Stop Calling Me a Mompreneur!
I think I first heard the term mompreneur about 6 or 7 years ago, before I’d even had kids. I probably didn't think much about it at the time. These days I have a strong aversion to the term, and others of its ilk, see also boss babe, lady boss etc. Basically, all the minimizing, cutesy terms that set women’s business ventures outside of the rest of business world, and segregates our businesses from all the dadpreneur businesses. Just kidding...BECAUSE NO ONE USES THAT TERM!
Dadprenuers are just called entrepreneurs, they get to be the default. Dads are people with kids. Women with kids are moms first, then they get to be people, sometimes.
Dadprenuers are just called entrepreneurs, they get to be the default. Dads are people with kids. Women with kids are moms first, then they get to be people, sometimes. We also all really like pink and flowers. I mean, I guess everyone thinks we do, because momprenuer and other "lady" businesses always seem to be pink with flowers. Personally, I don't mind pink and do actually like lots of different plants, including many flowering species. As a general rule though, you're going to work harder than that to communicate your relatability to me.
Here's the big kicker. In the entrepreneurial landscape, I don’t think my kids are an advantage.
What does mompreneur even mean? I was an entrepreneur running a business before I had kids, and then I pop the kid out and now I'm a mompreneur? If you're an employee somewhere, do you change into being a mom-ployee after you have kids? I feel like that term wouldn't fly at all.
...I want other women, moms or otherwise to have the same sense of freedom that male entrepreneurs, dads or otherwise, experience.
And, does every mom who has a business get called a mompreneur? I don't think so. It infers a certain type of business. Small. MLMs. Crafty. "Side hustles". My businesses are small, but not crafty, and they sure as shit aren't side-hustles. Clearly, there's nothing wrong with a side hustle, but those perceptions about my businesses aren't helpful to me, or likely a lot of female entrepreneurs. I don't think people would automatically assume a man/dads business is a side hustle, or care whether or not they are "balancing" parenthood with the responsibilities of a business. (Balancing is another pointless mom-related term for another blog post.)
I have to correct people who refer to my businesses as a "side hustle" regularly. And those people are often the people who I need to understand my businesses the most, and understand the level of professionalism behind them. People who I want to try the products or services, people I want to fund my business and people who I need to take me seriously. On the other side, I don't feel at home with a tribe of self-professed mompreneurs either. The mompreneur term doesn't help my businesses at all, it excludes me on both sides of the coin.
To be fair, with Hoodie Chew Chew, the idea came to me because of one of my kids chewing on my hoodie strings. Companies with parent and/or kid products are more frequently classed as mompreneur-type companies. I'm not hiding the fact that I'm a mom, and don't want people to think I'm not a mom, or that we don't love moms. Moms are awesome! So are dads, and so are all the caregivers out there who show up for their kids. I want people to come to the Hoodie Chew Chew site and feel welcome whatever and whoever they are, and whatever their child relationship is.
Apples to apples, a guy, with or without kids, and a woman without kids, will be able to knock the tasks off that need to be done faster than me. They just have more hours.
Here's the big kicker. In the entrepreneurial landscape, I don’t think my kids are an advantage. I definitely work hard because of them, and I feel compelled to be a role model for them in terms of goals I set and how I operate in the world. They have also created a certain time pressure on my schedule that makes me think more often about productivity, scaling, automation as well as building a brand that has value.
But, the way things are now, where I work mostly on my own, there is more work than hours in the week. That would be true, kids or not, and with kids, there's a chunk of working hours that just don't exist for me. Apples to apples, a guy, with or without kids, and a woman without kids, will be able to knock the tasks off that need to be done faster than me. They just have more hours. And sometimes that's what you need.
My kids are an inspiration. They make me smarter, they change my perspective, they make me lighter and brighter, they make my life better in so many ways. That doesn't mean they have to define my every goal and role and they don't determine my job title.
As I build out my businesses, I'll evolve and change as I need to and I don't want to be boxed in because of perceptions around my family life that aren't necessarily true. And I want other women, moms or otherwise to have the same sense of freedom that male entrepreneurs, dads or otherwise, experience.
Love, hate, or indifferent to the term mompreneur? Let us know in the comments!