I am a mumpreneur. I am a social entrepreneur who, like more and more parents nowadays set up a home-based business to be able to take care of my little ones. I am that the stay-at-home mother who keeps one eye on the children and another on a fledgeling business. This comes of course with tones of upsides like being your own boss and spending more time at home but also a few downsides and challenges no one warned me about.
Time, or more precisely the lack of thereof.
3 kids, a husband and a home to take care of is already a lot of work and boy a 5-year-old and 8-year-old and a 6-month-old one takes up a lot of your time! Ad to that the responsibilities of building your own business and it can become overwhelming very quickly. A lot of flexibility is needed to work around of your family and you never have standard hours. I get up most days at 5 am to get a full one and a half hours of silence to read my emails, check on the sales from the night before and plan. I was always a very driven and well-organised person but now I became an organisation freak and I live by lists. Everything from my personal life down to all things business related has a list. Then it's time for kids, breakfasts, feeding sending to school and putting the small one down for a nap. Then again I will have some time to do some work then after school hours its only family time. I will catch up on the business after everyone is asleep. Ending up with a 5-hour sleep interrupted with the feeding of the baby... Result: you are tired and you do everything tired. I can not even remember when I felt rested last time... But sleep is not what I am missing the most. What am I missing? My most craved commodity is silence and I miss time for myself, you know that time you can do nothing or do girly stuff. I am always on the clock...
My second enemy in this adventure is self-doubt.
The pressure you put on yourself to succeed is immense and when you have a vision for what you want and can do, but because your focus is also on raising a family, that vision is not always realised in the early stages of your business. Where it would take 2 years to reach a certain goal it takes sometimes 3 or 4 when you juggle it all and acceptance of this fact is not easy to come. I try to repeat to myself: you can not do it all and you can not do it all now, but being kind to yourself is not always that easy...
The third biggest challenge is guilt.
I feel guilty all the time! The guilt to have left your boys to watch too much tv in order to finish a presentation, the guilt of not being top prepared for a crucial meeting cause you took time with your little ones or you watched a movie. The guilt cause you snapped at you hubby cause you are so tired or you are dragging your baby along into all meetings and outings related to the business... At times building your business seems competing and conflicting with raising a family.
But despite all of this I wouldn't have it any other way. I love what I do and I love being there for my kids!