How Being an Entrepreneur Helped Me Be a Better Mom
Being a mom is scary. Judging by the number of books out there guiding people on mommyhood, I am not alone in this sentiment. I went to a seminar last week and one of the moms stated that being an entrepreneur made her a better mom. It got me thinking.
My conclusions are that as an entrepreneur you are used to ups and downs. One day you think you will be a millionaire and the next day you wonder how you’re going to pay the bills. When parenting, one day you love hanging out with the kids and then after dinner, baths and homework, you wish they were asleep so that you can just be alone. Or one day you think your kids are the cutest and the next day they are badly behaved and bratty.
As an entrepreneur, I pull many all nighters and walk around sleep deprived. For me, after having the babies I was on maternity leave and I actually slept more than I did when I was working. I could nap in the afternoons when the baby was napping.
There are no hard and fast rules to being an entrepreneur. There is a lot of intuition and winging it. That goes for parenting too. There certainly was no guide book on how to explain to your children why their local Jewish day school rejected their sister. All the Lamaze classes and prenatal classes do not really prepare you for labor. Trust me, neither does an MBA prepare you for the real life of entrepreneurship.
It’s well known that entrepreneurs have to innovate. Moms too, as in planning a full day of activities on a rainy vacation day for three kids who are different ages, or answering questions like “why did god make x so ugly?” Nothing requires innovation like managing a public temper tantrum.
Entrepreneurism teaches you to go with the flow. When I started jdeal, I met with an investor who guided us with our business plan. He looked at the plan and said, “Now that you have done it, you can discard all the numbers because reality will not play out that way. It’s the assumptions and thinking that goes into the plan that counts.” Moms can make the best plans but when a three-year-old wakes up with chicken pox, you have to cancel social plans, work plans and family vacations. What counts are the principles you decide on to guide the parenting, not the way it plays out.
Most importantly, when you are an entrepreneur you are taught to believe in yourself. Parenting so often challenges us on this issue. I am so glad I have had years of business startups, failures and successes. I know I can make mistakes and move forward regardless. Entrepreneurship has taught me to be ok with the fact that I may make mistakes as a parent, and I may fail at certain aspects, but I know that I am still a good mom.
I love the challenge of building a business. It’s like taking a blank canvas and creating the most beautiful art. For each child, you take the blank canvas and create the most valuable treasure.
Metroimmas, share your parenting successes and failures here…
Originally published: October 11, 2011