Today, I’m celebrating entrepreneurial Moms.
Generally, I think of women in business when I use that term, but today, I’m talking about Moms and the entrepreneurial traits they show in their family leadership roles. In a previous entry, I explored Family Leadership in more detail.
Gosh, we know what that is! As a Mom of 4, the overwhelming emotion called passion has spurred me on. As a family leader, my conviction to support our children to be as independent as possible helped me muddle through times when they were learning to make good decisions by allowing them to enjoy the consequences of “iffy” decisions as they grew up. For one of our children with some developmental challenges, the “expert” advice of what she would “never” do spurred me on to try many more ways to help her flourish. And flourish she did.
Bouncing back? No, resilience isn’t about bouncing. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other and dragging yourself back from adversity – sometimes crippling adversity. Resilient Moms come back by doing whatever it takes to rebuild a life: for them and their families. The years that I taught in a college Business Administration program increased my admiration for Moms, many of them single Moms, who returned to school with young children. From the other side of the relationship, I was struggling to find the energy to mark assignments and prepare classes to teach them at the same time they were the students. I had 4 young children, a pay cheque and a husband.
Strong Sense of Self
My Mom and many of her generation were stay at home Moms. They were formidable Moms. They absolutely had a strong sense of self or self worth and encouraged the same in all of us. My Mom loved Carrie Underwood’s singing, sang in the Church choir and unequivocally felt she could have had a professional singing career if life’s circumstances had been different. Losing her Dad when she was 12 years old and being the eldest of 5 children living on a farm had her step into a family leadership role at a young age. Singing lessons weren’t in the cards. She was our loudest cheerleader and helped us become the confident women my sisters and I are today. Encouraging us to appreciate our unique self is one of her greatest legacies, one I hope I have passed onto my children.
Gosh, I’m not sure I know one Mom who isn’t flexible. Surviving the terrible 2’s is all about negotiation and flexibility! We become masters of rescheduling tasks after discovering (at the last minute) the school project, field trip or fundraising flyers tucked into the bottom corner of the backpack. Being flexible also meant that at times I had to be content with “good enough”. Investing the extra time or money into a goal was going to “cost” more in terms of a trade-off than I was willing to give. Trade-offs are an essential part of family life.
This is a big one for me. Keeping the family vision in sight can really help make the right trade-offs, keep actions aligned with what matters most and helps me “let go” of many things that just don’t matter. My family vision includes raising confident, happy, independent adults who have meaningful lives – sharing their gifts and talents while pursuing their passions. Maintaining health relationships is far more important than being “right”.