By Patricia Gonzalez
During my first pregnancy, I believed I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I ready and willing to leave my job and dedicate myself full time to caring for my baby and our home. I had romanticized it, and imagined days of tender hugs and kisses coupled with moments blissful cleaning and cooking. I was fully prepared to hone the Martha Stewart in me and become one of the moms I had been following and admiring on Instagram. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that my reasons for leaving my job may not have been entirely selfless. While it was a wonderful company to work for, I also knew that it was by no means work that inspired me…or work that I could see myself doing for a long time.
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t long after I gave birth that I began to ache for work, as well as need it. Turns out, our family wasn’t quite ready to rely on one income, and so I started looking for opportunities to help my husband support our family. I started writing again, and rediscovered my love for words and stories. I also started a swimwear business with a good friend, who was also a mom who had left her day job, but wanted to put her creative energies and design skills to good use.
So we started @coralswimwearph, a local swimwear and resort wear brand of one piece swimsuits. As new moms, we were looking for swimsuits that were trendy yet tasteful…ones that we knew we would feel comfortable and confident while we were out on the beach….so we decided to make them ourselves. Two years later, we have not only created a profitable business, but also one that we would like to believe has a message that uplifts and inspires women. Long story short, there is no way we would have ever imagined that our business would be where it is today…and we sincerely believe that a huge part of our success is our motherhood.
Have you been playing with the idea of being a mompreneur? Here are a five reason why I think you should give that idea some serious consideration.
If you’re working at a job you want to leave, then the birth of your child is the perfect exit plan…and the good reason you were looking for to start that business you have been dreaming about. Having a baby may just be the reason you need to finally have the courage to leave your job. You will not only be able to relish in the joys (and challenges) of caring for a newborn, but you will also have the time and flexibility to explore work or business prospects that you will find more fulfilling.
Business and babies can be fuel for each other’s success. Is having a baby an obstacle, or a key to success for a successful business/career? And will have a successful business/career make you a better or a worse mom? While the responses to these questions may vary, the desire to financially provide for our children is a powerful motivation to succeed. Conversely, achieving success in your career/business can also provide you with a sense of fulfilment and the emotional wellbeing you need to be an excellent mom. As the saying goes, “when mama is happy, everyone is happy!”
Business is good brain exercise, and a creative outlet. Product development, production management, branding, sales, and marketing are all different parts of the business that require different parts of the brain. This kind of work provides the mental stimulation many moms look for, especially when they find themselves at home and bored when they are caring for their children full time. The ability to feel creative, productive, and organised improves a woman’s emotional wellbeing.
Motherhood provides you with a new skill set that is beneficial to your business. Multi-tasking (the ability to think about and do several things at the same time) is definitely a skill I was able to develop as a young mom. I would breastfeed while answering emails, write articles while having a baby on my lap, and manage several projects at the same (hiring a new helper, running the household, planning a baptism, managing social media, shipping out orders, and writing articles…to name a few). I admit, it was overwhelming in the beginning, but once I was able to adjust, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of things I was able to juggle. In the same way, managing several aspects of a growing business increased my capacity to run my own home in a more efficient way. Creating systems for my business inspired me to create systems for running my home and caring before my family as well.
Motherhood, and business are great ways to “take breaks” from your different roles. Whenever parts of the business would be stressful, my toddlers and their adorable antics would be wonderful ways to disconnect. Laughter is a great stress relief and children are hilarious. Their affection in the forms of hugs, kisses, and sweet words would also soothe my stress. Playing with them pumps me with both the endorphins and the oxytocin to return to work more lighthearted and optimistic. In the same way, working on my business, meeting my sales targets, and even engaging with customers was also a great escape for when I felt like my children were starting to drive me crazy. I noticed that spending even a few hours away to work felt like the break I needed to return to my children re-energized.
If you’re an expectant mother who is on the fence about whether she should continue to work, stay at home and focus on the children, or even do the latter while starting a business or doing freelance work on the side, take the time you need (if your finances allow it) to determine what lifestyle works best for you and for your family.
Every mother and every family is different, but what I want to share with others is that entrepreneurship and motherhood can be compatible. I would even go so far as to say that they can be mutually beneficial. 😉
Patricia Gonzalez is MOMCENTER’s Editor. She has two adorable daughters–ages 1 and 2, and is married to a man who inspires her to be a better woman everyday.
She is a woman on a mission, and believes that motherhood is not limiting, but empowering. Join her on her journey by following her on instagram at @patriciaogonzalez.