Dear Fellow Non-Mompreneur,
If you hear nothing else that I say today, hear this: we are not less as entrepreneurs just because we’re not moms.
Have you ever felt guilty when you hear moms talking about how hard it is to run a business when they have kids? It can make you feel like you’re less as a woman AND an entrepreneur because you don’t have kids. I know they don’t mean to make us feel ‘less,’ but I’ve heard “you wouldn’t understand – you’re not a mom” or something to that effect more often than I’d like to say, both in business and life in general.
It can start to feel like if you don’t have to work during naptime or school hours, you don’t really work to your full potential in your business. Or that everyone thinks because you aren’t working around kids that you can’t even imagine what it’s like to do that. Here’s the thing…
That’s a load of crap that we keep telling ourselves.
I mean, speaking honestly here, we may be projecting more of that feeling on ourselves than that feeling coming from someone else. But just because we don’t have kids doesn’t mean we aren’t worthy of running a business or that we don’t work our tails off.
And seriously, there is probably SO much else going on behind the scenes for you! We shouldn’t judge ourselves or anyone else based on appearances. There’s so much else that could be going on as to why you don’t have kids, right?
Many of us struggle with infertility of one kind or another. Or maybe you’re going through that long adoption process and longing to hold your someday-soon child. Or your husband wants kids and you don’t (or vice versa) and that’s something the two of you have to work through on a daily basis, which indirectly impacts your business.
Are you single and trying to decide if you start a family by yourself? That’s a huge decision. Or maybe you’re already caring for another family member (which can be as much or more work than having kids, from what I’ve seen). Or, heck – you just plain don’t want kids!
And whatever your situation is here, that’s okay. You’re living YOUR story, not someone else’s.
Another thing: Not being a mom entrepreneur means different problems, not fewer problems. Sure, you aren’t working around naptime, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who either overcommits and overworks and yet finds it harder to get going some days because it feels like you have all the time in the world, so why not watch just one more episode of The Good Place?
Real talk: running a household is hard in and of itself, with or without kids. Not to mention that some people are more judgemental of how your house looks when they think you work in your PJs and don’t have a care in the world. A lot of folks don’t understand how much time and energy goes into running a business, but everyone and their mom knows how hard it is to have kids.
If your house is a wreck, they’ll laugh it off because it must be because of the kids. But if you don’t have kids? “Well, what do you do with all your time?” As if we have endless time since we aren’t running around after the munchkins. Sure, there are fewer hands to make a mess, but there are also fewer hands to do essentially the same amount of chores. Unless you have a housecleaner (you lucky duck!).
Something else that my husband and I have been struggling with lately is that it seems like you tend to be ‘forgotten’ by society after a certain age if you don’t have kids. Especially if you’re married or in a significant relationship! I’ve been looking at zoo memberships and swimming pool annual passes lately and everyone seems to either assume you’re single or that you have 2.5 kids!
For example, we got a family membership to the Columbus Zoo this summer and to make it worth it, I put my best friend’s kids on the pass so we can take them with us sometimes since we don’t have our own kids. Because there wasn’t an option for couples without kids. That’s kind of sad that that’s the best option you have when you’re married without kids. There are also a kazillion mom support groups for all sorts of moms, including mompreneurs, but I’ve never seen one for those of us without kids. (Hey, think we should start one? Let me know with a comment!)
Here’s the main point: every lifestyle has ups and down, so not having kids while running your business doesn’t make you less as a woman OR an entrepreneur! No, we may not understand first-hand what it’s like to be a mom while running a business, but we can still sympathize and support them. And let’s be real, I don’t know how well I’d do as a mom entrepreneur, honestly (babysitting my friends’ kids while working on my business is hard enough!). So let’s band together as WOMEN – not as moms or non-moms – and support ALL OF US as we grow our businesses!
Are you with me? Leave me a comment! Here are some ideas:
Want to make a non-mom entrepreneurs support group? Tell me!
What’s the hardest part of being a non-mom entrepreneur?
Have a story of supporting a mompreneur (or vice versa)? Share some positivity!