Let’s not kid ourselves here. There’s no such thing as an entrepreneur who does things the easy way. Why? Because we love a challenge, we love to learn and above all, we love to see how far we can push the envelope! When it comes to motherhood, these traits tend to go hand in hand. Parenting is an ongoing challenge and learning experience. So why not blend the two?
If you’re currently a mompreneur (mom + entrepreneur = mompreneur), you’ll appreciate this lifestyle write up. If you’re considering jumping in with both feet to the insanity, you’ll appreciate the heads up of what’s to come your way!
The easiest way to put it is this…
Starting a business is like having a baby. The idea grows in your mind similar to being pregnant. You begin to put those ideas to work to form something you pray will come out ok in the end. You think about it ALL the time. You spend hours day and night working to create something tangible. Once you’ve formed your new company, it’s like giving birth. The awe of “I can’t believe I did that!” with the sleepless nights of yet more ideas for growth combine to develop a passion for this non-human life form. Then there’s the learning stage. It’s a curve far greater than you ever imagined and you begin to wonder how many time outs you’ll need to survive. At the same time, tiny spurts of magic happen that push you to keep going hoping in the end it will all be worth it. There are ups and downs, tears of heartache and happiness. Just like raising a family. You get the idea.
During all this time spent learning your company, you are still a mom. There are endless jobs associated with being a parent but this special job of being crowned “mother” carries with it responsibilities that can rarely be conducted by anyone else. All those things floating around in your brain pertaining to your recent start-up is jumbled up with cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, sports, music lessons, homework, graduations, college applications, annual checkups for medical, dental and vision and all this for a family of six, or at least in my world!
No, I definitely did NOT choose the easy road.
But I DID choose the road less traveled, the one no one tells you about. This journey does not come with instructions. It is not about balance. It sucks the life out of you at times. In fact, there are moments you can’t decide what you’d rather do, spend time with your family or work on your business. I know it sounds arbitrary, but it really is all part of having this unique brain and putting life into perspective. I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been on the phone with media personnel, a customer, or a wholesaler while driving to the school, doctor’s office or even having just scolded one of my kids not 30 seconds prior to answering the phone. It happens. I can’t tell you the countless times I was breastfeeding or making dinner and suddenly had to respond to a customer’s email or was asked to quickly approve an ad for a new marketing campaign. This is madness in motion. And I can honestly tell you it took nearly four years since purchasing the dot com for me to learn how to prioritize.
I personally have a tendency to over commit and wear too many hats.
Once I realized this (I caution you to take heed to my advice here), my life became easier. No, it’s not easy street, but it IS less chaotic. I have four major priorities and I make them fit into my daily life (or as much as is humanly possible given the fact that I am, first and foremost, a mom). They are God, family, career and fitness. I generally get the rest I need and workout regularly. We go to church on Sunday mornings and date nights happen at least once a month (not nearly often enough though!). We spend time with our kids, plan our menus, our grocery shopping and our housecleaning. It’s not balance that makes this work. It’s order, preference and positive daily choices to continue forward.
The Pink Store LLC has been eight years in the making since inception of the idea and last fall our youngest son started college. This coming fall our little Phoebe starts kindergarten. It will be a bitter sweet moment. I am thoroughly looking forward to the time I will get daily to work on the company I started yet I will miss my princess sidekick. I will never regret the money lost or time spent with my kids due to making the decision to stay home with them. Financially, it has not been easy and I highly doubt I’d be considered in the circle of successful entrepreneurs as of yet. But I can tell you this, my company will grow nonetheless and my children will always know how much I love them. So if you’re struggling with how to make it all work, just remember to take it day by day. Do the best you can, put your family at the top of your priority list and keep your shoulder available for me to cry on as I too am still living this dream of mompreneur and at times may need to be reminded to take my own advice.