Thoughts on Being A Mom And Business Owner
Our oldest daughter, Ava, just celebrated her second birthday this week and it has me reflecting on our lives and how so much has changed for us in just 2 short years. I am a better business owner BECAUSE I’m a mom. I have learned to prioritize what is most important and not apologizing for being a mom when it’s time to make that a priority.
From having to pump in a shared women’s bathroom to being told that we lost a wedding booking due to pregnancy, we need to change how we think about motherhood and work, not just get tougher skin.
Part of the problem is that workaholism is praised in our culture. We honor the people who get up at 5 a.m., stay at their desks until 10 p.m., and never take more than 10 minutes to answer an email. If you’re busy, it means you’re important, and it’s in our nature to want to impress other people. But “more” doesn’t mean “better,” and again, there’s a lot of evidence that the opposite is true: having full lives and meaningful relationships outside of work makes us more productive, not less. Tunnel vision isn’t always a good thing; sometimes it hurts.
Personally, I know our family clients LOVE that we are parents. They want to see our entire life, both professional and personal. Honestly, I think our wedding clients love it too – but the biggest issue I have seen is the shift in the wedding industry as a whole.
As vendors, the wedding industry and those who work in it believe that you can not share both. That clients will be deterred from your kids because they are not in that chapter of their lives yet. And yes, this is not a false statement because we have seen it first hand that even being pregnant has led to a loss in a wedding booking – because apparently you can’t be pregnant and be a wedding photographer at the same time.
But would you really want to serve clients who believe that way of thinking? I say not. I want to serve clients who love their nieces and nephews so much that they are part of the wedding day. Client’s who love their furbabies so much, they are the “flower girl” that escorts a grandma down the aisle. I want to celebrate those parts of their lives with them, and I want to serve clients who love to celebrate my highest achievements as well. Having children has been the biggest blessing for me and I’m proud to be a mother.
So, let your clients know who you really are. I think this can only make respect grow. For example, if your child, partner, or even pet shows up on the screen during a video call, you should introduce them. When you admit that there’s more to your life, you make it easier for other people to do the same. Let your kids know what you do for a living so they can respect you for more than just being their mom. Put your own values into the way you do things at work. Be yourself and be sure of everything you do at work, and let your clients do the same. For example, if your kids play soccer every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., you should be there and let your clients know. They will see you as someone who cares about the same things they do. Someone who values family and legacy. Someone who wants to make an impact on the world, not just in their career, but in their day to day lives as well.