The Entrepreneurial Mama Who Rocks

Celebrating successes in the quest for a work-life balance is important – but so is acknowledging the struggles.

Working mothers
Sometimes the mama who rocks gets rocked in the quest for the work-life balance.

Celebrating successes in the quest for a work-life balance is important – but so is acknowledging the struggles.

Some weeks the delicate mother-entrepreneur balance makes you feel like a mama who rocks. You manage to knock item after item off your to-do list; the baby’s food is handmade and stocked up in the freezer; you make it for story time at the local library and tea with some fellow mamas; and to top it all off, you even slip into an apron and whip up some homemade cookies to enjoy over Sunday tea. While it’s not easy, you think to yourself smugly, it isn’t half bad, this running a business and raising a baby gig.

This was how I was feeling when I was named a “mama who rocks” in Yoyomama, a local newsletter for moms. I awoke one morning to an influx of emails, Facebook messages and tweets – all congratulating me on the mama who rocks profile.

On this particular day though, those notes were mixed in with an onslaught of client requests, deadline changes, childcare hiccups, and a stubborn car that seems to be visiting the mechanic weekly for kicks. Over the course of 24 hours I slid from keeping it together, to buried under an avalanche of work.

To add insult to injury, along came a head cold (me), and a nasty seven day fever and all-over body rash (baby). There goes another week of productivity. And let’s not even discuss the looming errands and to-dos for Christmas.

Although I stand behind the need to celebrate with and share the stories of entrepreneurial moms who are making it work, sometimes we need to know about the ugly side too. Excluding our stories (and we all have them) of the not-so-successful life-work balance does us all a disservice. By not sharing the gory details along with the shining successes, we leave each other feeling alone, and often like total failures on both the business and parenting tracks.

Some of my congratulatory notes were tinged with colours of jealousy, or pure wonderment at how I was pulling off being the boss lady at home and at work with such apparent grace and ease. The irony was that the week the column came out, there was no grace or ease to be found anywhere in my life. But nobody knew this. The mama who rocked was the mama who gets rocked – by both life and work.

I don’t think I have it any tougher or easier than most of us grasping at the elusive work-life balance. And, for the most part, I am pretty happy with the balance that I have, but it does mean that balls get dropped. Pizza gets ordered more nights than I’d like. Meetings get rescheduled. And my floors are definitely not something you would want to eat off of.

Celebrating the moments that rock is worth it, but acknowledging that we all get rocked ourselves sometimes keeps it all in perspective.