According to a survey conducted by 99 Designs and featured in Entrepreneur, three-quarters of women who are entrepreneurs juggle being the primary childcare providers within their families as well. As an entrepreneurial working mom myself, I can tell you first-hand, this is no easy feat!
However, despite the daily chaos and challenges, I feel it’s completely worth it because I’m able to teach my kids some very valuable life and career lessons. Here are four of the most important lessons they’re learning from my experiences.
1. How to juggle multiple priorities between family and work: Between cooking daily meals, keeping the house clean, managing our social calendar, doing school and sports drop-offs and pick-ups, helping with homework, volunteering, taking work calls, going to meetings and conferences, writing, teaching, consulting and running my business, my kids see me juggling multiple priorities every single day. They see it’s not easy to manage and that I certainly have moments when I drop some of the many balls I have in the air.
However, they also see that I give myself grace, learn from my mistakes, try to stay organized and focused and keep doing what needs to be done because these are the realities of daily life. And they see that our family comes first and their dad and I will always prioritize that no matter what.
2. What it means to work hard and never give up: When I transitioned from my corporate career to becoming an entrepreneur, I gave up something that was tangible to try and build something that was intangible at first and truly built from the ground up. It was and still continues to be extremely hard work. There are no guarantees and everything takes effort, research, trial and error, learning and growth. These are important life skills for my kids to see. Anything worth building or having doesn’t come easy. It takes time, patience and tenacity to keep going and never give up, even on those really tough days.
My kids have also seen the positive sides of working hard and building a business. They’ve seen me have break-throughs, victories, new ideas, moments of creativity and pure joy. I want them to have these experiences in school and in their own careers and pursuits someday as well. And the best way I can help them is to demonstrate and teach through my own organic experiences.
3. Dealing with failures and rejection: In the last five and a half years of being an entrepreneur, I’ve had my fair share of failures and rejections, including business development deals that didn’t go through, having a potential client choose a competitor instead of my company, delayed product launches, a business idea that was shot down, technical problems and more.
While my kids may not understand all the ins and outs of these business issues, they’ve witnessed my raw emotions, including my fears, frustrations and disappointments and have even comforted me in these moments along with their dad. I’m not only grateful to have the constant support of my kids and husband during these tough times, I’m also glad they’re able to see that things don’t always go the way you want them to, but you still have to keep going, problem solve, believe in yourself and remain hopeful. These are important life lessons I hope they’ll take with them into their own lives.
4. What pursuing your dreams looks like: I’ve always been a passionate and optimistic person, full of hopes and dreams. My kids are like that as well and I truly want the world for them. Therefore, I love having them see me follow my heart, pursue my dreams, make my vision and mission for my company a reality, live my purpose and make an impact in the world. Being able to do these things makes me a better mom and entrepreneur. My kids inspire my work and my work inspires me as a mom.
While the paths of entrepreneurship and motherhood aren’t always easy, they’re two of the most rewarding aspects of my life. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to do both because they make me feel stronger, wiser and more alive. I also feel a true sense of responsibility to teach my kids all of the important lessons I’m learning so they have them as tools for when they grow up. And for these reasons, I’m so proud and humbled to be an entrepreneurial working mom!