In Germany, the number of mom founders is growing – the Mompreneurs, as they are called in the USA. Mompreneurs are women who started their own business during pregnancy or parental leave and rock the family and business at the same time. I also realized my dream of my own organic fashion label during the parental leave of my first child and founded the sustainable children’s fashion label “Wild im Herzen”. Soon child number two will be born – and with two children I will continue my mom business. In the 14 months since the founding of “Wild im Herzen”, a lot has happened, a lot has changed (read more under About Wild im Herzen) – and above all, I have learned a lot. I would like to share my most important learning with you in these 5 tips for independence with a child.
First tip for independent mums: stand behind your founding idea 100 percent
So simple, but incredibly important: Go for it! Only if it is your heart’s desire and you are really on fire will you really succeed. Because yes, independence and family works, but it takes a lot of time, nerves and also financial means to get both under one roof. It is a challenge but if you put your heart and soul into it, you will succeed!
Second tip for independent mothers: Find support
Organize help and support. You won’t do it all yourself.
When I started my own business in March 2017, my son was 10 months old, I had no care for him. But I thought: “I can manage Easy. When he takes his afternoon nap, I work and in the evening I work 2-3 hours more. I’ll be fine.”
And it worked, but at a high price: I had the feeling that I was not doing justice to anyone, not to my son, not to the customers and not to my husband. And certainly not myself.
In October 2017 we learned that our wish would come true and that we were expecting a second child. I was super happy and super stressed. The pregnancy was associated with extreme nausea and I had to take a forced break.
This was bad for business but good for me, because I had to restructure everything and make some decisions for the good of my family, me and the business.
It is important to hand over tasks
I have learned to hand over tasks and to organize help and support. And I advise that to every mom. You don’t have to do everything alone. Form a parenting network and build a care network. People whom you trust and with whom your child feels comfortable can also take the burden off your shoulders.
This also applies to other tasks in everyday business life. As far as possible, outsource those tasks that others do faster, better, cheaper or simply much better than you. Here too, trust is of course very important. If this is not (yet) financially possible, you can, for example, think about the possibility of an exchange of services.
Third tip for independent mothers: Network with other founders
Networking with like-minded people is essential. Build up a network where you can exchange and communicate. If you are a solo founder like me, i.e. you don’t have any business partners, you will soon feel lonely at work. That’s why I have built up a small network of great female entrepreneurs, with and without children, and founded a group where we exchange ideas, motivate, learn from each other, give each other tips and support each other.
Fourth tip for independent mums: Plan your business day and don’t overdo it
I am not the most organized person on earth. So I had to learn to plan and structure my mom and work life. Plan efficiently and realistically, don’t put yourself under too much pressure and don’t set yourself countless To Dos and goals per day, which are unrealistic even without a child(ren), this only frustrates you.
Arrange customer and business appointments best in your (home) office to avoid travel time. If possible set fixed time structures.
Also take care that business and private life do not merge too much. If necessary, set clear limits and working hours. It’s ok to talk to customers or answer e-mails on the playground, and it will certainly happen, but it shouldn’t become the rule.
Set yourself short, medium and long-term goals and define how you want to achieve them. If necessary and possible, take advantage of advice, e.g. in the form of business advice, start-up advice etc. IHK and HKW offer such advice.
Fifth tip for independent mums – Stay yourself
Nobody is perfect! With all the business and family juggling, don’t forget yourself and your needs and take some time off. Take care of yourself and invest in your self