The Great ‘Mompreneur’ Debate

A funny twist of events happened last week.  Really.  It all started with a conversation on Twitter regarding the term ‘Mompreneur’…..sort of a ‘like it or hate it’ type chat.  Opinions varied widely among all those involved, and you know what?  I declared that I don’t mind ‘Mompreneur.’

At the same time as this Twitter-conversation was happening, Meghan Casserly’s (Forbes) post on the exact subject caught my eye.  Hmmmmm….maybe cosmic destiny?  The title of Casserly’s post says it all:  ‘Mompreneur: Own It, Ignore It, or Prove It Wrong’.  Casserly lays out various sides of the argument perfectly. Could it be that moms are not taken seriously when identifying with the bubbly moniker of ‘Mompreneur’?  Should ‘Moms in Business who happen to also have Children’ and ‘Mompreneurs’ set aside the cat fight because invariably they are both happy (isn’t that the goal – happy, engaged women)?

Back to Twitter, where the chatter was leaning towards ditch the term ‘Mompreneur’ because it is too cutesy, demoralizing, and only about a mom-related (diapers? burp cloths?) business run by a mom.  The comments on Forbes reflected another side of the discussion with several women & moms defending the term, ‘Mompreneur.’

The fact still remains that I do not mind being called a ‘Mompreneur.’  Since I could not answer why in a tweet, the idea of writing a post seemed more fitting.  My fellow tweetees involved in the chat cheered me on to do just that!  As with any great debate, there are always a minimum of 2 sides.  I am sure this argument can and will be challenged from many angles.  Just remember that this is MY feeling on ‘Mompreneur.’

The bottom line as to why I am not bothered by being called a ‘Mompreneur’ is that I am in the business of being a MOM.  Yes, I am a MOM.  My position at MOM, Inc. is a 24/7 gig.  I am on call, available, and could be called to duty 365 days a year.

Yes, I have a Husband.  Yes, my children have a Dad.  My husband is even an entrepreneur, and, no, we do not refer to him as a Dadpreneur.

So, why do I still think that ‘Mompreneur’ is A-OK?  Let’s see – I can be up all night with a sick child, and still run my business affairs with the same child burning up next to me.   I bite my nails when I am on a conference call and I see sleepover camp calling (with a kid obviously in the infirmary), but I finish the call in a professional way before hyperventilating.  I conduct most of my afternoon business calls from the carpool line and outside the basketball gym.  I find peanut butter on everything I own, and I smile every time!

The point of all this….I work super hard at being both a MOM and at my business while juggling a great deal.  ‘Mompreneur’ shouts that I do it all.

I am MOM.  I walked around BIG and prego for 9 months twice.  I wiped countless tushies.  I have been snotted on, thrown up on, and the victim of temper tantrums in the mall.  I check to see if my boys are breathing every night before I go to sleep, and I always take a deep inhale of their tween smell. When the boys are sick, I nurse them back to health.  When homework help is required, I jump into action.  When a bruised ego is hurt, I comfort.  When a birthday needs celebrated, I bake (buy) a cake.

Don’t misunderstand my husband LOVES our boys and vice-versa (and he ate pretty well for 9 months twice too), but I am in the business of being a MOM and an entrepreneur.

I own the cutesy moniker ‘Mompreneur’ because even though I always want to be taken seriously in business, my job involves being a MOM.  I prove to myself every day that I can do BOTH – the MOM role and the start-up role.  I think that I should be recognized for both positions – being a MOM and a business woman because simply said – that is what I am.

What’s your take? ‘Love it, Hate it or Ambivalent?’ Rachel


{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Nicole Fende October 10, 2011, 12:14 PM

    Rachel I love this post! I too have struggled with the term #mompreneur b/c I worried it might pigeonhole me, or the fluffy aspect you mention might create a negative first impression. At the end of the day I’m an entrepreneur and I’m a mom. I agree that when we own the term we reaffirm that you can be an awesome mom and an awesome entrepreneur. Here’s a toast to all the #mompreneurs in the room!
    Nicole Fende recently posted..Cage Match: Sales vs. FinanceMy Profile

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    • Rachel Blaufeld October 11, 2011, 10:32 AM

      Thanks Nicole! BTW – you are both an awesome mom and entrepreneur! It is great to know you share the same sentiment….RB

      Reply
  • Haralee October 10, 2011, 3:20 PM

    It is a twist on the age old debate’working out side of the home’. When you ask women what they do and they say I am a Mom, and that is their job is it less important than the woman who gives her occupation or title and then says she is a Mom?
    If you are a Mom you are always a Mom but as babies become school age and teens and adults defining yourself as a Mom and Mompreneur has a different meaning.
    If your target customer is also a Mom that gives your job description more creds!
    Haralee recently posted..WelcomeMy Profile

