How high can mums go in business?

By : Forum Moderator
Published 4th December 2017 |
Read latest comment - 5th December 2017

Can you really be a good mum and run a  successful business? This is the perpetual question I ask myself every time I have to sacrifice time with my kids to work. I should also say this could include dads as well, before I am accused of being sexist, but I can only speak from a women's point of view. But back to the question, I think the answer is YES!

The whole reason I wanted to work for myself in the first place was so I could be there for my children, be there whenever they needed me. In the beginning that was full-time for me, every day, my daughter didn't start nursery until the funding started for her in January 2017 and by that time I had my son (born 2016) so I have never had much time to work Mon-Fri in the 'usual' hours. I now use childcare for them both as I have mentioned on here before, this wasn't an easy decision to come to, but both are flourishing. 

So business is going well, I have grown slowly, this was intentional. I can't drop everything to work on days I have one or both children and I would never want to let anyone down, but I can and do stay up late or work all weekend to get things done. So know your limits. Growth in a business is great but you can control it so don't go crazy and remember why you're doing it in the first place!

I have also learnt that you can't do everything.  I rarely turn down work but it is okay to say no! You can't be everything to everyone and sometimes you have to prioritise your family and let some income go. It is better to say no rather than take something on then have to extend a deadline or worst case scenario not complete an order or service, this will damage your business.

Self-care is really important and you will be busy with work or your children all the time if you let that happen. Carve out some time for yourself when you can, don't be available 24/7, no-one in business expects that. It can be hard to stop yourself checking emails etc. but make sure you switch off from work (and maybe social media altogether) after a certain time or at set points in the day/week.

I am planning on blogging more about my struggles with parenting in business but it's hard to know how honest to be, some of my childless friends have declared they will never have children after hearing how little sleep I have had in the last four years. 

So the bottom line is, it's not easy, but you CAN do it and the limit is only what you set for yourself!

 


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Anarchy is as detestable in grammar as it is in society. Maurice Druon.
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I might be a lot of things ,but am a firm believer in thinking anyone should be allowed to do it for themselves. I would also prefer to have a woman do what ever it is that I need doing , as I know they will do the job correctly and possibly better than a male


Great topic, but can't help being a little mischievous  

I think the post title "how high can mums go in business?" will be viewed with amusement in 5 - 10 years, as society progresses, stereotypes slide away and people who choose to work for themselves and adopt a flexible work pattern just get on with it, kids or no kids, male or female, white, black or green.

We live in such a different age to our parents. Technology is literally reshaping the world around us, from the High Street, to working practices, types of jobs, even politics, social fabric and culture.

In the next 10 - 15 years we will have automated vehicles, new technology that will make teams more virtual and flexible working will be the norm not the exception. Whole industries will change for ever. People currently worry about what people will do, but the reality is jobs will evolve. They will become more interesting and flexible, whole industries and job types have yet to be created. Race, gender or child care won't be the issue, it will be capability and are you available for work and what hours.

The 1950's family has gone for good. We all know people who hanker after the good old days, but I think that mindset and view is disappearing with the outgoing generations.

Running a business isn't easy, neither is raising children. But both are incredibly satisfying and I think they have the ability to complement each other. Finding that balance is tough, something I'm still working at.

I've told my two girls they can do anything they set their sights to, although that currently that ranges from popstar to being an astronaut. They'll join the labour market in around 10 years time, so hopefully by then any final stereotypes will have been stamped out. I also hope some of the bra burning feminism has disappeared and people are just people.

OK, maybe 20 years 


Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

Haha well I didn't want a boring title, it was a little tongue in cheek as I agree that things are changing, gradually. The traditional family set up is evolving and the lack of quality part-time jobs is pushing people to start up on their own. Love it or loathe it network marketing businesses have given people, mostly women, a way to do this. 

I'd love to live in a world without stereotypes and gender expectations but you only have to look down the toy or clothing aisle to realise there's a long way to go yet! I'll certainly tell my daughter she can be who she wants to be, and my son, although I think they both want to be princesses this week. 


Thanks, Rebecca, Proofreader Extraordinaire
Anarchy is as detestable in grammar as it is in society. Maurice Druon.
Pay for Precision | Proofreading, copy-editing & copywriting.