Balancing Business with Motherhood

Before becoming a mom, I worked as the shopping editor for a magazine. The job required me to regularly visit local boutiques – it was the worst job in the world, sigh. *Insert sarcasm.* Over the course of a year, I got to know many first-time business owners and was surprised to learn several of them also were new moms. As a young 20-something, I thought it odd someone would choose to leave a career and open a small business after having children. However, upon becoming an expecting mother myself, I realized the appeal. As a small business owner, you can set your own hours, make money, and keep your kids home with you, supposedly. Owning a business can combine the best of both worlds.

This thought drove me to startup a photography business while I continued to work a full-time job. When my daughter was born, I left that job with visions of plopping her in a pack-n-play or laying her on a blanket while attending to my photography clients. Visions and reality, however, don’t always agree. For starters, she arrived colicky and never liked that pack-n-play.

Having my daughter – and then my son – definitely opened by eyes to some very real realities about balancing a small business and being a stay-at-home mom…

  1. E-mails are better than phone calls, unless the person on the other end of the line is okay with hearing muffled screaming, crying, and the words poop or pee in the background.
  2. The best time to work on the computer is when you are breastfeeding. Plop that baby on the Boppy and type away. Whoever said don’t let your baby fall asleep while nursing clearly wasn’t a small business owner.
  3. Get to know every indoor play space with free wifi. {I even joined a gym for the free childcare and wifi!}
  4. You will hate how much you are on the computer around your kids.
  5. Your house will usually be in disarray because while on said computer, other rooms of the house are being systematically destroyed.
  6. You will work every waking hour.
  7. You will also parent every waking hour.
  8. Productivity peaks during nap time or after bedtime. {I sometimes pull all-nighters because that’s the only way the work will get done.}
  9. Owning a small business and staying home is a balancing act. The more you put into your business, the less you engage into your kids — and visa versa. Business will experience highs and lows because of this.
  10. Every year at tax time, you will question whether or not owning a small business is even worth it.
  11. You will regularly teeter on the verge of quitting and growing your business. As much as you are sometimes ready to throw in the towel, you can’t because your business has become a part of who you are.
  12. You get a rush when your business grows.
  13. But you also get relief during downtimes when you can just be a mom.
  14. A few days of Mother’s Day Out can be a lifesaver.
  15. Instead of running errands or meeting friends for lunch while the kids are at MDO, you work. You schedule all of your business appointments during those few hours.
  16. You will depend on family members to step in when clients reschedule or cannot meet during the hours your kids are not with you.
  17. You feel guilty asking family members to watch the kids for a date night or a weekend away since you depend on them so much for business.
  18. You still try to fulfill stay-at-home duties such as making dinner every night, washing the dishes, and folding the laundry…since you are at home, after all.
  19. You are sometimes jealous of full-time working moms who work outside the home.
  20. You’re also sometimes jealous of stay-at-home moms who can focus on their family without worrying about work.

Sometimes I wish I could just quiet my entrepreneurial spirit, but I can’t. I love it and hate it, and this is who I am supposed to be. All small businesses are unique as are the moms behind them, so every story is different.

Are you a small business owner? What is your story??


  1. Yes!! I love how you’ve put this into words. The juggle is very hard, but I love being a mama and love being a biz owner. It’s just hard to not always feel like you’re failing since you can never be 100% present as a mama or 100% present in your business! The struggle is real!

    • You are so right! As momtrepreneurs, I think it is so easy to compare ourselves to full-time working parents and to full-time stay-at-home moms, where it feels like we aren’t giving it 100 percent in either direction. We just have to rewrite the equation ;). Love your store btw – you’ve got some really beautiful designs!


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