My feet were on the dash. My husband was driving. The remnants of the corn harvest were drying in the fields, and we were discussing “Now what?”
That’s how motherbility began.
But, first, a brief primer on this site:
Motherbility is designed to make it possible for moms to start their own businesses — whether they want to teach piano lessons one night a week or they dream of joining the Fortune 500.
Right now on this site, and in the months ahead, you’ll find answers to critical questions, advice from experts, profiles of women in various stages of business-building, fun ways to keep you motivated, notes on changes in the entrepreneurial world, and personal reflections from me as I go through the start-up process myself.
Once fully developed, motherbility will be a multi-functional website and marketplace aimed at relieving moms of most of their running-a-business burden.
Motherbility is entrepreneurship made easy.
But it’s also, for me, personal.
Quick recap of my life: My history is in journalism. My degree from UW-Eau Claire led to newspaper jobs in Green Bay and Winona, Minn.; which led to a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield; which led to starting a political news bureau in Columbia, SC.; which led to meeting my husband, moving to England, returning to Wisconsin and having three kids; which led to quitting my online news service job so I could be home with the kiddos while they were still little.
And all THAT led me to the front seat of our minivan in the fall of 2013, where I sat, feet on the dash, with my husband driving and our kids entranced by a movie, while he and I discussed, “Now what?”
Here’s my reality: I love being a stay-at-home mom. But the pay sucks.
I quit my job in part because I wanted to stay home with the kids, but also because the cost of child care for three children almost entirely negated my not-unsubstantial salary.
Shortly after Child 3 came along, however, Child 1 went off to school, and then Child 2.
As our child care costs dropped, getting back to (paid) work seemed more appealing.
Still, I wanted to be home for the kids. And while my background was in journalism, I didn’t really want to do that anymore. I could go back to school, but that didn’t appeal. And what would I go to school for anyway?
I felt no calling.
Those questions, all that, were the focus of the “Now what?” talk.
Lacking answers, though, my husband and I set the issue aside — at least until a few weeks later when, at a friend’s house, a group of women and I stood around, snacking, drinking wine and talking.
Talking about “Now what?”
My friends in that group had either been staying at home full-time or had cut down their work hours to be home with their kids.
But with their children heading off to school, the moms were mulling getting back to work.
They still wanted time for their kids. They didn’t know if they wanted to go back to doing what they had been doing before. But they didn’t really know what else to do or how to do it, and …
It suddenly struck me that I’d had or heard that conversation dozens of times.
Why focus on moms? Don’t other people need or want help for their businesses?
Sure. Except … reality.
If you’re a mom, none of this information is likely to surprise you, but it bears mentioning:
Women work on average 39 more days a year than men.
Women do the majority of the housework, although the trend is toward more gender equity.
Women account for two-thirds of grocery shoppers.
And, oh yes, there’s the mental load.
You don’t have to tell me you’re short on time and energy. Your life says it for you.
That doesn’t mean you resent it.
But the reality is, when you’re working all day (at home or not), and then cooking, and planning, and organizing, and doing laundry, and buying birthday presents, and helping with homework, and playing with the kids, and trying to exercise, and maybe — just maybe — getting five minutes to read, or watch TV or talk with your partner …
There’s no time for more.
No time for building a website, finding clients, marketing and advertising.
No time to decide if you should form an S corp or a C corp or an LLC.
No time to ask, much less answer: What’s the impact on your taxes? Do you need a special license? How much will your venture cost? Where do you find the money? Do you need a lawyer? A banker? QuickBooks?
That’s why motherbility exists.
Motherbility can’t, of course, do everything. Only you can do what you do.
But … Go ahead. Dream big. Live the life you want.
Motherbility’s got your back.