If you’d asked me a year ago what my opinion was on the epithet of “Mumpreneur”, I’d have probably screwed up my nose in a similar way that my toddler does when I try and feed him something healthy when he’s asked for pink crisps. Again.
It’s twee, and a cliche. But then again, most portmanteaus are; it goes with the territory.
It’s a description I usually read in Facebook biographies – if you can call them that – or in tabloid newspaper headlines. Usually accompanied by the word #girlboss and an illustrative emoji or two 👩🏻💻👑
The surrounding discourse is often dismissive. The word attracts snobbery – and I would have once agreed that it was with good reason.
Not any more.
Recently I became a “Mumpreneur”. Kind of unintentionally, in the same way I became a mother. And it’s a term I’ve been thinking about a lot.
And it suddenly struck me how unfair it was to criticise it; because it’s only when you break it down that the word reveals its hidden strengths. Like Clark Kent only a bit less dramatic, or Bruce Wayne but less brooding.
I’m sure most people would agree that being a mother is one of the most worthwhile things you can do as a human. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but even if you just look at it objectively – creating something that continues the human race is a very worthy thing to do.
Likewise, many people aspire to be entrepreneurs and to work for themselves. They have that fire in their bellies and that belief in a better life away from the 9-5. Ideally in a pub garden, sipping Pimms (no? just me?)
Independently, these two things are valued and respected. So why, when they’re spliced together, do they attract so much hatred?
I could probably come up with numerous theories – mostly tied around society’s conflicting perceptions of women. But I’ll save that for another day.
Mumpreneurs are not people we should deride; they’re doing two jobs, both of which are bloody hard work. If you can build a profitable and sustainable business whilst you’ve got kids around – especially if you have no childcare – then you’re a hero. Simple.
I suspect that many of the people who cringe at the term have never had a video conference call whilst breastfeeding a baby (collarbone upwards, of course) or turned wrapping stock in packaging into a weird pseudo-game so that your toddler can play along and doesn’t keep trying to destroy your products.
So here’s to the mumpreneurs. Whatever you do and however you do it. Long may you reign 👩🏻💻👑