Being a Mom
Being a mom is a privilege, and it’s also a responsibility. Being a mom and an entrepreneur is hectic, and even the word hectic is an understatement. Between trying to balance both comes the toxic influence of everyone who either thinks I’m not being fair to my business, or not being fair to my child. In the process, I find myself explaining myself every single time, and the story goes as follows:
“I wake up with the baby at 5:30, change her, feed her, read to her, and spend some quality time with her, before I get ready for work and drop her off to my mother’s at around 8. I get to the office at around 8:30, and I work till around 3, then I’m back to my moms, pick up my baby, spend some afternoon quality time with her, and put her to bed by 5:30 or 6:00, and pick up my work load again. Of course, there are times when I end up working late or stuck in a meeting with a client, and my baby falls asleep at my moms, and I simply don’t have the heart to wake her up, so I just go home, wrap up my day with more work, get some sleep, and I’m up again by 5:30 the next day.”
The more I think of how many times I have explained my way of life lately, the more I believe that I simply shouldn’t. Am I being judged as an entrepreneur because I am a woman? Why doesn’t anyone ask my husband how much quality time he spends with his daughter? Why is it understandable for my husband to work late all the time, where you get the sympathetic nods as people tend to “understand” because the man of the household has to put food on the table, yet when it’s the other way round, then I’m frowned upon, because mommy duty is around the clock, and apparently trying to balance between work and bringing up a child is frowned upon.
If there is anything I know in my 29 years of life to date, is that entrepreneurship and motherhood are more similar than people would think, both aspects of my life do not have dedicated work hours, I do not get to punch in or punch out of work, I run both simultaneously with very minimum hours of sleep, sometimes I’m running around with only 4 or 5 restless hours that I’ve managed through the night, and of course, as an entrepreneur, a mother, and a woman, my brain simply doesn’t stop, every woman can relate when I say this – my brain simply doesn’t go to sleep when I do, it’s a machine that solely runs around the clock.
Then, I look to my mom, who started her business back in 1985, yes, 30 years ago, before I was born, my mom started her own business, and still successfully runs it till this day. I look up at my mom and I strive to be like her, strong, inspirational, successful, and just everything I would like to be when I’m older, and then some.
My mom didn’t have it easy when I was a baby. Surely she had many sleepless nights like me, and struggled by balancing between raising a child, and running her business and it couldn’t have been stress-free. I am quite certain that she had made very difficult decisions every time she had to work late, and bringing up a child cannot be a piece of cake. But fast forward into my future, my mom, a working mom, an entrepreneur who had to start from scratch and build her business from the ground up has raised a daughter who is proud to follow her footsteps. She has inspired me and pushed me into a higher education, and I am now a proud holder of both a bachelors and a master’s degree. I have had joined the work force at an early age of 17 years, and 10 years later, I managed to co-start my own business. Nothing comes easy, but hard work always has a way of paying off. Now I understand all of the sacrifices that my mom has made, and I thank her every day for every single moment she has spent with me, and every moment she allowed me to look up at her and be inspired, for every opportunity, for the times she nudged me out of my comfort zone and out of her shadow, and for the endless chances where she allowed me to be me, to strive, and make a person out of myself, which has molded the character, and put me on the path of where I am today.
The next time I see a working mom, I will salute her for balancing a career and being a mom, the immense responsibility you take on as a parent and as a company founder is unlike any other – I understand that – I am currently living that, and looking back; I have seen my mother succeed because of that. Now, I strive to be a role model for my Hana, and to show her through leading a business and being a mom, that she can be whatever she wants to be, as long as she puts her mind to it. If anything, maybe I’ll ditch her bed time story tonight, and read her this blog post instead.
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