mom.pre.neur

Noun
1. a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children: “it’s no coincidence that the rise of the mompreneurs comes as more highly educated women are choosing to stay at home with young children.”

Balancing professional growth concurrently with the role of motherhood is hard. Full stop.

Being a mompreneur is like running a marathon while juggling water balloons: home management, work expectations, motherhood, relationships, and a term coined, “the mental load.”

In the comic strip, You Should’ve Asked, cartoonist, Emma, explains the concept of “mental load.” In a nutshell, it conveys the responsibility of having to constantly remember the particulars of your family’s needs as well as ensuring the smooth operation of the household. These tasks range from seemingly insignificant, like purchasing bread, to incredibly important like paying the mortgage.

Essentially, the mental load means women are constantly thinking of responsibilities and cognitively reviewing never-ending checklists, while also conducting their daily life. While it isn’t physically exhausting, it can be mentally exhausting.

For the working mom, this also means balancing work deadlines and all associated work-related tasks, in conjunction with family needs. This isn’t to suggest that partners don’t contribute, or support their spouses or children. This is just one example of how the mental load may impact some women and their families some of the time.

The struggle to balance all of those areas in life isn’t a new one. What is new is the relatively recent word “Mompreneur.” Mompreneur has picked up colloquial speed and landed a flashy definition in the dictionary, while simultaneously falling on the lips of our everyday conversations.

The lens through which today’s society is viewing mompreneurs is shifting our societal norms. This new normal finds mompreneurs, in some capacity, working from home while concurrently providing care for their children some, if not all, of the time.

Moms are finding their niche in the new business world of mompreneurs. From blogging to creating clothing lines, opening brick and mortar shops, operating e-commerce shops—often with the bulk of the work happening from home, during captured moments of time.

This new grassroot model of business in North America is also generating an economic boost in the Canadian business world. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service stated that, “Majority women-owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) represented over $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada and there were 950,000 self-employed women in Canada in 2012, accounting for 35.6 per cent of all self-employed persons.”

While self employment for Canadian women is on the rise, the question remains, how do Mompreneurs juggle all of these responsibilities?

According to Jessica N. Turner, author of Stretched Too Thin, practicing self-awareness is one of the principle keys to achieving balance. From that balance stems natural opportunities for success.

In daily life this means setting and practicing firm boundaries between work time and family time, prioritizing self care, and accepting personal imperfections. Turner suggests choosing one “pain point” in your life and focusing on making a positive change in that area. Whether it’s having more organization in your home, taking time for friends, making quality time with your spouse or focusing on self care, Turner suggests that by making positive changes, a few at a time, and practicing realistic goal setting, mompreneurs will thrive in their daily life.

At the end of the day, regardless of labels, Mompreneurs are moms—and that’s a label that never goes out of fashion.

Candace Negm is a mother of two who finds passion and purpose in supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and curating the slow fashion movement at her boutique in Fernwood Square, Thistle and Wren.