Self-employed: Why mothers start their own business
Slowly independent – better than nothing, for mothers who don’t have much time left.
This way is probably not the easiest one, because I have a toddler and a baby at home that needs a lot of sewing. But nevertheless I would like to take it. Or is that why? In any case, it is not the fastest way to independence, because I always take breaks. Whether they are determined by others or consciously, because my energy is not endless. I wish it were, but it isn’t.
I am no longer 20, childless and have 24 hours a day to burn for my idea. I have maybe three hours a day, 20 minutes on others and quite often I have no time for my business. It was a long time until I realized this, it hurt and I often put myself under pressure. I got rid of this pressure, I changed my way: slowly on my own. My new series begins with a topic that is probably obvious:
Why do mothers set up their own businesses?
A long holiday, a short break: when I was able to relax for the first time in a distant place, I wished: this could always be like this. To work anywhere in the world, to take time off myself, to go to my desk at lunchtime. Since I became a mother, my working hours have taken on a different significance in relation to the rest of my time with the children – organisationally!
In addition to my time at the office, at meetings and on the train, I want to have time with my children that is not just for making dinner and putting the kids to bed. I have experienced it for a long time: if I pick up my child after 5 pm, that is exactly what is left of the day. No long playing, no big jokes. Especially small children are then ready, demand their routines and are quickly in bed. Family time: no chance.
Limited working time models
How nice it would be if I only had to work until 2 p.m., could get my children out of care and still have enough time for a playground or an ice cream parlour. Once the children are in bed, I could sit at my desk at home and continue working.
There are employers who make this possible. But not mine. Obligatory attendance, core working hours, a very limited number of flexitime – many companies still have that. One way to soften the balance is to work part-time. As in my case before the birth of babyberlin.
The disadvantages are obvious: in addition to a lower income, many also lose responsibility. Few companies have positions of responsibility that someone can perform in less than 30 working hours. As a result, many parents cut back on their responsibilities in favour of their family.
But where are the own ideas, creativity and also responsibility for what one does? With colleagues, because Frau Berlin is only there until 2 pm. Sure, I had the opportunity to work full-time. But then my children would be the first in kindergarten at 7:30 in the morning and the last at 5 pm. That would certainly be ok for the children, if they only got to know it that way. But do I want that?
Before the parental leave I worked 80 percent. But this missing 20 percent makes a difference in the working world. Because Mrs Berlin, she’s only here until 2 pm. Every time I use after leaving the office to check mails, write concepts or do research, I do it “for free”, because mathematically, only the work I was present in the office counts. If I wanted to change this situation, I would have to change my employer… or I would finally start my own business.
Release your creativity
Do you still remember the dream job you had as a child or teenager? Well, I wanted to be a dancer, later an artist. In the end I studied “something with media”, became a journalist and then ended up in marketing. I don’t mean to say that I am now starting my own business as a dancing artist. But it is obvious that I went a bit off track, isn’t it? I could continue to be creative, but this creativity had its limits and for employees these limits are often determined by others.
Of course I could write creative slogans, design eye-catching campaigns and completely change the corporate design. But does the company I work for also want that? I have often experienced that many ideas don’t fit into the overall concept, that bosses and CEOs want something else or that things simply don’t get implemented, no matter how hard I worked on the idea.
I like to determine things myself, my creativity is my capital. If I pack her for years in a box whose dimensions are determined by someone else, it does her no good. Sure, even in self-employment some ideas are discarded and maybe the money for implementing others is missing. But still I have no limits for the time being until I set them for myself. And even if they seem narrow at first, I can expand them a bit every day, if I wish to do so myself.
Own boss, own responsibility
Another reason why I would like to become self-employed: I would like to be my own boss. Sound flat? Maybe. But only then will I be fully responsible for what I do. I no longer need approvals, which in my company sometimes take several days or even weeks. What’s left of the original idea at the end is also questionable. Sure, I need exchange, but that’s more for ideas or know-how. How do I want to do that? This will follow in a later article.
But this responsibility is also something I am afraid of. I have to be honest with you and myself. Because when I decide something and – to put it mildly – fuck it up, then it’s just too late. Nobody who stands in front of me to protect me, who develops a crisis plan together with me or who can still save something thanks to a budget buffer. Fucked up is fucked up. I believe that this experience will be part of this series one day and to be honest I’m dreading it. This experience. But even with defeats I have to learn how to deal with them. Especially when I’m my own boss.
Burning for something
I have already mentioned above my path to my dream job, from which I have slightly deviated. To be honest, I don’t know many people who do exactly what they always wanted to do, or more specifically: who do what they love. Sure, many tasks in a job are enjoyable or fun.
But do you love what you do? Do you say: Wow, this is what I want to do for the next xx years because it is so great? If so, congratulations. If not: this is how I feel. Sure, I like my job, I am also behind the core task of my company, but there is always something that clouds the overall picture. Or someone. That’s okay, and I think it’s normal.
But building something of your own means having the idea entirely in your own hands. Of course, there are some tasks I don’t like. Accounting, for example. But still: what I do there is much more like a dream job, because it’s up to me if it’s my dream job.
How do you see it, why would you start your own business? Or maybe you have already done it.