Is Being Mum Enough?

Barely a week passes without a new buzzword being bandied around (normally I haven’t heard of any of them), but one that I’ve been unable to miss over recent months is ‘Mumtrepeneur’.

Whilst many new mums are unable to even remember their own name during the first few months of parenthood (myself included), there is now a wave of wonder women who are bringing up their babies and setting up successful businesses AT THE SAME TIME. These women juggles sales, accounts and marketing alongside school runs, play dates and bum wiping. Working late into the night only to clock onto the early shift (aka the 5am Peppa Pig marathon) the next morning. These women appear to have multitasked the mayhem out of motherhood and got the whole gig down pat, but not without good reason.

As the workforce remains frustratingly inflexible for many mothers, more women are striving to manage their own schedules, kids included, by becoming boss. A tempting thought, right? So much so that, after stepping out of the wonderful world of PR, I too am joining the legions of motivated mums working hard to find a new, flexible way of working which will bring in a few bob and allow me to be on hand for the kids when they need me. But as magic as this may be, I’ve begun to realise that it’s not without its down side.

Starting a new business, much like parenthood, is bloody hard work. Whilst my blog is not a traditional business, it plays a significant role in my long-term goal of becoming a professional writer. I make diddly squat money wise right now, but the aim is to eventually be in a position where I can attract a publisher and write a novel (thus achieving a life-long ambition). In the meantime, I am trying (and failing) to secure paid feature gigs. This not only takes up a significant amount of time, but also a large portion of my already defunct, sleep deprived, headspace. It affects my mood and often leaves me questioning why the bejeezus I put myself through it? And why, for now, isn’t being mum enough?

When attending a friend’s baby shower a few month’s back, I remember discussing the event in anticipation with my husband the night before. Knowing many of the women attending were in my friend’s line of work (in TV) I found myself practicing a pre-rehearsed line of what I did “for a living”. Muttering something about writing and ice cream cakes, oh and being a mum, I felt a prize prat practicing what should be a straight and simple line, “I’m a stay-at-home mum, how about you?”

And it appears I’m not alone. Whilst flicking through my Instagram account I found a weekly ‘Wednesday Woman’ article from fashion brand Tease + Totes, featuring founder of London Hypnobirthing and creator of the brilliant YESMUM affirmation cards, Hollie de Cruz (link to interview here). Reading the interview I was surprised and relieved to see this quote from Hollie…

“There’s a real movement of women starting their own businesses at the moment and it’s ridiculously exciting to see all of these incredible ideas, products and voices coming from a historically unrepresented sector of society. I think we risk falling into a place where we glorify the idea of being busy at all times though, and I worry that women who chose to be at-home mothers feel like being a mother isn’t enough. It is enough. It is SO enough, and if you want to start a business do it because you’re insanely passionate about it, not because you feel you should be doing more. You don’t need to start a business to be a boss.” Hollie de Cruz (Tease + Totes ‘Wednesday Woman’ Interview)

I know what a fortunate position I am in to be able to make a choice about whether I work or stay at home, and I do often wonder that whilst the kids are young am I squandering my time with them worrying about failed features and blog figures?

Well my answer is yes and no. I can’t be a mum 24/7. My ambition and drive is part of who I am and whilst I’m not in a regular office based role, I need to have another outlet. But do I, or any other SAHM for that matter, need to feel pressurised into feeling that we need to be anything more than a mum? Absolutely not.

In a world dominated by social media and all the “cool stuff” we should be doing, it’s easy to believe that making the second cheese sandwich for your kid’s lunch (because the little bugger chucked the first one on the floor) isn’t fun enough to share worldwide. But let’s not forget that being a parent is one of the greatest jobs in the world, and for that reason alone all mums should be proud.

Gemma x

7 thoughts

  1. Interesting piece Gemma.
    I think it applies to all Mums though – whether SAH or WOH – we all feel as though we should be achieving more, doing more glamorous things and living for ourselves (because we’re worth it) – as well as being the perfect mothers and raising fabulous offspring with interesting lives in their own right!
    Exhausting just thinking about it…
    Those of us who have to earn money feel we need to be doing it in a fulfilling and dinner-party-conversation-worthy way. Nobody who has had a career they’ve loved wants to admit they’ve given it up for a menial job because it fits in with school hours.
    I say we should all keep following our ambitions, as you say it makes us who we are. But we also need to support each other by not trying to out-wonder-woman every other Mum and admit that it’s really bloody hard work raising kids and it’s ok to do just that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more Isabelle! I think the pressure to be Wonder Woman and have Instagram worthy lives applies to all of us. It certainly is exhausting and totally unnecessary, but yet we still feel this way. Thanks so much for the comment X

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    1. Of course not, happy for you to share and thanks for the comment! I completely understand, my blog has definitely kept me sane and now I write so much I couldn’t give it up. But I also wish I didn’t feel the pressure to be more than a mum sometimes, but I think this also comes from within me X

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  2. Lovely post Gemma, well done! It really resonated with me as a sahm for the last nine years who’s just started blogging now my youngest is three. I sometimes feel I’m not giving him as much time as I should due to my blog and have found the answer to the ‘what do you do?’ question elusive for so long – I loved hearing you sum it up so easily! So nice to feel I’m not alone. I’m sure you’ll strike your balance just as I hope to strike mine!

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  3. Hi Gemma, this all sounds so familiar! I reckon I have a few years on you, and as I hurtle towards a landmark birthday after spending most of my 30’s in a constant state of angst over working and writing and motherhood I look back and I do wish I’d been easier on myself… but then I know if I hadn’t pushed myself my books would never have got written! I think it’s about the ever-elusive balance; do what you can without beating yourself up about the rest. If you’re determined and persevere you will get there – believe me it’s a marathon (that I’m still running) not a sprint. X

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