Motherhood is complex. Creating life is beautiful, but it’s also the hardest challenge a human can face. Below are some ideas and inspiration with the hopes of providing any support or inspiration to mom entrepreneurs out there.
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Motherhood is complex. Creating life is beautiful, but it’s also the hardest challenge a human can face. Raising children is joyful, but it’s also heart-wrenching in ways you never could have imagined. Just like there is no playbook for being a mother, there is certainly no playbook for how to balance being an effective mother and entrepreneur. Maybe that’s because there is no right answer. For many entrepreneurs, this means a constant battle or sense of guilt when choosing where to prioritize your time between your two loves — your family and your organization. The range and depth of emotions can feel like an insurmountable burden for women who choose to be both a mom and an entrepreneur.
Oftentimes, entrepreneurs are hesitant to become pregnant because of the fear of removing themselves from the organizations they have built. Many want to take off the least amount of time possible and spend a lot of energy “hiding” or downplaying their pregnancies so that it doesn’t impact their business or peoples’ perspectives about their ability to run an organization. The burden of being an entrepreneur with the responsibility of motherhood is more than most men would be capable of imagining — not to mention the pure physical challenge of creating life — but men are the ones most often responsible for investing in businesses or creating legislation.
With the world reopening, refocusing on motherhood and entrepreneurship is imperative. What does it look like now that we’re all going back? What does motherhood look like? What does motherhood while running a business look like?
Sara Potler LaHayne, CEO of Move This World, raised capital while she was pregnant — twice. In the past year she has had to navigate work and home together, and these are some tips I’ve picked up from her on how we can make the most of subpar policy and support female founders:
Ask for — and accept — help
There is no shame in stating what you need. Knowing how it feels, other moms and entrepreneurs will step up to support you, but only if they know you need it.
You can do it all, but do you have to? Help relieve your own cognitive load by delegating what others can do for you, versus what you need to do yourself. By doing this, you’re also empowering somebody else and freeing up space for you to do the important tasks that only you can handle.
Own your time, and advocate for what you need
Time blocking can be essential. Making sure you carve out time for self-care is essential. If you are not filling up your own cup, you will not be able to fill up the cups of others — personally or professionally. Give time and attention to your full self, outside of being a leader and a mother. Stay connected to what makes you happy.
Find your allies
Your tribe is everything. Other moms, entrepreneurs, virtual communities, and especially now, in-person gatherings, will be crucial to helping you find the support you need.
Build a team of investors and advisors who are true partners and value you as a human being
The people who invest in you have a lot of power and sway over the direction of your business. Choose them wisely. Make sure your values are aligned. Make sure your goals are the same. And ultimately, make sure they have an understanding and deep level of respect for who you are as a woman, a mother and a business owner.