Do NOT Call Me A Momtrepreneur
It's a fun word often used to describe a mom who also has a business endeavor. Sometimes a MLM company or a small Etsy shop. Many moms proudly hashtag their pictures and work, proud of their work/life balance. For many, it's a badge of honor.
It's a word I really, really hate.
I love being a mom. I have three beautiful little girls that constantly keep me on my toes. They bring me immense joy and it is an honor to be their mother, entrusted with the duty of growing and nurturing them and guiding them through life.
But pretty early on I realized that I am unique in one thing. My identity does not lie in my children.
I tried for it to come naturally, but I became depressed, angry, and short with them. We were all miserable with me staying at home all day long and I felt like a terrible mother. I spent most of the day in tears.
Work, and my business, however, was my refuge. When I was able to devote a healthy, set amount of time to my business and take off my mom hat, I came home happy, energized, and ready to read Julius Jr And The Hall of Doors for the 5 millionth time with all the voices that make my girls squeal with delight.
When I was just 3 weeks postpartum after my third baby, I was thrilled when we had a client in labor and Mallory was already with another client. It meant I "had" to leave my baby and go to work. With plenty of breast milk in the freezer and bursting of excitement (yes, seriously) I handed my sweet new baby in to the loving hands of a trusted child care provider who came to my home who can love on my children while I provide for them.
In this society it is unique, and even frowned upon, to have an identity outside of your family. For me, that would be a death sentence.
I'm proud to be a young female business owner, who also happens to be a mom. But they are not one in the same. Occasionally, I will wear two hats at once (there's a fussing baby cradled in my arm as I type this) but I can be neither the best business owner nor the best mother when my attention is divided. Twenty hours each week, I kiss my kiddos goodbye and leave them in the capable hands of their dad and head to my office. There, I can build myself a legacy, and in turn, give my children the world.
Some moms begin with the goal of staying home with their babies. That is wonderful and beautiful. But it is so important to me to speak out and raise awareness of another group- moms who love their children fiercely but desperately need an identity outside of Daniel Tiger and fighting over the last PopTart.
I know the best gift I can give my children is a happy, healthy mom. The best gift I can give my clients is a focused, dedicated doula. The best way I can do that? Taking off my mom hat and focusing on me.
Sunny Schaffer is a Birth and Postpartum Doula and Postpartum Placenta Specialist. She is also the co-owner of Kansas City Family Birth. Learn more about working with Sunny here.