I have read a lot of stories on the seemingly glamorous life of mompreneurs – how they have handled gracefully both motherhood and business. I can say, I bet it all started as a mess. Stress and challenges are part of it all and it takes a while to get yourself to handle it more graciously (if ever that happens!) Different mompreneurs started at different age and stage of motherhood. Challenges may be slightly different but I think the truths will all be the same. Let me share these hard truths I have come to realize in the process:
1. You’re up for a ride. There will be highs and lows. Excitement and frustration will be a unique mix of your emotions. When good things are coming, opportunities knocking or possibilities showing – your eagerness to pursue is heightened. When challenges start pouring, things are not working or failures keep happening – you will feel like quitting…a lot! Then you’ll start doubting yourself and the decisions you’ve made.
2. You will feel the guilt. It is ever present. Time is your most valuable resource. Once time is spent on business, it is time lost with your child. And there will always be a feeling of guilt every time this happens. You will feel inadequate. You will feel like you haven’t done enough for your kids, or your spouse.
3. You will experience exhaustion. Tiring is an understatement. Like any start up venture it requires time and attention, so does motherhood. Imagine a combination of both! You will have self-induced stresses and panick attacks.
When starting a business, a whole lot of thought is put into its conceptualization, and a great amount of effort for its implementation. Consider the research, networking, and a whole lot of stuff involved. It’s another story when the business is up and running. That’s when real work begins.
You thought working at home will give you the freedom and flexibilty? Oh, honey you’ve signed up for an 80 hours a week and earning less than when your were working at 40. You can’t call in sick, well because the entire business operation depends on you and so do your kids. And people think…you have all the time because you’re “NOT WORKING!”
4. You can’t always manage your time. While you do have a schedule made up for business and mama duties, business and kids can both have its own surprises and immediate needs. When your child gets sick, the business has to take a back seat. And when business is at its peak or delivering a commitment, mother and child bonding times will be at a minimum.
It’s challenging to keep a strict routine when you’re doing business at home. There will always be moments in a day when your child will ask for your attention, even if you have alotted that time for a business task. Same thing goes when there’s a business hiccup, your scheduled time for your child will have to be adjusted.
Running an entire business by yourself (usual for startup businesses and solopreneurs) and the whole household can be overwhelming with a mountain of responsibilities. And at the end of the day, you still feel like you haven’t get much accomplished.
5. You won’t find balance. Handling two roles at a time requires work and it’s not easy. I couldn’t say balance as it means giving the same amount of time, attention and energy for each. There will always be a time when something’s gotta give.
6. You will always have to make a choice. You wanted to be more present with your kids and family. You also wanted to pursue a passion, a dream or an advocacy. Making decisions will be your constant activity throughout your journey as a mompreneur. Deciding for your business, for your kids/family and deciding between the two.
Being a mompreneur… Struggle is real! Building a successful and sustainable business requires effort, energy and patience. Are you willing to pay the price?
Knowing these realities will help prepare you physically and emotionally. It may also help you decide what age and stage of motherhood you would opt to start your business venture. Fulfilling your role as a mother and pursuing a dream as an entrepreneur is a journey not everyone will take. But to those who did, can be all worth while.
Cheers to all the great mamas of the world who continue to be an inspiration!
Did you encounter any of these juggling truths? What have you realized as a mompreneur? If you’re ready to share the truth, please leave a comment. Help them by sharing the realities of mompreneurship.