May 7, 2015
This Sunday, I’m getting ready to celebrate my first Mother’s Day and, given the long road it took to get us here, that’s something I’m very excited about. Being a mom and an entrepreneur has been a delicate, and oftentimes bumpy, road this first year but time and time again, as I’ve talked with other mom-entrepreneurs, I’ve heard the phrase ‘I’m Just A Mom’ pop up and truthfully, it’s driving me a little crazy. Here’s five reasons why you need to strike that phrase from your vocabulary.
1. Being a mom doesn’t make you any less capable of being a successful entrepreneur. You weren’t always a mom so I’m guessing you have something in your background and/or education that you can draw upon as you run your business. Being a mom also doesn’t mean you can’t research those areas you’re not as confident about and find mentors and advisors to help you.
2. As a mom, you’ve already shown you can do a job akin to doctors and nurses – everyday you manage to keep other human beings alive (no small task on some days!). So stop playing down the skills that motherhood has taught you such as time management and patience.
3. Every time you say “I’m just a mom” you’re minimizing the importance of that job and it reinforces the idea that motherhood is not hard. Every time you say this you’re also downplaying the importance and questioning the intelligence of those who choose to stay home full-time with their children as though ‘just being a mom’ isn’t enough of a title (and workload) itself – which it very much is!
4. As you well know, children are little sponges and every time you repeat this phrase you’re teaching them that motherhood isn’t as important as investment banking or construction or politics or insert another professional. AND you’re teaching them that mothers aren’t smart enough for those positions. Shouldn’t kids feel proud whatever career path they choose (and yes, full-time motherhood is a career path and a highly underpaid one at that).
5. As an entrepreneur, you’re already struggling to look bigger in the eyes of your competitors, vendors, and partners so stop telling them that you’re ‘just a mom.’ In fact, I recommend that if your work schedule is based around your kid’s school, daycare, nap, etc. schedule there’s no reason to go into great detail about that when scheduling meetings or phone calls. Simply tell people when you’re available to meet and don’t couch it with ‘I have to work around little Johnny’s soccer practice.’ You, as a busy entrepreneur, have other commitments and whether that’s with bigwig management teams or your kids isn’t something other people need to know. Figure out what schedule will work for you and don’t make apologies about it.
So to all those moms out there who are also entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs – you are strong, you are capable, you are intelligent, and you’re ready going to rock this world.