A new baby and a new business. Are you mad?
When you have a baby, everything in your life changes. So why not add a new business into the mix? Find out why new motherhood may just be the perfect time to become an entrepreneur!
If you think it’s crazy to chase after your business dreams while running around after a toddler, you might be right. But Natalie Smithson knows from experience that it could also be the right time to realise your ambition, whatever it might be.
Your old life doesn’t fit any more
You’ve had your first baby and guess what? Your old 9-5 job doesn’t fit your life any more. Slowly, as you emerge from the first six months of motherhood, it begins to dawn on your that everything – that is, every single thing – in your life is different to what it was before.
It seems obvious during pregnancy and to everyone around you that becoming a mum will change your life. No matter what your past experience (or lack of) with babies, nappy changing, breastfeeding, weigh-ins, and projectile vomit, nothing can prepare you for the transition.
Barely able to recognise what was important in life before your baby arrived, priorities change. Their significance expands like a sponge in water – you’re a role model now, and every decision you ever made is to be hauled up in front of your own court to assess whether or not you’re up to the job.
Grab the bull by the horns
Whatever you always wanted to be or do now knocks on your door to ask why you never made it happen. You might have a good reason for this, but watching a new life blossom in front of your very eyes, day in and day out, makes it impossible to believe it’s too late.
You grew a person and are keeping them alive; anything is possible.
Dreams don’t fit into a nine to five schedule, and neither does your child. There’s nothing else for it than to carve out a new path that accommodates the changes in you and the way you want to live now, for you and your family.
You join an army of mumpreneurs, mum inventors, mummylancers and other names for women who became parents and ventured into business on their own terms. Men have been doing it for years, but their lack of fatuous labels is discussion for another day.
The point is, you are not alone. Women with nine months of maternity leave and an unsatisfied desire to create, make or manage something are not to be underestimated.
How to make it work for you
It’s hard to believe you can get a kite, let alone a business off the ground when three quarters of every day as a new mum is preoccupied with some kind of bodily fluid, but your baby won’t be small forever.
If only you’d done this years ago instead of going to the pub after work and lying around in bed at the weekends… but that’s by the by – the time is now.
While your child is young and your new role as a mother is still in its infancy, begin to grow your project or business idea. Write it down and say it out loud, so that it becomes tangible. Should you want advice along the way, there’ll be no shortage of this from other mums who know your struggle.
However, only you know what works best for you and your family. Nobody else can tell you how to organise your plans, but certain compromises and considerations are universal:
- How much money do you need to make in order to pay the bills?
- Can you dedicate time each and every week to develop your ideas?
- Will you need childcare, and how much will it cost?
- Do you have the full support of your family to change the arrangement?
- Are you serious about building a brand, or are you just after a hobby?
If you are serious about starting a reputable business, it can’t loosely fit in around your child’s naps or be picked up and dropped at will. However, you will find yourself working some very peculiar hours and in unexpected places.
Be true to yourself
If you take a look around at some of the entrepreneurs, inventors, and freelancers around you, it’s possible to spot a familiar theme: they love what they do, or were compelled to change the way they work after children came along.
Many post-baby workers are joining together to promote their products, use one another’s services, and offer mutual support. You can join us at any time.
List three small steps you can take towards achieving your goal, for example:
- Come up with a name for your business.
- Read a book to brush up on your skills.
- Research local nursery costs.
- Or maybe set up a social media account.
Keep on adding to your list, step by step, and don’t forget to acknowledge your progress, but remember that the most important thing you will ever do in your life is already accomplished, so it’s all baby steps from here.
I’d love to know how you get on.
Need more help to get a business idea off the ground? We recommend reading How to start a business – your first 10 steps.
Natalie Smithson is a freelance writer at Bobbin About and available to hire for parenting, children, and baby brands. If you need help with a brand message or would like to ask her advice about setting up on your own, find her on Twitter.