(First posted on my old website, February 2017)
It’s a funny word, ‘mumpreneur’ isn’t it? A woman juggling motherhood with running her own business.
…Which is what I do, and so why I chose it as my third category to enter in this year’s Kent Women in Business Awards. It isn’t a word I would have especially used about myself before now, but now that I have, I rather like it! I am indeed running my own business, and aiming to keep growing it, alongside looking after our three young children (with the support of my husband).
There is a national trend for more and more mums setting up their own businesses, and I’m not surprised given the cost of childcare and (despite improvements) the lack of flexible jobs that work around school hours and school holidays. To be able to work part time, and/or from home, it is far easier to do that for yourself than find an employer.
I was able to go back to work part time after my first daughter arrived, because I already had a job that knew me, and due to help with childcare from both grandmothers. But the project came to an end during my second maternity leave, and I realised that it would be difficult to find a new part time job that would pay enough to cover childcare for two and still be worth doing, and pretty impossible by the time we had three children! And so I decided to try turning my photography sideline into a business, and became a mumpreneur.
Working for myself means I can be there around school runs, for school events, holidays, and when they’re ill. My main challenge as a mumpreneur is to manage my time effectively, to ensure I can give excellent service to all my customers, clients and stockists, to run my business, fit in new photography, spend time with the children, keep on top of the housework, and avoid working every evening and weekend so that I see my husband too! Fortunately my time on my business is usually quite flexible, and so it works really well around the children. Plus I am lucky that I have great grandparents and fantastic friends to help out when needed, and a husband who is happy to spend time with the children at weekends and on holiday whilst I work.
Organisation and lists are definitely key! A local support network, before and after school clubs, and my own space at home to work in without being distracted by loads of washing etc are all really helpful. It can take time to build up a business, so the support of your family is important. Running your own business is far more time-consuming than a job that you can leave at the office, but it is really rewarding as you have achieved it all by yourself.
Woohoo, I won Runner Up Mumpreneur of the Year!! Read more and see photos of the event on my blog here – Kent Women in Business Awards
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(All photos from 2016, with thanks to my sister and a friend for the family shots).
Musings on being a Mumpreneur