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I got a bit rageful on Twitter today.
Have you heard the term ‘mumpreneur’? It’s been bandied about for a couple of years and had felt a sense of unease in the blogosphere about it before, but the connotations of the term never struck me until this morning.
It’s been mentioned before but I find the ‘mumpreneur’ term SO derogatory. ‘Ooh you clever old mums fit business in between the washing up’
starting to simmer…
and then I got really fuming…
Well done for setting women’s rights back about 20 years #mumpreneur
I was so pleased to get tens of responses and re-tweets on this subject: I am not alone in thinking this term is demeaning.
I happened upon the MumpreneurUK Twitter stream which seemed to me to be one of the most offensive things to hit my eyeballs in a while (and I’m not talking about the hot pink background, though OUCH to that). The tone of it all, the ‘well done you’ statements really don’t sit well with me. Do us poor working women really struggle so much with our business confidence that we need to actively seek positive reinforcement at places like this?
I am a mother, and I have a business. I don’t think this make me a mumpreneur. My work life and home life is kept completely separate as each has nothing to do with the other, so why is there the need to label working mums with this term? Why is there the need to congratulate clever old me on effectively balancing my business with my family, cleaning and cooking? I would rather not reference myself as a ‘mumpreneur’ as I don’t think it has any bearing on the way I perform at work and I wouldn’t like my clients to think it does.
In my mind I have it easy right now; I went from a massively full on-career as a Marketing Manager to starting my own business which means I’m able to work in the evenings and when my husband is at home. It’s sometimes tough to stay motivated after a bad night’s sleep or to focus on a task when my mum’s out having fun with Elfie but I do it because I love it, not because I have to. In my opinion the women who need most support and work hardest are those who are on difficult shift patterns as nurses as doctors, who leave their babies to go and work in the forces or who have demanding jobs with inflexible office hours and locations.
I don’t need to be congratulated or patronised. I thrive on juggling all my balls and I get so much more out of life and my daughter because of it.
I understand my view is in the extreme and may touch a nerve with some, but to me the term ‘Mumpreneur’ is condescending, patronising and outdated. It says ‘well done, you’ve sent a couple of emails in between your baking’, or ‘congratulations, you gave birth and your business brain isn’t shot to shit’. It is a term that sounds like it was made up by a middle-aged advertising executive with a paunch and a belief that women belong in the kitchen.
My husband was at home today so he looked after Elfie whilst I caught up with work. He worked when she napped, yet he will never be labelled a ‘Dadpreneur’.
If you Google image search ‘mumpreneur‘, the first result is one of a woman baking cupcakes. The source is the BBC. Says it all really.