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    • Rachel Blaufeld October 11, 2011, 10:34 AM

      Haralee — it is a sticky situation! Why do we as women feel the need to judge others? Moms vs. working moms is a bad bad bad debate! Hate it! RB

      Reply
  • Judi Moore October 10, 2011, 6:09 PM

    I think your post is right on about Mompreneur describing what you (we) do. But I argue that we don’t need new descriptions so much as we need the world to stop trying to label and pigeonhole us. We’re business people, smart enough to find ways to combine our roles and accomplish much if not all of the work that falls on our shoulders. My children are long grown and gone, but I still nurture and monitor when I can, while developing business from a home office. I’m guessing that the people anxious to label us so they can “pitch” us might be confused by a middle-aged Mom selling ideas on the internet.
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    • Rachel Blaufeld October 11, 2011, 10:35 AM

      Judi – interesting points on pigeon-holing….yes, I think that happens no matter what ‘category’ anyone falls into….RB

      Reply
  • Wendy October 10, 2011, 10:21 PM

    great post. wonderfully said, and I am not a fan of the term mompreneur…well, i wasn’t until I read this post. You are absolutely right. As my partner said, only men get to work without children!!!!!!! keep it up, you rock.
    Wendy recently posted..iBra!My Profile

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    • Rachel Blaufeld October 11, 2011, 10:36 AM

      Wendy — I like that about men! I am most envious that my husband can schedule a haircut without looking for childcare! RB

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  • Annmarie October 11, 2011, 8:57 AM

    Great post! As a new mom and mompreneur it helped me sort out my feelings about the label and the reality is that my first love and job is being a mom and I love being an entrepreneur, networking and doing business with moms.

    Reply
    • Rachel Blaufeld October 11, 2011, 10:37 AM

      AnnMarie – I am looking forward to seeing/hearing great things from YOU! RB

      Reply
  • Judy Goldman October 11, 2011, 9:08 AM

    Great post from a great mompreneur!

    Reply
    • Rachel Blaufeld October 11, 2011, 10:37 AM

      THANKS MOM!

      Reply
  • Judi Moore October 11, 2011, 10:42 AM

    I do think labeling happens no matter what. And I think labeling with a negative connotation is basic human nature, which is my reason for arguing against any new labels. We all know that busy women probably get more done in a day than six non-super-human characters, but allowing our business to be labeled as anything other than business gives critics a shorthand for dismissing it. I also don’t think it’s a problem we can solve. So dividing up over it is pointless and ignoring it is at our peril. I think it’s more an awareness issue of how we’re being categorized, and for what purpose.
    Judi Moore recently posted..October Deals, Coupon Codes and PromotionsMy Profile

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  • Sandra October 12, 2011, 11:07 AM

    The mompreneur title suites you. It is just amazing how you balance being a responsible mom and an entrepreneur. You are in a tough position and I am glad that you are doing great. You are an inspiration to us moms.
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    • Rachel Blaufeld October 12, 2011, 11:16 AM

      Sandra – thank you so much! Some days, I feel my groove….others – not so much! RB

      Reply
  • Helen Neale October 13, 2011, 2:40 PM

    I’ve been chatting on Twitter about this too; pronbably at the same time as it was insprired by the same article! I only launched my business in May, and its not even off the ground yet. I had never heard of the moniker until I did. And I am certainly of the same opinion as you; I like it, it does exacatly what it says on the tin! I’m a mom and I run a business around being one. I have started the business on my own, with great support from my family, precisely because I’m a mom and want to be my own boss. It therefore describes me perfectly. And have the mompreneur “label” means I can easily find people who have the same challenges and problems that I do – and we can all help each other out. Anything that develops your support network, and your business opportunities can’t be a bad thing, can it?

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    • Helen Neale October 13, 2011, 2:40 PM

      sorry for the typos – kid on lap!

      Reply
  • Lori Lavender Luz February 15, 2012, 5:03 PM

    I think I side with you (I declare that I am a MommyBlogger, a similarly divisive term, on my About page).

    “My position at MOM, Inc. is a 24/7 gig.” Yes! The difference between my husband and me is that I’m able to fit my work around our kids and he must have his work as his centerpiece. I’m happy and proud to say I do that.

    Sorry I’m late to this — thought-provoking!
    Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Duel: Self-improvement vs self-acceptanceMy Profile

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    • Rachel Blaufeld February 15, 2012, 5:51 PM

      better late than never….this is an ongoing discussion and totally agree with your thoughts. I feel like in this lifetime my role will continually change, but I will always be a mom.

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