Mumpreneur – More Than A Word
By Mairéad Kelly, coach, trainer and owner of Cute Honey
The word Mumpreneur was added to the Collins English Dictionary in October 2011. It got me thinking about it. I’ve set up and closed businesses over the last fifteen years yet it is only in the last four of those years that I would have called myself a Mumpreneur. But what does that word mean exactly?
According to Wikipedia:
“Mumpreneur is a newly coined term, as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mum and the role of entrepreneur”
As someone who is a Mumpreneur trainer, mentor and coach and who provides business training courses aimed at mums who would like to be a Mumpreneur themselves, I see it as a positive word.
I believe that we can have it all: be a great mother and a successful business woman simultaneously. It does take careful planning and making some difficult choices to achieve that, however every business owner has to make difficult choices.
What I wondered though is if it was a word that is considered positively or negatively by those women who the word could apply to?
I contacted some of my previous clients and asked them some questions:
1. Do you call yourself a Mumpreneur or?
2. What does being a Mumpreneur mean to you?
3. What are the pluses and minuses of it?
Martina Ginty, owner of Glitz and Glam – www.glitzandglam.ie said
‘Yes, I call myself a Mumpreneur, most of the time. For me being a mumpreneur means trying to find a balance between minding my children, working from home and running a business, not that I get that right all the time. As for pluses and minuses, I get to spend time with my children when they are small, I can work my meetings around their schedules, all my achievements are down to my hard work and I have won awards for the business in the last year, which I wouldn’t have won if I was employed somewhere.
Trying to juggle childcare with business appointments, it means working a lot more hours when it is my own business rather than as an employee. I really have to be a jack-of-all-trades when working for myself and not all these skills come easily to me.’
Gillian Wiseman, owner of Style Mama – www.stylemama.ie said that she would call herself a Mumpreneur and that for her it means;
‘A working mum, self-employed, that juggles work alongside running a household. Making time for everyone and anything as well as being successful. I get to be my own boss, with only myself to answer to. I have no one looking over my shoulder while working. It is possible to work any hours during the day & night, which means I can spend quality time with my kids.’
As for the disadvantages, Gillian said that;
‘I am solely responsible for all actions, my income & sometimes I can’t switch off from work. I also feel pressurised to succeed. I also find it can be lonely working by myself and miss the social aspect of working with in a group.’
Deirdre Featherstone, owner of Webscene www.webscene.ie does not call herself a Mumpreneur, explaining;
‘No, I tend to call myself a business woman. It means that I can be there for my kids – my kids are at the age where there are no more nappies or childcare, I have an Angel of a child-minder. The main advantages are that if the school rings, if they are sick I can collect and not have to explain to a boss and feel terrible that I have to leave. I worked in Sweden for a few years. Sweden has an idyllic workplace if you have a family, for both mothers and fathers. I was quite shocked when we would be in very high level meetings and the MD of the particular part of the company would be bouncing a baby on his knee!
The disadvantages are that I work like mad, I get hardly any sleep, I feel all the time that I am trying to push my kids away. If I am at home and a call comes in I shout “don’t touch that” and the odd time of course the four-year-old would be having a great chat with a client!’
Helen Hudson owner of Strider Bikes – www.striderbikes.ie also had a different view of the word Mumpreneur, saying
‘I would not refer to myself to the general public or a business colleague as a Mumpreneur – I find this phrase clichéd and it does not do justice to women and their businesses. Being a Mumpreneur to me means having a business that I can run from home at the hours that suit me best and also being at home to watch my kids grow up which is a huge privilege. Juggling family with work when there is little structured childcare means working on the business late night and early mornings. Despite these minuses I wouldn’t swap my position for any secure, pensionable, (crèche paying) job.’
I also open up the question (what being a Mumpreneur means) on Facebook and Twitter and here are some of the responses:
- Managing to do absolutely EVERYTHING with a smile on your face making it all look so easy. Maria’s Little Wrappers – Personalised Chocolate Bars
- Being Supermom, Wonder Woman and the bionic woman whilst looking like one of Charlie’s Angels. Funky Goddess
- I am the product of a mumpreneur! And very proud it and of her @HDBrowsinDublin
- Gosh I suspect I will be no help! mumpreneur/dadpreneur I guess we are all balancing work, home & life fingers x’ed @AnnetteMBurgess
- For me, Mumpreneur=being a Mum in biz who balances family & biz in a way that works for my family & I @CaitrionaEllis
- Juggling everything. Time, house, kids, work but very rewarding to spend more time with kids @pinataspinatas
- A constant juggle between family and work. A least you’re the boss of both! @heybabyie
- It is a tough one but I think to be a ‘mumpreneur’ you need to accept that you are an ambitious person & not feel guilty about it. @CarterMarissa
So there you have it, opinions from other Mumpreneurs or mothers who also happen to run a business from home. Do you use the word Mumpreneur, or not? Do you see it as a positive or a negative word?