As a graphic designer, working remotely and freelancing were already part of my life before I became a mom, and I assumed that kids would fit pretty easily into my lifestyle. I was wrong. Since my son was born, I’ve learned a lot that’s helped me become a better parent and a better business owner. Here are four tips I wish someone had told me before I became a mompreneur.
My mother, like 1 in 6 women in America, is a rape survivor and that is how she began her motherhood journey. She gave up on school and a professional career to be with her kids. There was no dilemma when it came to work and family for my mother. Her top priority was and has always been, her kids. Behind every mother's day is a woman's story. I captured a little bit of my mother's story on The New MORE podcast this week. What is your mother's story?
If you could have more of anything right now what would it be?
If you had asked me that question before I became a mother, I would have had a laundry list of responses; I want more opportunities, more vacations, more money, more clients, more bedrooms, more ... But now when I think about what I want more of, everything boils down to one word — time.
There's always more to do than there is the time to do it. And when you have children it feels like everything is moving at double the pace. Most of us don't notice it, because we're running on autopilot — until life happens and we're forced to step back and reflect on the things we've missed. And the value of time.
Balance in life. Harmony in business. Equality in marriage.In a perfect world, sure.
But Phillip Oakley, founder of Common Giant, a branding and marketing agency in North Carolina, has learned the world is far from perfect and life is far from neat. The father of two has come through significant life changes with a few battle scars — and a fresh perspective on parenting and business.
My clients needed me throughout the day yesterday — as much as any day. There were conference calls and emails galore and a hot project just for good measure. At the end of a jam-packed day, I picked up my son from daycare. I made dinner. I cleaned the kitchen. I went for a walk. I danced to songs from “Frozen” with my kiddo. I engaged in an extended 90-minute bedtime that included six books, two trips to the potty and — oh, I don’t know —a million utterances of, “Close your eyes.”
This is a pretty typical day. But yesterday was International Women’s Day, and as a proud feminist, it seemed like I should do more.
It’s a scene a lot of working parents are familiar with—crib next to crib next to crib, filling an entire room at a daycare center. After six or 12 weeks of maternity leave, you and your partner are faced with the reality of what it means to have two 9-to-5 working parents in the house.
Michael Barnhill couldn’t bear it. “I didn’t want my son in a crib eight hours a day,” he recalls. Barnhill’s wife had a corporate job, but as a co-owner in a company, Barnhill wondered if he could do things a little differently.
Three years ago, I was working for a child-focused nonprofit as a full-time remote employee. Initially, it seemed like the best of both worlds — I was making a regular salary, my commute was a few steps from my kitchen to my office, and I was home to see the kids off to school and welcome them home again.
But I made one crucial mistake in the way I looked at my work and family life: I mistook proximity for closeness.