For women who want a family, it is the age-old question — should I be a nine-to-five mom or a nine-to-five career woman?
For many women, the answer to this dilemma is secret option C, which is, to do both. Having a kid and having a business is not mutually exclusive and according to the Royal Bank, the average age of all female business owners is 45 and more than half of them have children. But how does one keep so many balls in the air and still stay sane?
Just ask Gemma Moore, the 27-year-old who runs both a business and the lives of her two kids, aged three and one. She studied marketing in college but when she got married at 23, she made a website for her wedding and it became the germ for what’s now a full-fledged graphic design company, MG Moore Designs.
After her kids were born, Moore’s life became full of both babies and business, and she wouldn’t want it any other way. “It’s totally not what I pictured myself doing,” says Moore. “But life just worked its way here and I’m in exactly the place I want to be.” Moore says all it takes is a little finesse (and some excellent time management) to keep the entire machine running smoothly. However, she admits that her situation can sometimes be weathering. “I definitely have those moments where it feels overwhelming,” she says. “But if I’m feeling stressed out, I normally take my kids to the park and it all falls into place again.”
For Kari Smith, who runs a wedding planning and rental company, the difficulties of being a “mompreneur” is separating the “mom” from the “entrepreneur,” something that is especially hard when your whole life happens under one roof. “It’s in your face from the second you wake up to the second you go to bed,” she admits. “You don’t get away from it.” She says that you just have to be extremely disciplined and learn when to ignore that ringing telephone.
“I put in a business phone,” she explains, “and during dinner I don’t answer it.”
For any woman contemplating a life of multi-tasking, Moore has one pearl of wisdom. “Just go for it,” she encourages. “There isn’t a side of being a stay-at-home mom with a business that I don’t enjoy.”
And to Smith, there’s no reason why a full-time working mom should have to translate into being a bad mom. In fact, she feels it’s made her a better one. “My youngest child, you can really see he appreciates it,” she says. “He’ll say, ‘I love it, and I love you.’”