Do you know what ‘mompreneurship' is? Better yet, do you think it's worth it?
Being a parent requires you to wear many hats. Throwing a side business on top of full-time parenting takes the many-hattedness to a whole new level.
Many parents, especially moms, find part-time entrepreneurship helpful for both financial and sanity purposes.
“I know this sounds terrible, but it’s nice to feel like I’m not just wiping someone’s rear all the time. I like helping other people who aren’t my kids sometimes,” explains Caitlin Guy, a mom of two, who recently started Oaks Doula Services to provide birth support to women in the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina. Caitlin started her business as a way to earn some income and to give herself more opportunities to get out of the house.
Although Caitlin enjoys spending most of her time with her kids, she found that she functions better when she has a bit of time away from them. She loves being able to nurture her passion for moms and babies who aren’t her own.
However, building a side business is a lot of work, and it can take away from the balanced family dynamics that many couples want when one parent decides to stay home.
According to Caitlin, the biggest drawback to starting a business is the amount of time that it takes. Also, she notes how difficult it is to strike a balance between focusing on her work and focusing on her family. Mompreneurship implies that the two jobs go hand in hand, but that often isn't the case.
Sarah Luddy is a virtual assistant and mom of three. She explained that she got into business after her oldest daughter started attending school full-time.
Sarah thought she would have more time to do work with her daughter in school, but she hasn’t found that to be the case.
She says, “Time has just shifted. I still have a bit of time during the day. But now I have to help my daughter with homework in the evening.” In the future, Sarah and her husband want to create a proper business, so that they can share income responsibility more equally. But Sarah doesn’t think that will happen until all three kids are in school full-time.
Likewise, Dana Haynes, a photographer, also strikes a difficult balance between her kids and her business. The heavy workload and the extra income come with a price.
She confessed to “feeling constantly overwhelmed, so I don't always feel present with my kids.”
As solo mompreneurs, Caitlin, Sarah, and Dana have to create business plans, organize client communication, execute the work, and attend to various needs of their businesses. As moms, they attend to their kids. They keep them fed and clothed, and focus on their education and entertainment. They consider themselves the primary homemakers in their family.
Running a Business or Self Employed? This Online Accountant is Designed to Support You >>
Despite their hectic schedules, Dana, Sarah, and Caitlin believe that they're better parents as a result of their mompreneurship. Dana explains, “Having more to do makes me more intentional at home. I’m better about keeping up with housework, and I focus on having quality time.”
All three women described their work as an outlet that satisfies them in a way that spending all day with kids cannot.
From a financial perspective, building a side business leads to different degrees of success. Dana’s business fills an important financial need for her family. She aspires to grow the business even further. Caitlin keeps her work limited to two births every six weeks. She views her income as “a little bit of extra spending money that gives me just a little more autonomy.” Sarah’s business is financially helpful, but she works primarily to help develop skills and insights that she will need to start her full-time business later on.
Mompreneurship can offer the best and worst of family and work life.
It’s difficult to balance the needs of their businesses with the needs of their kids. However, the income potential, the creative outlet, and the ability to occasionally work away from their kids makes entrepreneurship the best option for the time being.