When I became a mom, my world turned upside down. I was no longer interested in the same things as before — suddenly the conversations I wanted to have were all about the kids. I was planning my time — my life — around my kids. I wasn’t even thinking about this way, but my mind had two parts: the mom brain and the work brain.
On International Women’s Day, it feels good to take a few moments to think about how far we’ve come — because in a lot of ways, we’ve come pretty far — but it would be shortsighted to stop there.
We need you, a mother, to be a participant in this economy. And while yes, we need you as a conscious consumer, you’re also needed as a business owner. Having more women like you in business has a huge impact on how we ALL live. Research shows that having mothers, in business helps us drive down the poverty rate. We’re more likely to invest more locally and focus on innovation. Plus, mothers tend to thrive off actively supporting one another’s businesses. (We love that last part!)
This is why I am so focused on building the mom economy. We need to create a safe space for you to discuss your challenges — for you to explore what works for you when you balance work and family. Finding that balance can be one of the most painful aspects of being a mother with a business. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to ease that pain and make sure that all parts of your life are fulfilling and thriving.
Running a business as a mother is a marathon, not a 50-yard dash. Mom entrepreneurs understand that we have to balance work and family throughout the journey of being a business owner.
Here are my top tips that have helped me keep balanced and keep going on my own journey.
Remember those days before you had kids when sleep was an actual 8+ hour event, meeting up with friends resulted in long, unfurling conversations into the night; and you actually took care of your body and mind? The gym was non-negotiable and you diligently worked on your business or career, all while ensuring you had downtime. Maybe your idea of a date night was actually an every other day event where you shared your hopes and dreams with a partner you adored? And of course, you looked immaculate because investing in how you look was a pleasure and a reflection of your life. Sure, life wasn’t perfect, but you had the luxury of focusing on yourself.
Picture this: a company posts a listing for a Head of Operations position. The job requires 135+ hours of work weekly, requires the employee to be on call 24/7, and demands that the candidate be knowledgeable in psychology, medicine, personal finance, the culinary arts and also basic technological skills. Physical requirements include the ability to stand for hours, lift up to 75 pounds, and be constantly moving, operating on little to no sleep.
On March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Though it’s not particularly well known in the US, it started here in 1909 as a labor protest. Observed all over the world, International Women’s Day is a day of action, in which organizations all over the world hold themed events to honor women’s contributions. This year, the UN’s theme is “Women in the Changing World of Work.” And an International Women’s Day coalition of businesses is themed #BeBoldForChange.