I’m Still the Mom: Birthing a Child & a Business

Lola has wanted almost nothing to do with me lately.

She shouts, “No! No! I want daddy!” When I try to get her out of bed in the morning or when I try to give her a bath.

My husband – being responsible for an almost 3-year-old most hours of the day – is frazzled.

I’m frazzled too. I want to cuddle up to my tiny girl and kiss her soft whispy hair. I almost long for those days she wanted me and nobody else.

As I stood looking over the edge of her crib Saturday morning, trying to coax Lola to let me pick her up – whilst having zero success – Mike sauntered into the room and said, “It wasn’t so long ago the tables were turned.

Yes, I remember.

My paranoid mind would have me believe this shift happened when I started working full-time. My intellect knows 3-years-olds are fickle and this phase has nothing to do with my choice to work. She’ll be back on my hip before long.

But I still struggle with my role as “mother,” especially in the light of Mother’s Day.

My client, Dr. Andrea Doucet, a sociologist who studies breadwinner moms & caregiving dads, wrote a Mother’s Day piece for PhD in Parenting. She shared the stories of many moms who have different views on mothering versus parenting. And it left her main question, “Are you still the mother?” reverberating in my brain.

I find my role ill-defined but my gut – literally – quite sure of my motherhood.

There is something primal there, but we needn’t define it, and setting limitations on gender-based identity discourages the possibilities within our scope of what it means to be human. Mothering comes in many blessed forms!
— Kristin, comment on Are You Still the Mother?

Many moms dream of parenting full-time and building a business during nap time. Practical circumstances and my own unyielding ambition made that unrealistic for me. While my day to day includes few traditional “mom” activities, I still feel a deep connection to motherhood and all the heart-straining, gut-turning emotions that come with it.

The primal awakening that occurs with the advent of motherhood – either biological or adopted – is the same primal awakening that allowed me to birth my business.

To deny my desire to nurture & grow my business would – for me – also deny my true relationship with my daughter.

Certainly, I do not see my daughter & my business as equal but I see a certain symbiosis in their existence. When another mom speaks of family as always her first priority, I wonder how she can see her business outside of the success of her family. It’s not a judgement call on my part but a yearning for a deeper understanding of the relationships of my own family.

I may be a business owner, leader, and breadwinner, but I am equally mother and woman. Where others see duality, I see connection. Where others see choices, I see inevitability.

My family and my business grow together. And I? I am the mother.