I’ve been in the workforce for over 30 years. From flipping burgers and flirting with surfers at a beachside cabana to working in high- pressured medical practices as a Nurse Practitioner. No matter the job, I have always been employed. And almost always by men.
Having men as bosses was sometimes annoying, like the drunken restaurant manager looking for one of us waitresses to come back to his “crib” every night, and sometimes frustrating, like the boss who asked, “Do you think you could postpone your maternity leave?” after my water had broken.
But, the reality of always having male bosses really became problematic once I became a mom. My nuclear black and white world exploded in Technicolor once I had my first baby. I was suddenly propelled into the throes of motherhood without a net. It was a constant struggle to juggle and justify the needs of my kids with those of my job. I found that the male bosses I worked with just didn’t understand when my child was sick, my daycare closed early or a 2nd Grade Earth Day performance was scheduled at 1:30 in the afternoon. Wherever I was, I felt I should be somewhere else. At work and missing a soccer game? GUILT! On a Daisy field trip instead of work? GUILT!
This year, I did something that has allowed me to design a guilt-free life. I took an enormous leap of faith and became a mompreneur.
My fabulous business partner and I opened MadCaps Salon a few months ago. Between us, we have five kids (ages 6-12). Our partnership works because, thankfully, we both understand the mommy dance. I’m suddenly able to be more honest. I can block out time on my schedule for a hair appointment and actually write HAIR APPOINTMENT instead of MAMMOGRAM or FUNERAL.
We look out for one another’s needs whether it is a root touchup, a parent teacher conference or a morning off to run family errands. You don’t know how liberating it feels to be able to tell the truth. And we’re able to compromise. Imagine that! We seamlessly pick up the slack when we need to and just know it will be reciprocated.
Unlike many of the men for whom I’ve worked, I don’t get to say, “My wife takes care of that”. I am the wife.
There are still some things I miss with my kids. After all, the business world doesn’t come to a halt for the mom stuff. But it is so much more manageable now that I get to work with someone who gets it.
I love co-owning a business with another mom where we can be real about our lives, and do what we need to do to raise our families and our businesses equally.
And for the first time in 12 years, I can actually breathe.