Let’s Celebrate Mother’s Mind Day

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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.

Just before my second daughter was born, I started my own business and had seven people working for me. When I was at work every day, I needed to devote my mind to work, and when I came home I was all-consumed by my newborn and a five-year-old.

At least I thought that was how my mind was supposed to work.

The reality is, I had (and still have) one mind and not two. And guess what? When I was at work, I couldn’t stop thinking about my baby at home. My mind was racing: did the nanny remember to give her the bottle at 10:15 and put her down to nap at noon? Should I call and check in?

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Years passed, and now my kids are teens. I don't need to fuss about the nanny anymore, but somehow other thoughts sneak into my mind. While I’m writing this post from my desk, I am worried that my daughter didn't ask her teacher if she can write a college recommendation — should I text her again to remind her? (My kids don't pick up the phone. Is it just my kids?) How much I should push? She needs to own it!

Can you tell my mom brain is all over the place?!

So here’s my point: on Mother's Day, I want to celebrate the Mother’s Mind. I know everyone is always telling us to balance our lives — to focus on work when you are in the office, be present when you are with your kids and don't forget to take care of yourself.

Here is the truth. I can’t do it.

I tried and I kind of don't want to do it anymore. I want to build my business and leave my mind as it is. I want to accept her, and what she needs to think and feel. Let her be who she wants to be.

(My mind is a she by the way. And she is pretty creative when I let her think and feel with no barriers or judgment.)

I am the first one to admit that my kids can stress me out. They challenge me for sure, but they are also my source of love, creativity, determination, and optimism. Do you agree that these four qualities are critical to building a successful business?

Now here is where it gets tricky: you have got to give your mind permission to fly when she needs to. I took it to the next level when I founded Pepperlane to help moms make an income on their own terms. We want to make moms proud to put their business name on their card along with the title of mom, because I honestly believe that Motherhood Is Good for Business.

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On Mother’s Mind Day, let’s all agree to fly high and fulfill our dreams.

The rules for moms in business were not written by moms, so it’s time to define our own collective path. This is how we do it at Pepperlane:

  • We share success by helping each other. We believe in giving first and paying it forward.
  • We do it on our own terms. It’s time to change the definition of success, so any mom can decide what success means for her. A good mom and entrepreneur can work five hours a week or fifty.
  • We believe in kindness. We’re on a mission to build a better world for mothers by caring for each other and lifting each other up.
  • We celebrate and promote inclusion. I am so proud to see mothers from all backgrounds, ages and races join us to build our movement. We have new moms, empty nesters, expecting moms, grandmas and women who passionately believe in our mission. Anyone can join us!
I want to wrap up by taking the time to highlight a group of moms that have touched my heart — the single mothers who have joined our movement. I have watched your journeys on Pepperlane and some of you shared with me your very painful, personal and beautiful stories. I watched you go through bad days and good days, I was excited to see how you discovered your passion. You put your trust in our hands to help you to develop your path. I admire each one of you every day!

Happy Mother’s Mind Day!

Sharon Kan

Written by Sharon Kan

Sharon is a mother of two daughters. She built 4 startups that were acquired by Oracle, Microsoft, Infor and Barnes & Noble. She co-founded WIN, the Women Innovating Now Lab at Babson College to help female entrepreneurs start their businesses. Over the course of her career, Sharon has mentored over 150 female CEOs and business owners. One fact about Sharon that you won't guess: she loves to skateboard when no one is watching.

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