I have a confession to make. Those ‘never-to-be-said’ words actually slipped out of my mouth last week as I sat slumped at my dining-table-cum-office, wondering how on earth I was going to pay the bills, get dinner on the table, bath Henry and organise a 3PL tender (all on a Wednesday night). I actually said out loud to myself ‘I miss a nine-to-five-job’. It was a very weak moment indeed, and much wine was needed to curb my woes.

Don’t get me wrong, being a mumpreneur is great. Finally, I have reached a point in my life where I can work from home, be a mum, and do everything in ‘my time’ (even if ‘my time’ means staying up until midnight most nights, multi-tasking between steaming apples and fulfilling orders). But having it all, or rather, doing it all, does take its toll. Though I get to go to playgroup, swimming or the gym most mornings, most evenings are full to the brim with conference calls, social media or marketing strategies, to name but a few. Let’s just say I can write a press release in my sleep these days. And don’t get me started on sleep (or the sheer lack of it).

Before I became a mumpreneur, I was filled with dreams and ideals of running my own company. It was something I had always wanted to do, but never had the confidence, time or unique idea to take a chance and go out on a limb. Starting a business whilst on maternity leave seemed like the perfect idea, as I was finally forced to stay away from the workplace (at least for a little while). Finding a unique product whilst on a holiday seemed like the cherry on top, and I was good to go.

But dreams and reality are usually somewhat different. Let’s take the very early days. When the business kick-started started in August 2012, my husband and I were in San Francisco on a business trip with his company. The dream: Me on blackberry, whilst taking in the cultural and historical sights of such a beautiful city. The reality: Me knee-deep in work, whilst trying to manage a one-year old in a foreign city with no immediate help on hand. No exactly the glamorous image one pictures of mum on laptop whilst gazing from the windows of the SFMOMA, child frolicking about.

Even in the thick of it, during the launch of our toddler shoes at the Sydney Baby & Toddler Show in Sept 2012, sleep was a thing of the past. After spending months organising the event, we arrived, armed with family, flyers and lots and lots of shoes. In my idealist visions, I had imagined Henry playing in the corner of our exhibition stall while I spoke to prospective customers as he modelled our Attipas functional shoes. In reality, we were run off our feet for three days, trying shoes on screaming toddlers and managing their highly frustrated parents. Henry meanwhile had a brilliant day watching Pepper Pig on centre stage while being minded by my mum.

This weekend proved no different. Waking up on Saturday at the crack of dawn (given, a normality for any parent with a toddler), my husband and I moaned about the fact we had to be at Willoughby at 8am. There, we met a photographer and two other toddlers (and their very patient mums!) and undertook a photo shoot for our Attipas 2013 Collection. By 10.30am, we had gotten the shots, and were exhausted to say the least. But exhaustion is a thing of the past with a toddler, so we headed home to play ‘choo-choo’ and duplo all afternoon long.

So, would I give it all up? No. My husband constantly asks me ‘Why are you doing this?’ For me, it’s about achievement. Independence. The need to feel involved and take ownership. My doctor once told me ‘a job is good for the soul’. And now I totally agree. Am I tired? Yes. But do I love being a mumpreneur? Hell yes.


  • thanks for a honest insight. wish you all the best

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  • i think that this is a great read. this lady is doing an incredible job and must be so busy! good on her! it is nice to see that she is doing this for her family


    • also i have actually heard of these shoes before

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  • Yeah – not for me right now, but it seems great for a lot of people.

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  • Thanks for your article. I can’t understand why anyone would call themselves a Mumpreneur, even stranger that the word is now in some dictionaries. Men don’t call themselves Dadpreneurs. Why do we have to define our lives by different roles and then shout from the roof tops that we just want to be equal.

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  • Yes, we all have our dreams and then live the reality. I’m sure we all had our dreams about how perfect our life as a mum would be too. Life constantly surprises us and only we ourselves can choose how to handle reality. I believe it’s not so much what happens in life but how we think about it. I am full of admiration for mumpreneurs and their super organising skills but can see that it takes a lot of self discipline to do it all plus a great back up (like your mum) for it to work.

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  • I know exactly how it feels Caroline! I am also a mumpreneuer out of the midwest US, consulting third party logistic companies on ecommerce order fulfillment and online efficiency. Last visit I made out to Los Angeles for a mix of work/play for some client consultation ( http://www.spexpress.com ) and time with the family. My visions of working off the tablet on the beach under a shade umbrella with my child and husband turned into driving around from warehouse to office building to coffee shop to catch a wifi signal and cool down my baby with some a/c, and getting stuck in heavy traffic 4 out of the 5 days I was there . How ironic to be working on 3pl transportation efficiency while getting stuck in LA traffic. yikes! Glad to know we are not alone! Thanks for the nice read :)

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  • If it makes you happy, go with it

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  • I have never been good with sharing dreams, its not cause I think others will steal them, its more I have problems explaining how I see things

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  • If you can make the time to follow your dreams and run a business on top of being a full time mum, then go for it! :)

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  • a great read, thanks for sharing

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  • I always grow up wanting to be fulltime housewife but my mum hopes I can be a mumpreneur…It is impressive to be one but I really find it too demanding!!You must have a very busy home life, hope you do get some time to get out too.

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  • I can totally understand what you mean in this article

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  • Sea change be sure it’s what you want before you leap.

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  • I always grow up wanting to be fulltime housewife but my mum hopes I can be a mumpreneur…It is impressive to be one but I really find it too demanding!!

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  • Interesting to read – thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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