A New Era of Motherhood Alongside of Business
I have a lot of thoughts about this one–a new era of motherhood alongside of business. It couldn’t have been an accident. My sister and one of my best friends brought up the same motherhood topic on the same day. That’s usually a sign to me that I need to pay attention and dive deeper.
My friend, Mackenna, sent me a text with a picture of Angela from the Office (Angela Kinsey) in between shoots while they were taping the show. She was pushing her toddler daughter around on a bike. Mackenna text me, “I want to see more content about the reality of being a working mom in different industries. How do I make that happen? Like literally just how does it look to be a working mom day to day?”
About an hour before, I was on a call with my sister, Lyndsay who is the mayor of North Logan, Utah. We were discussing her recent podcast interview. The city does a weekly podcast and they interview Lyndsay regularly, but this time, they asked if her 13-year-old daughter would be up for being on the podcast with her. My niece did a masterful job and I loved watching her experience her first time behind the mic. More importantly than that, my sister mentioned that one of her missions is to show moms working with their kids.
These two women are building a business/career alongside of motherhood.
“Building a business alongside of motherhood,” I’ve been saying this for a long time and I’ve avoided diving too much into it because, frankly, it’s messy and super complicated. It is hard to talk/write about the choices I make as a mom because there are so many different ways to show up as a great mom. In an effort not to offend, I’ve danced around the topic, but it is time to talk about it.
Here we go!
“You know you’re a working mom, right?”
The first time someone told me that I was a “Working Mom”, I bristled. I actually have never really considered myself a “working mom” even though I am the CEO of a marketing agency with a team of 20+.
For a long time, the idea of a “stay-at-home mom” and a “working mom” have been pitted against each other and if you chose one then the other one could only be met with disdain and judgment.
Then, a funny thing happened: the internet.
The internet and social media have been great equalizers. We now have the ability to build a million-dollar business with a tool that literally fits into the palm of our hands. Easy access to technology has broken down the divide between working outside the home and being a stay-at-home mom. You can now stay at home AND be a working mom.
This is liberating and complicated.
To those who choose to live this way, straddling the line of working and motherhood with very few natural barriers in between, can leave us feeling disoriented because we don’t know how to do or be both.
We have very few examples of women who have gone ahead, not because there aren’t amazing older moms out there, but because the moms before us never had the option.
Then, I realized that I have been doing this for the last 16 years. Just like motherhood, my business has ebbed and flowed and has completely changed me over the last decade and a half. In an effort to light the path, a few steps ahead for those coming behind me. Here are 8 Truths about Being a Business Mom.
Business Mom Truth #1: Only you can receive revelation for your motherhood.
Your motherhood is exactly that, YOUR motherhood. Only you know the needs of you, your family, your kids. You don’t need to get a thumbs up from everyone in your life that you are doing it right. I make it a point to check in with God every day for a few minutes in prayer or meditation and then I trust that He will help direct me to know when I’m out of alignment.
Business Mom Truth #2: It’s okay to be a really great mom AND a really great business owner.
Just because you have passions and interests outside of motherhood, doesn’t mean you love your kids less. You are allowed to grow as a person and, in fact, this will make you a better mom. Your kids do not need you every hour of every day. They don’t. What they need is a safe and loving place to land and someone who will teach them how to be responsible, hard-working adults.
Business Mom Truth #3: It’s okay if you need your business more than your business needs you.
While my husband was in medical school and residency, I had four of my five babies. With his crazy schedule and late-night study sessions, I was alone with the kids a lot. That is when I started my first business. I did it because I needed something for myself. A creative outlet was calling my name and I was in desperate need of growth and achievement. I found both in my business. Having something that fed my mind and my spirit made me a much better mom for my kids.
(This picture was taken when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my first baby. I had learned how to make cakes and made my own baby shower cake.)
Business Mom Truth #4: It’s okay to change seasons.
My friend, Lizzy Jensen, teaches that women reinvent themselves every 3-5 years. It is true. Whether it is because you have babies or your babies turn into toddlers or start going to high school or beyond, our roles are constantly changing. You are going to have times of hustle and hurry and times of recovery and repair. If you are in a season of recovery, it is okay to slow down and if you are ready to run, go for it.
Business Mom Truth #5: It’s okay for moms to make money.
I coach hundreds of women in business and almost all of them feel weird about money. Friend, it’s time we join in a new era of motherhood alongside of business and this concept of money is a huge part of it. We have been taught that we should be serving and sharing our talents, but if we receive money in exchange for those talents, then it somehow discounts our offering. It isn’t true. Your talents and gifts are valuable and they help and lift those around you and that is worth something (shhh…it’s money). If you are doing things for free all the time, two things will happen: 1. you will get tired and resentful of the thing you are giving away, and/or 2. you will just stop doing the thing that once filled you with joy.
Money is an exchange of energy, that’s it. Don’t make money evil or bad. I want all of the moms out there to have a lot more money because money in the hands of moms is how we change the world.
(Pictured below is me modeling an apron I made for my Etsy business)
Business Mom Truth #6: It’s okay to get help.
If you are a part of a new era of motherhood alongside of business, you can’t do it alone. I used to swap babysitting with my friends in order to get some time to go do photo shoots. There are preschools, babysitting, co-ops, nannies, daycares, relatives, Bluey who can all take part in helping you figure out how to make motherhood and business work.
Don’t do business alone. If you are looking for a community of women who get it, you should definitely join my coaching group, Insta-Money Makers. You’ll get the courses, content plans, coaching, and community you need to grow a business alongside of motherhood.
Business Mom Truth #7: It’s okay if your business isn’t about God.
You might hate me for this, but I fell into this trap for a while, so I know the feeling. I really wanted to dive into business, but I felt a bit guilty because a “good” mom didn’t need to have something like a business to make her happy. So, I tried to justify my ambitions by making my business about God and teaching about Him. There are some dangers here and some can make it work, but know this truth: God can be intimately involved in the guiding of your business without being the main focus.
(Look how young and creative I was when I was just starting out. I love past Michelle.)
Business Mom Truth #8: It’s okay to make time for your business alongside of motherhood.
In my coaching group, one of my favorite things is to see moms showing up to our twice-a-month coaching calls with a baby in their arms or folding the laundry. I love it so much because I was and am them. I’ve spent a lot of time doing dishes or mopping the floor with a business book in my ear. I had to fight for those moments of growth for my business. I had to sacrifice watching Netflix or checking Instagram. But, what I got was a deeper knowledge of my profession and a business that I love. And this is what a new ear of motherhood alongside of business looks like.
There is a lot more to say about this, but we will leave it at this for now. What do you think? Should we make this a recurring topic?
I want to know what hit you the hardest and/or what questions came up when you were reading my thoughts on a new era of motherhood alongside of business. Would you leave me a comment? I’d love it. Or feel free to send me a dm on my Instagram @iammichellegifford.
Other Thoughts on Biz & Motherhood You’ll Enjoy
- How to Balance Your Business and Motherhood
- 10 Lies You Are Being Told as a Mompreneur
- 7 Tips for Being More Productive as a Business Mom
- How to Switch from Mom to Boss
- How Being a Mom Makes You a Better Entrepreneur