5 Ways Being A Mom Makes Me a Better Entrepreneur
Being a parent takes a lot of time and effort but instead of thinking of it as a drain on your time and energy, think of it as an amazing learning experience. Parenthood doesn’t have to take away from your professional life, in fact, here are a few ways it can enrich your career.
I Juggle My Priorities Better Now
Any parent will tell you the fastest way to learn to multitask is to have kids. Hungry kids do not wait patiently for food. Bored kids do not find their own activity to do. Mad or sad kids do not comfort themselves. Also, sometimes – just to add to the fun, your child will be hungry and bored and mad and sad all at the same time. FUN. While this is going on, don’t expect your home and bills to wait patiently in the background. That’s right, you have to do all the things at once or everything falls apart. The bright side (yes, I swear there is a bright side,) is that these crazy multitasking skills you are developing translate into your professional life beautifully, especially if you are a freelancer or business owner because once again, – when it’s just you running the show professionally, you have to do all the things yourself and you have to keep doing them or everything falls apart.
I Go with the Flow More Easily
Parenthood is a constant flow of the exciting and scary unknown. You invite a tiny human into your heart and home and then the next 18 years consist of….you’ll find out as it happens. Your child might be a ball of energy that cannot be contained. Your child might be an extreme introvert. Your child might refuse to eat anything that isn’t pink or talk to anyone that isn’t in your immediate family. Conversely, your child might enjoy eating random things found on the ground or striking up conversations with shady strangers on the sidewalk. Your child will probably switch back and forth day by day just to keep you on your toes. Even though it’s exhausting, going with the flow is an amazing skill to have in the business world. That contact you made will only eat at raw vegan restaurants? No problem. Your latest client only speaks Russian? Challenge accepted. There is nothing the business world can surprise you with that a toddler can’t help prepare you for.
I Collaborate and Accept Help
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Sometimes it also take an ipad and a full time nanny and a bulk sized box of fruit-snacks. Many parents have a spouse or co-parent to help carry the load and many people are raising children on their own. Either way you’re going to need some extra help and that is not a bad thing. The amazing lessons and experiences you give to your child are only enhanced by outside experiences such as childcare providers, daycare and friends and family. Adding this variety to your child’s life enriches their perspective and through them, yours as well. You may learn child rearing techniques you never would have known on your own and even make meaningful connections for yourself. Parenting groups offer one important kind of help while calling your mother and learning about her experiences raising you offer something enriching in a totally different way. The business world is the exact same way. You may be killing it with your business idea but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be further enhanced by someone elses’ perspective. Maybe it makes sense to hire a consultant or ask your employees for feedback, maybe there are some informative blogs or books to read or maybe you just have an opinionated best friend with some admittedly good ideas. No matter how it happens, collaboration is a great choice for parenting and business alike.
I Get Creative
Parenting is weird. Mostly because kids are weird. They sleep at weird times and cry about weird things and stick their fingers in weird places so it makes sense that the best ways to interact with them isn’t always going to feel quite conventional. Even though there is a lot of “tried and true” wisdom out there the most successful parents know how to go a step further to find new and specific ways to teach and interact with their children. Maybe your little performer responds to an audience and so a round of applause after each potty use becomes the norm in your household. Maybe your child doesn’t respond to teddy bears and baby dolls but that regular old cooking spatula keeps the little tyke happy and calm. What works for everyone else is fine but it’s when you step into your creativity that things really take off. With kids and with entrepreneurship it’s the strange new ideas, the things no one has tried that really cement you as at the top of your game. What is that one thing no one has done yet, that service everyone needs, the technique that changes everything. Reach into yourself and you’ll find what works for your child and your career.
I Don’t Give Up as Easily as I Used To.
Parenting is forever. Sometimes just the first few YEARS of parenting feels like forever. As overwhelming as it can seem sometimes the practice of trying again and again in countless difficult parenting situations is a lesson in commitment. Sometimes it takes many tries to figure out what works best for you and your child when it comes to anything from sleep to meals to play time. The journey, though difficult, is actually a beautiful part of the relationship you build with your child. Part of this bond from the very beginning is the intense commitment you have made to raising and caring for an entire person from beginning to end no matter what. It’s this bond that compels and informs your relationship to your child throughout life. Now imagine giving even a fraction of that kind of commitment to your career. Imagine taking that all encompassing drive to do whatever it takes and pushing all the way through each issue, each road bump to a truly successful business. Now imagine sharing your success with your child!
So there it is, I was worried having a second baby alongside my toddler would hurt my ability to succeed with a new business, but really, my children are my biggest assets and teachers. Go figure!