I started a post a month ago while at SocialDevCamp Chicago regarding my feeling of being the only Mom in a see of young, single, kidless, time rich men and women in the Web industry. How would I ever compete? How would I ever know as much? Maybe I shouldn’t even bother, I thought. Those thoughts didn’t last as long as it would have taken me to finish that blog post, so I never did get to hit Publish.
But yesterday the flame was rekindled. I stumbled on an article by a married but kidless female entrepreneur clearly stating her opinion (though it sure sounded like fact, didn’t it?) that if you have children, you can’t run a startup. Insert “punch to the gut” feeling here. I mean, the author is clearly a successful entrepreneur and admits that if she had kids that something she does now wouldn’t get done then. But how in the world can she blast to her readers something that she has only half-experienced? Start-up: check! Children: oh wait… Clearly she hasn’t tried running a startup with children and apparently hasn’t asked around enough to find people that have.
I’ll admit that this hit me extra hard at a delicate time in my personal and professional life. I’m four years into at-home mom and two years into the Web industry. I’m burnt out on 14 hours a day with kids and 5 hours a day to pursue professional interests (and therefore not much sleep). I’m ready for some change, some balance. And I’m ready to pull together my team and rally for financial backing to make my professional dreams come true. But then I just read that I can’t run a start-up. You know, because I have kids.
Now those of you that know me know that reading this article won’t stop me. I’m better than that. I work effectively, have already had great career success, and have a support system around me to help make it all come together. Will I make it all work? Only time will tell, but I feel like the odds are in my favor, kids or not.
So I’d love to hear from you, successful parents and entrepreneurs. How did you do it? What did you have to sacrifice to make it all happen? What advice do you have for other parents that don’t want to drop their professional dreams?