A mother holds an exalted position in all societies. Some mothers choose to devote all their time to their children, while others choose to continue pursuing their careers and balancing it with their role as a mother. Both decisions are brave, commendable, and deserve the utmost respect. This article, however, focuses on the latter category- mompreneurs
A mompreneur is a woman who runs a business while managing her children. There has been a global rise in the number of businesses owned by women. Out of all these women-owned businesses, 1 in 3 are run by a mother. Many working women report that they felt ‘rushed’ when deciding to return to their careers after having children. Moreover, some were guilt-ridden by the idea that they will not have all the time to give to their children. According to a survey conducted in the US in 2015, 41% of female respondents reported that it is difficult managing a career with children, while the number of men feeling the same way amounted to half of that of women. Obviously, the main reason is lack of support from both families and from work in such scenarios. If a mother is working is pivotal that the father plays his role effectively at home so she is not burdened with two full-time jobs.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people of all genders were laid off by their companies. In this situation, having more than one family member bringing in money proved to be a great way to deal with the situation. Additionally, the financial benefits that come with more than one parent earning are countless. The increase in the overall income of the family helps to make a better family environment. 84% of married people who took part in a survey said that the root of their problems is financial stress. 13% of these said that they have had arguments related to finance with their partners several times in one month. Many adults also reported that they overheard their parents argue about finances as children. This implies that these arguments can directly impact children’s mental health.
The rise in the number of working mothers also points towards a shift from the stereotypical idea that the male figurehead can be the only source of income for a family. Being able to provide for their children and not having to completely depend on the father is empowering. Moreover, financial security aids women in struggling marriages to make important decisions about their future. They also have more freedom when it comes to deciding how they want to spend their money-be it on themselves or if they want to help someone with it. Independency is a way for women to create an identity for themselves.
The option to run a business and create a brand for yourself while online has also recently become popular amongst women who have children. One such example is Nida Fahad, the founder of the Facebook group “Superwomen of Pakistan”.
“One of the obstacles that I observed commonly faced by women in business in Pakistan is that social media, although great for advertising and marketing, are not really ideal for buying and selling. Because the majority of the women entrepreneurs are operating from home, they often feel too exposed – finding themselves stuck in bargaining situations, or competition or even managing day to day tasks get difficult with added responsibilities.” – Nida Fahad.
Thus, to tackle this issue, @NidaFahad launched her tech start-up by the name of Swinged. This is e-commerce, commission-free, marketplace which “provides sellers the target audience and multiple marketing and logistical solutions.”
Additionally, Fahad emphasized greatly the financial security of women. She said that due to patriarchy, which is prevalent all over Pakistan, it is “extremely crucial for us women to have some kind of assets to simply call our own.” Fahad describes owning a startup and leading her community as empowering. Her goals do not only revolve around herself but also around her community.
Maya’s closet is another example. This is a Pakistani e-commerce store that sells clothes, toys, and accessories for babies founded in 2016. It is operated by Sabeen, a young mother, and her husband Altamash. It started as a Facebook page and then they created a website. However, most of their customers still order through Facebook. Their customers are mainly from Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. While initially, they got 15 to 30 orders per month, they have now flourished into a full-fledged online business.
Lok Virsa Boutique in Lahore, Pakistan is owned by Adeeba Talat, a mother of five. In order to become independent and earn enough to be able to send her son abroad for higher education, she started her business of crochet lace clothes. However, she ended up having a bad experience with a local, male, retailer. She then decided to change her marketing strategy and participated in local exhibitions. Through this, she gathered a decent number of customers.
Becoming a mompreneur is definitely not easy. Not only are there multiple familial reasons holding a woman back, sometimes the business environment can prove to be difficult to fit in to. The Swinged owner’s advice to mothers who want to create a brand for themselves is to not wait for their children to grow older and to act at the moment. She said mothers do not have to stop chasing their dreams or being who they are.
This article is written by Anusha Al Karim.