Mummy works

Despite us allegedly living in an equality-focused world, becoming a mum unfortunately still destroys careers.  Kids need to be fed, dressed and get to school between 8am - 4pm and it is frowned upon to abandon 5-year olds by the school gates so that you can get to work…

Society continues to expect women to raise children as if they don’t work and work as if they don’t have children. At the same time, we need children to pay pensions for us in the future. 

It’s almost impossible to find leadership roles around child care or other caring responsibilities, leaving many of us after maternity trying to find jobs in schools or clean for local families; often leaving our highly fought for education and accomplishments alongside our brain cells at the door. 

Entrepreneurship is a way many mums consider as an easier way to obtain an income while looking after precious munchkins.  

I do agree with that, however, entrepreneurship, unfortunately, takes it all. Your time, your money and you will be frowned at for daring to work instead of prioritising your child’s every need every hour of the day. You will be judged and you will feel guilty every single day, 24/7.  Building something from scratch could take 5-7 years of heartache. Don’t kid yourself about a quick 12-month success story. 

Starting out on your own in the current Gig economy can be a great way to make a living and it can support the lifestyle you choose or this society forces on you. Do check out the new IR35 rules from April 2020 as that can ruin your plans unless you are well prepared. 

Ladies, you will be asked to work for free more often than men - all the time. Do you want to work for free? Think about it so that you are prepared to deal with people asking you to volunteer your skills and tell them to get lost. 

You will need to fight for what you want. Don’t be nice about it. Network, network, network.  Talk to people, build relationships and do charge for your services in advance.  

Small businesses and freelancers are on average forced to chase their payments for 90-120 days after delivery.  Can you give anyone a credit line of 3-4 months??? No? Me neither.  It’s your money, you will have to fight for it. Those unwilling to pay at least 50% upfront are not the customers you want in the first few years.

Ask for help! Ladies we are really good at asking for directions and that is the same here. Ask people to recommend you to their connections, their friends and family members. 

As with your fabulous kids, you are the person that can make it a success for you. You are what people will buy when they buy.  They don’t buy your paintings or services they buy into their belief in you. 

And even if it all goes belly up, that’s ok. We all fail. Cut your losses when it does and learn to move on.  Just like you tell your little ones, brush it off and it will all heal over. 

Written by Nicole Barrett