Last night my dearest mom friends had a rare dinner out together. Some of us are a few years in to having children, others are learning the ropes right quick. One friend on maternity leave said ‘I do one thing per day, and if the thing gets done everything else is a bonus.’ She was referring to folding laundry which is a HUGE job. This mantra of one-thing-per-day was something I lived by on my own year of leave from my paid job.
But what if the one thing you wanted to get done that day was draft a business plan? Hit launch on your first startup idea? Sell a product or service you created from scratch?
For many women who can take a leave after baby arrives, thinking about running a business is far far far from their mind. Those people are smart people. Realistic people. I can’t underscore enough - SMART, people. But some of us just need more gasoline (I see you Daddy Yankee) and decide to spend our maternity leaves dreaming up and launching new ventures. Such is the the story of our own business, Mom Friends.
If you’re looking for all the reasons you shouldn’t start a business while on maternity leave, this isn’t the post for you. Trust me, there are tons of reasons not to, and you probably won’t know for sure if entrepreneurialism will pair nicely with your parental duties until you’re in it… but never say never, it just may be the right time to give it a try.
If you want to dive in like we did here are some ‘you go girl’ ‘I dare you’ ‘come to the dark side, you know you want to’ type affirmations.
Here are all the reasons you should totally (maybe) start a business while on leave:
1) You (may) have time:
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones whose baby has some semblance of a sleep schedule.
2) But not a lot:
‘If you want something done ask a busy person,’ Since becoming a mom my time management skills are on. Point. Having no time can force you to prioritize and if being an entrepreneur is a life goal it could be a good time to prioritize it.
3) New pain points, market gaps:
Our whole business started because we felt first-hand that we didn’t have enough information or access to postpartum care and products. Enter, the post-bump essentials. Maybe you will be inspired as you come to know yourself as a parent to solve a new problem like we were.
4) Learn something new:
Sometimes singing Old McDonald a dozen times in a row is super zen, but it’s ok to crave more mental stimulation. Scratch that itch! I began listening to hands-free startup podcasts while breastfeeding non-stop. It hit the spot and I returned to Old McDonald with more enthusiasm than ever!
5) Make some money!
Nuff’ said. Maybe you have an idea that really connects with the market and you’ll bring in some extra dough to cover the nauseating cost of childcare if/when you return to your day job!
6) More flexible work-life?
Hey, maybe this new business is just what you need to NOT return to your day job. #lifegoals.
7) Chase (even more) purpose:
Being a parent can be incredibly rewarding. You’re raising the next generation! Launching a business can keep that warm feeling of purpose in what you do flowing. It’s all good baby, baby!
Good luck to all the moms thinking about starting up! The best news is that you’re not alone: Over 950,000 women in Canada are self-employed. More good news? Female-owned businesses are growing as a proportion of all businesses, and their revenues are on the rise, too.
If you take this leap you will find a community of people to cheer you on and support you along the way (including us, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org). In the meantime though, don’t forget that you already have incredible entrepreneurial skills launching your baby into the world and ensuring they survive and thrive every day.
One final warning: If the one-thing-per-day you do is business related the laundry mountain will grow to become a hazard to your children.
You got this.