Some business mums don’t like to be called ‘mumpreneur’ because it suggests a woman who has a little hobby business that fits in around her family. I don’t see it that way at all.
For me the word ‘mumpreneur’ represents freedom from a full-time career where we pay through the nose for our children to be care for by someone else. An alternative to part-time work that is often poorly paid and doesn’t make use of our talents. A chance to step outside traditional employment that doesn’t work for most mothers of young children and do it our own way.
Now I know we need to be careful that the labels we choose don’t limit us – that’s always a risk. But mums do have different challenges and needs to other business owners. Often, we’re drawn to business because other options for earning a living aren’t working, rather than for the love of business itself. And we’re drawn to business at a time when we’re short of cash, energy and time. So we need all the support we can get from each other. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t passionate and committed to what we do. For me it’s the opposite, any time I spend away from my children has to be time well-spent. I may work part-time hours, but those hours are more productive than when I was a childless full-time worker.
So why not see ourselves as business owners who just happen to have children? Having a term to describe ourselves that intrigues others and even promotes debate helps make us more visible. It helps to change the perception that just because we fit our work around children, we’re somehow less committed or reliable. The days when women in business felt they had to pretend they didn’t have young children are changing – we can’t get to breakfast networking groups easily, so we’re setting up daytime groups with creches.
If we can show other mums who are unhappily stuck in a job that isn’t working for them that there is another option, then having a label is fine with me. The word ‘mumpreneur’ need only limit us if we let it.
(Check out www.whosthemummy.co.uk for more on the mumpreneur discussion)