The (Ugly) Reality About Being A Mompreneur
So you thought this entrepreneur thing would be all glitz and glam? That you’d finally get a full 8 hours of sleep while running your empire and keeping up with your weekly facials? The life of a successful, thriving mompreneur sporting slick hair, an impeccable manicure and the latest Louboutins...
Fast-forward into the real entrepreneurial world, and here you are: broken nails, hanging over the dinner casserole as you’re about to drop your cell phone in the pan while yelling at your nightmarish customer. Did you just get that mental picture? Yes, it’s that of a successful mompreneur juggling kids, dinnertime, broken nails, and a hopefully growing empire.
Truth is, I no longer want to hear about entrepreneurship as this safe haven for all our childhood dreams — especially as a tired mom who can’t seem to convince my youngest to abide to daily showering for cleanliness sake, or get my primer to actually keep the doggone makeup on for more than a couple of hours.
The reality is that for most mompreneurs out there, glitz and glam are as elusive as shaving every week (especially in the winter). Unless you’ve reached mogul status — in which case you still have to bribe your kids not to pull your fancy earrings or drop tapioca pudding in your Victoria’s Secret fine bra — you’re struggling.
You’re struggling to get everybody in and out of the shower with clean teeth and semi-clean bodies (trust me, there is no foolproof way of checking every one of the little crevices). You’re struggling to type the next blog post while dear daughter is painting your toe nails with kiddie nail polish. And you’re struggling to finish that client project when everyone else in the house is snoring, and your eyes are arguing with you to shut down once and for all (and you know the suckers will win).
Nothing against “dad-preneurs” or “male-preneurs” everywhere, but there’s something about putting together two life missions like motherhood and entrepreneurship/following your calling/heeding the call that makes it a unique and oh-so demanding combination. It’s not like you can clock out at 5pm, shut off that "work” compartment and go have “family time.”
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re breathing entrepreneurship. And if you’re a mom, you’re breathing motherhood. If you’re both, you’re constantly catching your breath as you’re running from one demand to the other. No bathroom breaks here.
What I’ve learnt about being an air-deprived mompreneur with toes painted with kiddie nail polish can be summarized in three easy bullet points (because there’s no time for more, really).
Glamour? What Glamour?
Let’s start with a quick reality check. There’s something about entrepreneurship that has this “never finished” quality. Which means the whole glamorous side of it, including sitting at a well-organized desk, surrounded by positive affirmations and healthy lemon water? Not so much. It’s the stuff of well-lit Instagram posts that aim to convince you that being a mompreneur is so seductive.
Instead, what you really may deal with may range from not having time to shower, and taking client calls while holding the baby in one arm and stirring the dinner pot with the other. Because entrepreneurship is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle, unlike traditional 9-to-5 that can be left behind after hours. And for moms, it happens to add onto an already packed schedule.
It gets easier!
After the first glum reality check, let’s add that it does get easier. The biggest hurdle as to being a mompreneur is setting a more or less flexible schedule to adhere to on a daily basis. And that requires time to fine-tune all your obligations, appointments and to-do’s into a somewhat harmonized day, all the while managing to get decent sleep and comb your hair every now and again.
The part when it gets easier is when you get better at planning your days, making room for the unexpected, and making peace with not hitting all your goals all the time. Oh, and rewarding yourself, too, for all those times you make it to the finish line with the same shoes on each foot.
You get better all around!
Did I mention being a mompreneur is a lifestyle all in itself? Which also means it requires you to integrate all the different parts of your life into a coherent whole, while making sure everyone’s fed, bathed, dressed and not left behind.
The great thing about going through the hardships of being a mompreneur is that these teach you invaluable tools to manage chaos. This means you get mentally tougher, you execute better, and you learn to discern the priorities from the not-so-important stuff.
Does it all come at once? Certainly not. It’s going to be a long-term trial-and-error type of thing. But in the end, or as you joyfully spring somewhere towards the light at the end of the tunnel, it all becomes clearer. What matters, what does not, and what really needs to go… And that’s the gift!
What has been your reality as a mompreneur?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sis
Solange Lopes is an author, CPA and writer/blogger. She blogs about career and lifestyle for professional women in her blog The Corporate Sister. She’s passionate about writing and women’s issues.
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