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How Being a Mom Prepared Me for Running A Business

How Being a Mom Prepared Me to Run a Business

How Being a Mom Prepared Me for Running A BusinessMother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, is an annual event to honor the sacrifices that mothers made for their children. For retailers, it’s an opportunity to sell gift items. For restaurants, it’s a time that moms are taken out for brunch or dinner. For me, it’s a time to remember my mom. And it’s given me pause to think about what being a mom has trained me to do when it comes to running a business. Here are my thoughts on what I learned from raising children.

Set rules

There are certainly different parenting approaches. I choose to be a parent who set rules that my children needed to follow…specific times for homework, bedtime, etc. I thought of myself as firm, not strict (though my daughters may disagree). Sure, there was pushback when I wouldn’t allow them to do something just because their friends were doing it. I’d like to think I listened to their positions (again, they may disagree here).

Preparation for business.

Businesses function best, in my view, when there are rules that employees can follow. In business, we call these rules “best practices.” Knowing expectations and procedures can help things run smoothly and avoid conflict and uncertainty.

Budget for current needs

Raising children greatly increases the pressures on a family budget. In addition to basic needs—food, clothing, medical care, childcare for those who work outside the home—there are always extras that can’t easily be ignored. The cost of after-school lessons, participating in sports, attending friends’ birthday parties, etc. are a continual drain on resources. The extent to which I could support these extras varied throughout my daughters’ childhood, depending on my circumstances (my ups and downs).

Preparation for business.

Deciding how to spend (or save) business revenue is one of the most important skills that a business owner can have. It can mean the difference between growing a business or going out of business. For example, one of the big challenges for self-employed business owners is setting aside money to pay estimated taxes. This requires discipline and the ability to forego some instant gratification (e.g., the purchase of a nice-to-have new smartphone).

Plan for the future

Having daughters made me think about their future. I wanted them to go to college and to be able to pay for their education. By planning early on (see budgeting above), I was able to send them to college and graduate school; they avoided student loan debt.

Preparation for business.

Thinking ahead is something every business owner needs to do. But projecting for the future also requires actions to help actualize planning. This may be setting funds aside for future projects, expansion, or paying for other goals. It also means researching future plans, doing due diligence, and working with experts to help.

Stay calm in an emergency

With children, there are illnesses, accidents, and last-minute school projects—emergencies that must be dealt with. As a mom, I needed to stay calm so issues could be addressed. Driving to the hospital to deal with a very sick child meant being careful in the car and speaking gently to my child. I had often fallen apart after the fact, but tried my best to be strong in front of my girls.

Preparation for business.

Emergencies are day-to-day occurrences in business. Orders don’t arrive on time, the website crashes, a machine breaks. Owners need to be able to calmly and efficiently handle every crisis. You must be able to think clearly during an emergency.


Today, it’s believed by many that single-tasking—focusing on one thing at a time—is the best way to get things done. Being a mom, however, doesn’t allow for this; multi-tasking is imperative. I recall one moment when I was holding a fussing infant in one hand, stirring a pot on the stove with another, and talking on the phone wedged under my ear…all at the same time.

Preparation for business.

Owners often have to be multi-taskers. You should be able to juggle a disgruntled customer while simultaneously talking to a vendor whose late in delivery.

Final thought

Sophie Loren said: “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”

The same can be said for a business owner, who is continually thinking about the business. Some business owners even refer to their companies as their baby. Being a mom prepares you for being a business owner, or at least that’s what it did for me.

Read more of my Mother's Day thoughts from earlier blogs.