Reality of 'mumpreneurs'
I HATE the word "mumpreneur”. At least its preceeding title, "supermum” sounded human.
But mostly I dislike any title that tends to pigeon-hole women. Do working dads get the same treatment?
Still, a growing number of women I know are not just primary care-givers but are spruiking clothing, marketing, linen, jewellery, stationery, life coaching, design, photography and so much more, through their social media network.
It's fantastic to know that a woman can stay home raising her children and simultaneously create a stream of income for the family home. It provides a creative outlet which isn't finger-painting or chiselling play-dough out of the carpet.
But it's also bloody hard work.
And I don't think it's portrayed particularly well. Maybe mumpreneurs in the limelight are reluctant to put too fine a point on the madness that goes on behind the gorgeous products they produce.
Allow me to go first.
I work three days a week from home working for a regional newspaper. I also have two novels available and a third is hopping up and down frantically in my peripheral vision, which I'm doggedly ignoring while I raise my third baby.
On a good day I can organise myself into a multi-tasking machine. I'll meet deadlines, write, make calls, whip up a Book Week costume, put lunch on the table and feel fantastic.
Even as I pound out this column, I can tell my daughter that her fingers hurt because she ate pineapple out of the fridge (when she thought I wasn't looking) and that she'll be okay.
If it were a bad day, she could have been screaming about sore fingers and I, stressed with a deadline and without the space required to think straight, could have screeched back and then, most likely, cried.
Like so much of parenting, being a "mumpreneur” has the potential to get ugly on a day-to-day basis.
I've learned that most days, you're doing a better job of one than the other.
If you're consoling a sick child, chances are you're not getting any work done. And if you're swamped with orders or requests, then your kids are probably running around outside naked. Maybe that's just my kids.
A friend asked me: "Is this what we're doing now?” Is being just a mother no longer enough?
Being a mum can be hard enough. Women shouldn't feel the need to add to an already busy life.
But running a household plus a business is not impossible, if it's what you want to do. It needs serious consideration. It's not as simple as starting up a Facebook page and letting the dollars roll in.
I would advise any mother starting up her own business to really look at what time she has available and be honest to her clientele - and, more importantly, herself.
Don't slip into the trap of agreeing to everything as you "get yourself set up”. Budget your precious time carefully.
Accept the fact it will not always run smoothly.
And if combining motherhood with business makes you happy - then you're on the right track.
Peta-Jo is an author and mother of three and currently listening to My Little Pony. Visit petajo.com or her page on Facebook.