I read an article recently which discussed the term “mumpreneur”. I have to get it out there – I really don’t like it. It seems to be the new “it” term for describing a woman who has kids and also has her own business. Yes, I have two kids, a dog and a mortgage. So do a lot of other people in the world. It isn’t gender specific.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m immensely proud of my children but the fact I’m a mother doesn’t define me or my business. I love numbers. I felt like that before I had children. Being able to fit my working week around other things such as sports day – that’s a bonus that I allow myself because I choose to. I have a friend who runs a business which she works around her commitment to going to the gym – that’s her thing. Do I think having children has made me better at what I do? Oh yes. That’s life experience though, and we all have that in different ways and to varying degrees.
So apparently two thirds of mothers with children under 10 are entertaining the idea of going into business in the new few years (see link below). I would imagine that the same amount of dads would entertain the idea too – were they asked? Running your own business is really hard work. The hours you put in never equal the amount of “billable hours” and every day taken off is done so with extreme guilt. This feeling isn’t limited to mums in business, it’s experienced by anyone who has a business. The business itself is your “baby” – you want it to grow up healthily, with ambition and vision.
I don’t think I feel degraded by the term mumpreneur, but I just shudder at the need to use the word “mum” in anything to do with work. My son came out with a corker the other day – “Mum, did you know, girls are nurses and boys are doctors?” I almost choked on my coffee! That notion he has picked up, wherever he heard it, proves that these pre-conceived ideas of people and their roles in life are still out there. The thing is, I wouldn’t use the word “entrepreneur” to describe myself either – I’m a person with a business, I don’t feel I need a label to get through the day! I have work relationships with people who have children, male and female – being a parent doesn’t define how they run their businesses – they do. I haven’t seen any of my male business owner friends suddenly calling themselves “dadpreneurs”.
We are what we are – business owners. We all bring to the table what we have that makes us, and our businesses, unique. My business isn’t about being a mum, nor do I work primarily with mums so, for me, the term “mum” is irrelevant. I’m a firm believer in each to their own, so if the term “mumpreneur” empowers someone and that label gives them confidence then that’s great, but it’s not for me.
If I was asked to describe myself I’d use the word “Caroline”. Life is a balancing act – we are all balancing different things. I’m a business owner, a mother, a business partner and lots of other things in between. Mostly though, I’m Caroline. Discuss!
This blog is my response to this article