Fast forward a few years.
Fast forward to finishing up my billing and preparing my quarterly taxes in the hospital the day before I was scheduled to have my son.
Fast forward to creating some quick “summer sale” promos from my preemie’s bedside in the NICU because I was in dire need of a cash infusion.
Fast forward to sleepless nights, exhausted days, pumping every 3 hours, replying to emails, working on projects and wanting to crash as I could barely make my way up the stairs every night.
Fast forward to today where my active 11 month old requires constant supervision because he will get into anything and everything. Where trying to quickly finish a project on my laptop means I have a curious little busy body trying to play with the keys or touch the screen. Where replying to emails has to be done in secret with my back turned so my little guy doesn’t see the phone…because once he sees his target, he’s like a heat seeking missile and no amount of distraction will stop him from wanting to grab said item and put it in his mouth.
Thankfully, we sleep trained and he usually has great naps during the day and thankfully, grandma lives up the street and comes to take care of him when I need to work uninterrupted.
So for all intents and purposes, I am a #mompreneur.
There. I said it.
The dirty M word.
I don’t usually refer to myself as a mompreneur but the mere existence of the word, and what it means to those of us in the thick of it, has made it much easier to find other moms who run businesses – many of whom face the same challenges and issues that I do.
Let’s take the writing of this blog post as an example. I started it while he was napping. He has since woken up. I need to stop writing and hope I remember my train of thought for when I come back to it. [Btw, no project is ever done in its entirety anymore. There is always an interruption.] I bring him downstairs and place him in the enclosed area where he can play, which is about 70% baby proof. I am in the kitchen making a bottle. He is quiet, which should have been an indication that he has gotten himself into the 30% that isn’t baby proof. I bring him his bottle only to see him standing by the side table reaching for the floor lamp with a knocked over half-full cup of coffee, which is now all over the rug and couch cushion. As you can see, there is extra juggling and a new set of expectations [that are initially really hard to come to terms with] now that a child has entered the picture.
Yes, I work from home as well as stay home with my baby. I chose this because I want to be with him while he’s little. These disruptions are par for the course. They are the trade off for the “luxury” of staying home. Sometimes I feel isolated, sometimes I am exasperated, sometimes I am exhausted, but every day I am grateful that I am able to do this.
For me, the word (and hashtag) Mompreneur has become a beacon for quickly finding my new tribe to more easily access helpful resources, share tips on productivity, offer insights on scheduling and dealing with the needs of a baby while also juggling a business. Sure, I could look up “women who have small children and run a business from home”. Or because ain’t nobody got time for that, I can just look up #mompreneur.
Lastly, if the word mompreneur is seen as a woman who runs a business but prioritizes her children, then sign me up – it’s a freaking badge of honour as far as I’m concerned.
I don’t quite understand how it has become perceived so negatively. Now that I’m living it, I personally, find it empowering. There’s nothing cutesy about it. We CHOSE to not only have children, but to run a business alongside it. All done on our own terms, in whatever way works for us and our families.
ps. I don’t really care if men who are dads don’t call themselves dadpreneuers (which fyi, I have heard on occasion). If my partner decided to stay home and run a business while simultaneously caring for our small child, then he might use the word (and hashtag) dadpreneur to find others in the same situation should he need to. And maybe he wouldn’t. But what does it matter?