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18 May 2013

Mompreneur – Battle Cry? Or Disclaimer?

I know this title might put some peoples’ undies in a bunch, but hear me out. I think we need to dump the collective term, “Mompreneur,” as it’s getting used, abused, and sliding down into the depths of what I think is now an “excuse” used by some women starting, building or engaging in a business.

According to everyone’s friend, Wickipedia, “Mompreneur is a neologism defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.”

Okay, got that. Balancing the demands of work and parenting is nothing new but what I am seeing popping up everywhere is the term “mompreneur” – used instead of “Business Woman” or “Entrepreneur”. Do I think women are using this term to shout “I am an Entrepreneur AND a MOTHER! Hear me Roar!” . . . um, not so much. More often, I think it’s being used as a disclaimer rather than a Rally Cry. As if to say, “Well, I am an entrepreneur, but I’m also a mom, so you see, it’s okay if I’m not so busy, or so successful, or just dabbling at this project here or there because I’m a mom, don’t pay me much attention . . . ” you get the idea.Busy Mom

There’s nothing wrong with dabbling or hobbies that make money, but I think this term is being used as a veil – an excuse, if you will for women – giving themselves permission to be marginally successful at their businesses or endeavors. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a Regional Manager at company XYZ. Would you introduce yourself to potential clients as “Jane Smith, Mom Regional Manager.” Or, imagine that in a performance review, the criteria used for qualifying for a bonus is how well your children are behaved and how much did you grow sales last quarter? No? That’s because women have fought for the rights to be judged equal, paid equal and viewed equal as men in the workplace. I’m not saying we don’t still live in a world where that is not always what truly happens, but we women, ESPECIALLY MOTHERS, do NOT need to indulge in any more self sabotage than what our inevitable personal baggage already contributes.

Think about the next time you introduce yourself to someone or describe yourself to someone. Use, “Hello, I’m Jane Smith, I’m an entrepreneur, a mother, and a volunteer.” How does that resonate versus, “Hello, I’m Jane Smith, a Mompreneur and a volunteer.”

Truthfully, in an age where we are celebrating and doing kartwheels because there’s a “new FEMALE CEO at a major global company and OMG, she’s pregnant” . . . we need to ditch terms like “Mompreneur” that define our business goals and ambitions within the parameters of being a woman and a mother. Women can build people, and women can build successful businesses . . . whatever scale we choose, both at the same time, if we choose. But please be strong and proud of being an entrepreneur and a mother . . . just lose the wimpy term.

Until next time . . . keep kickin’ butt,

-sks

3 Responses

  1. Tonya

    I think the same could be said for the term WAHM, or work-at-home-mom. In the past I’ve seen this as an excuse, that just because you work at home, it’s okay if you have kids yelling in the background because you’re a WAHM. I work at home, and when I am working, my full attention is on my project. Now, do I get to be more flexible because I’m at home, yes. Do I get to drive to doctors appointments and soccer practice more, yes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a job to do when I need to do it. Your job/career/entrepreneurship has to have a separate place from parenting. It’s only fair to both you and your children that each get your undivided attention, making you a better career woman and a better mom.

  2. Kalyna Hanover

    Agreed! Strike that silly word out of the existence. Call a spade a spade. Cute terminology is impeding our success not propelling it. Let’s at least start out at a level playing field. Great Post Miss Shawn!

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