Close

Behind the 'mumpreneur' facade

Behind the 'mumpreneur' facade

I’ve always prided myself on my sense of gritty British realism – so no one was more surprised than me when motherhood transformed me into the queen of self-delusion.

Jil O'BrienIn addition to the usual first time Mum delusions (I’ll be wearing my skinny jeans again in six weeks; life will return to normal in a few months, etc. etc.) I held many grand delusions about starting a business, remaining sane and being a full time mum to my (now 9-month-old) little boy.

The ‘Mumpreneur’ seems to grace the pages of every parenting magazine I look at these days. I’d love to class myself in this category but I feel like a bit of a fraud – these mumpreneurs seem to exude glossy confidence with their manicured nails, polished pitches and obedient offspring.

When my partner and I hit upon the idea of Borrowed Size, I’d imagined myself as a perfectly organised, perfectly glossy mumpreneur. My son and I would skip through golden cornfields accompanied by tuneful birdsong before I laid him smiling in his crib for his morning nap. He would sleep for a blissful two hours whilst I became an entrepreneurial dynamo – securing investment, managing branding and masterminding world domination plans over my morning tea. See – delusional!

The truth is that starting your own business is hard work. Being a mum is also hard work. The two combined are damn near impossible on some days!

Creating workable order from the chaos of family life is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced and apparently I’m not alone; all over the country, new mums are shunning an early return to their corporate roots in favour of developing their entrepreneurial dreams.

And therein lies the reason for this blog: Over the next 12 months I’ll chart my progress as a startup founder; the highs, the lows and the meetings I’ve endured with baby spew in my hair!

Hopefully along the way I’ll discover tricks and trade secrets of the glossy mumpreneur. Watch this space; I’ll let you know.

Jil O’Brien is co-founder of Borrowed Size  and can’t decide whether she is a mother, blogger, or entrepreneur, but is usually all three at some point each day.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).