges that you face on a day to day basis that your parents made look seamless? If so, share with us a few.
AT: Yes. Patience. As you know I come from a very large family. It’s 13 siblings in total, and we’re all about a year apart, so just imagine having to care and raise all those children at once. My mother and father exuded a level of patience that I pray to have. Until this day when I’m faced with challenges in dealing with my children, my mother always comes to mind and I catch myself like “suck it up. You got this.”
AM: Being a mom, whether for the first time or the fifth time, can be a very beautiful experience, but it can also be an overwhelming one. How important to do think it is to have a strong support system throughout the journey? Do you find that in time, with every change in the phases on your little ones life, the job gets easier?
AT: “It’s take a village” is so cliché, but so real. I’m so grateful for my village. My husband, my sisters, my brothers, my mother, my nieces. They’re my village and support system from day one. They’re who I can trust with my children in my absence. In order to really be successful throughout your journey you have to take care of your mental, and in order to take care of your mental you have to take breaks from everything. Every time I needed those breaks, they were there. From having sleepover nights with my children, out of state trips etc.
2nd question-. I would say it may appear to be easier, but in reality you’re going through the learning motion and slowly mastering motherhood. We, women, are nurtures by nature. I believe the first year was the most challenging, mainly because of lack of sleep for me.
AM: Motherhood can certainly be demanding, with no days off, so how do you ensure your “me time” and what are some things that you do to keep you feeling like you.
AT: Balance is key. I try to live this and do what works for Aishah. Not what society says. I take one day per week and pamper myself. Whether it’s a hair day, nails and pedicure, wax, shopping, girls day with my sisters, date nights with my husband, I always block a day out my schedule and I’ll use that morning or so to do a few things that makes me feel and or look good.
AM: Obviously you have two amazing children, but you also have a husband. Do you ever find it difficult to carve time out to spend with your spouse with children in the house? What tips do you have that you can share that have worked for you and your spouse to make sure your relationship isn’t lacking the special attention it needs?
AT: Yes it can be difficult at times. I’m one of those mother that’s struggling with getting my daughter to sleep in her room the whole night. But you have to set boundaries. have set bed times. Take them to their room once asleep, stay up late with your spouse, let them spend a night with granny or your sister. Buy lingerie, and have random intimate nights. You can still be you and do you in your home. Make time.
AM: Can you share with us a time that motherhood was more difficult that usual? And how were you able to overcome?
AT: My most trying time in motherhood for me was the death of my sons father. He was tragically killed when my son was 9 months. It was a very difficult time for us. To have your life change within the snap of a finger and u have no choice but to adapt to this new life. But I thank Allah for my village yet again. His father’s family and mine stepped up to assist in those trying times. My son and I moved to Atlanta with my sister and I read the messenger books and worked ONLY for a year straight. Until I was in a better space mentally.
AM: If you could look back and think of one memorable moment thus far in your journey, which I’m sure there are plenty, that made you realize that all the sacrifices of motherhood are worth it, what would it be?
AT: One memorable moment? I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one moment, I don’t even think one moment comes to mind. I just reflect on where we were and where we are today. It’s been trials, it’s been lows, it’s been highs, it’s been pain, it’s been joy. but we’re still here, healthy and happy. I have no complaints. Not 1. As a whole we’re blessed.
AM: You have truly proven that you can strive for and attain success in both home and career. What advice would you give to the mom who might be struggling to find balance between her responsibilities as a mother, and her own personal goals to not lose sight of what she desires to accomplish.
AT: Maintaining a healthy balance is always #1 on my list. It’s still a task for me. Planning properly and creating weekly schedules that works for you, your business, and family is important. My business is my passion but my family is first. my biggest fear is years down the line I’m hella successful but damaged relationships with them. So I find ways to incorporate my children and spouse in between work. Seeing them off to school, picking them up, cooking dinner no matter how tired I may be, doing homework together, cuddling, movie time, and discussing our days, weekend dates etc. Do I have my overwhelming days when it comes to motherhood? Absolutely. Take a break, get a few extra hours of sleep, get a good cry out lol, meditate, read books that will help keep you enthused, have a girls night, but get right back to it. Just don’t quit! Don’t stop! I thoroughly love what I do. I enjoy creating because it’s therapeutic for me. I enjoy putting smiles on my customers face through my products. Find your passion that sets your soul on fire and give it all you got. You will get tired, you will have obstacles… embrace it and keep at it ❤️
Thank you so much for allowing us a peak into your journey through motherhood thus far!!!