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Talk about about us. Entrepreneurship and motherhood

Entrepreneurship and motherhood

For years now, I haven’t experienced what it is to wake up and simply think about having breakfast and seeing what the day has to offer. Being a mother changes your perspective of life, but also of time. Of time and its uses. The day now begins with a mental list of things to do, including working, cooking, providing, educating, caring, cleaning, planning ... and if there is time, space and opportunity: learning, enjoying, growing or that precious word called ‘rest’. At least in the workplace, I have some security, a schedule and a salary that allows me to make it to the end of the month. To aspire to a potential new business project, appears to me to be an adventure that I don't know if I would dare to dive into. I deeply admire those who take that step.

Motherhood, you will agree, is difficult. Entrepreneurship is clearly also difficult. Add being a mother and entrepreneurship and what do we have? The data tells us that in 2019 for every ten men who decided to start up a business, worldwide, only six women did so. A poor yet hopeful figure if we consider that it is the best in recent years.

In a society in which the caring for children has fallen and falls mostly on women, it is not difficult to see that when a man and women face the dilemma of deciding whether to start a new business venture or not, the arguments which are encountered are not the same. Doubts, dilemmas entail words that men are not always aware of: resignation, conciliation and worst of all: guilt. The guilt of not being there for everything, of not being

Time management is not the same if you are a mother than if are a father because, even today, child management is different for each parent. Unfortunately, this fact forces the consequences.

While I was preparing this article, I realized that it is very difficult to talk about what is not known. In order to put myself in the shoes of a woman who decides to undertake the journey of starting her own business, I spoke to several mothers, entrepreneurs or those women who work in economic development. I asked them to say some words that came to mind when thinking about motherhood and entrepreneurship.

The words that were shared with me were: time, resolve, thoroughness, family, money, perseverance, light/ clarity, courage, independence, sacrifice, effort, creativity.

Perseverance, tenacity, effort: to get it started and make it work. Clarity, creativity: to give you that unique, special content that makes a difference. Independence and money: one thing being linked to the other, as always. We want our idea to prosper, to generate success. Being demanding/striving for excellence, family, sacrifice: on how to find that sometimes impossible balance between dedicating yourself body and soul to get a project off the ground and at the same time be a mother, partner, friend, person.

I asked them if they would add guilt, which is the word that I believed they would say and yet not one of them did. Moreover, it was a word they never even thought about.

They have something in common, they are strong, determined women, that go all out and push forward. I realize that it is I and not they, who have used the concept of guilt, the reason being that I look at it from the cowardly barrier of lack of determination.

They, the brave, determined, capable heroines don’t rely on guilt because they left it behind when they prioritized their decision to start a project. The dream is stronger, the effort does not leave time for petty and unnecessary annoyances and finally, if you succeed, the reward unequivocally erases any initial doubt.

Balance is not impossible, one can be a mother, a woman and an entrepreneur and be successful in all three aspects as well. Always understanding that success is not being the best in every single thing but getting the results that one had set out to achieve. Perhaps, accepting limitations, playing with some small resignations and being specialists in learning to prioritize balance, is feasible. Day-to-day management will depend on each person, each case and their circumstances, but as long as it can be a matter of organization and not of impossibility, we will have taken giant steps forward on the road to equality.

We need a society that equates women and men in their child carer responsibilities and then we will surely be able to appreciate data that is very far from the current statistics, in which women and men will decide to undertake without one of them, women, having to put in the balance whether or not to be a mother.

Pic Jonathan Borba⁠

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