Fits and Starts of Mompreneurship
I knew starting a business would be challenging. Hard, even. I knew it would consume me at some level if I was doing it right.
I grew up in a family of business owners. My parents ran a construction company, a laundromat and a self-storage business while I was growing up; one business continues today even as they move into retirement. My grandparents on both sides ran businesses – a John Deere franchise and a trucking company. Even some of my great grandparents ran businesses.
Suffice to say, entrepreneurship is in my blood. So I knew it would be hard.
What I didn’t know is how hard it would be to start a business at the “perfect time” in my life. Possibly the only time I would have the chance: while my kids are very young and I’m home with them.
It’s not to say I couldn’t have done it if I was working a “day job”, but honestly I don’t know how I would survive that. Kuddos to any one who has pulled that off. I’d have to live on even less sleep and five to six hours is already pushing it for me.
The hardest part about it, though, isn’t what I would have ever expected.
It’s not that I am learning and doing brand new things every single day and in every single facet of my business. It’s not that I’m blazing new trails (pun intended) to create a new niche in an already niche market. It’s not the uncertainty, per se, or the challenge of deciding whether to do A or B (or J or Z) next because there’s always many more ideas than time to implement. It’s not even the TWO non-winters in a row since I started.
No, it’s not those things I might have expected. Those things keep me at this little adventure. Those things have become my fuel, I’ve discovered, and are empowering.
No, the hardest part is the balance. And I’m not talking work-life balance. In my former life as a Human Resources professional, I delved into the topic of work-life balance and tried to help myself and others with this elusive goal.
The kind of balance I struggle with as a business owner and mother is different. And unexpected.
This balance is a delicate dance between wanting so, SO badly to charge forward. To make things happen and put ALL of my ideas into action. To dig in and really get some momentum building.
It’s a balance between all that drive to achieve and make progress and being OK with baby steps. Quite literally in some ways as I do my most important work on this earth as Mom to my two-and-a-half and four-year-old boys.
But darn it if that isn’t hard many days!
It’s this very dramatic tug-o-war that results in what feels like a series of fits and starts for Snowmobaby. One week everyone is healthy, the stars align for the sitter schedule and you see several posts from me on Facebook and Instagram. I get some things checked off my list and I feel like a Rockstar.
Then……….the stomach bug hits our house and I go silent for days as I manage puke bowls and towels, fever checks, nighttime wakes ups and my own sickness. Until…finally, the bowls and towels return to their original homes and purposes and I am able to carve out some work time again.
I know every parent out there gets this – we all go through it in our own way, no matter what our work/life situation is. Kids add a level of uncertainty to our lives that just can’t be planned for. And that is, for sure, part of their magic and beauty.
But as a business owner and professional; someone who is driven to produce results and who sees so many opportunities and has so many ideas – this reality of starting and stopping and starting and stopping – it’s really hard.
Some days it makes me want to give up. Some days it doesn’t feel worth bothering to try to keep it all going (especially when the stomach bug makes several rounds through the house and keeps things out of whack of over TWO weeks!).
But when I do finally get to sit down and really dig in again – even if only for a few hours – I am renewed. My enthusiasm for making my ideas come to life – for sharing a passion with thousands of others – floods right back in. And you hear from me again.
This post is as much a glimpse into my reality, which is not at all unlike many of yours, I am sure, as it is a reminder to myself that it’s hard and that’s OK. I never thought it wouldn’t be. I just didn’t know it would be hard in this way.And that’s OK too.
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