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“Does my business take a back seat to dealing with kids being at home?”

I don’t get it. Lately, quite a few mom entrepreneurs seem to be asking this question. Obviously, the answer is very personal and different for everyone.

But my question back to those of you wondering about it: Can we rephrase the question?

The way it’s asked, the underlying assumption is that kids come first and Mom comes second. …

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Photo by Nathalie Désirée Mottet on Unsplash

It took a pandemic for me to revisit what community really means.

In March, I got the coronavirus. It was a month of painful lungs, endless coughing, and exhaustion that I haven’t experienced since the first trimester of my first pregnancy.

It’s been three months since I was declared free of the virus and proved antibody positive. I waited several weeks after my recovery to start running again.

I love running. It clears my mind. It helps bring clarity to me in a way that no other activity can. …

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The incredible Hazel Scott

It blows my mind when an American child prodigy, TV show host, movie star, and mom entrepreneur is all but forgotten because of her outspoken nature. Have you heard of Hazel Scott?

In 1924, Hazel arrived in New York City — by way of Trinidad — a virtuosic jazz pianist and singer who received a scholarship to attend the Juilliard School at 8 years old (!). At 30, she became the first black American woman to host her own TV show, The Hazel Scott Show. Her presence was so magnetic that she was featured in several major Hollywood movies alongside Lena Horne and Mae West.

Her ability to perform also gave her the ability to speak up. She refused film roles that portrayed her as a singing maid. She insisted on having final cut privileges in the roles she did take. She refused to perform in venues where blacks and whites were separated. It was because of her insistence on speaking out about rights for black people during the McCarthy era that she began to lose work. …

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Imagine that there’s a killer virus out in the world. (Imagine that!) It’s threatening everyone, including the most precious people in your world: your children.

Now, think about how you’d want to protect said children with every fiber of your being if harm came to them. You’d want to know their whereabouts at all times and assure them that they’re safe with you. But you’re divorced. You can’t do that.

Social media feeds are rife with complaints about being cooped up in one place with family members who make them crazy. Quarantine life makes Thanksgiving feel like the most joyous holiday of the year. It’s abundantly clear that being stuck in a house day in and day out with kids can be taxing. …

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If you’ve been alarmed by the chaos-driven changes that COVID-19 has caused, you’re not alone. Corporate employees who used to head to the office are now asked to get through the same work in their home environment. People who used to work at home without children’s incessant interruptions are now asked to plow through work that includes disruptions galore.

Whoever thought that everyone in the world would suddenly have to shift gears and work like mom entrepreneurs always have?

Mom entrepreneurs have been doing this for ages. The world has finally caught up to us.

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As a voice for mom entrepreneurs over the past 10 years, I’ve noticed a curious pattern in the questions that working women ask:

  • “When’s a good time to take phone calls if I have three kids under the age of 6?”
  • “Now that my kids are in high school, how can I manage my time so that I finish my day’s work before they get home?”
  • “Finally, my kids are out of the house. Is it a good time to raise my prices now that I can really focus on my business?”

At every age and at every stage, mom entrepreneurs want to know when they’re supposed to let their kids in on their work lives. They want to make sure the kids don’t notice that they’re working for fear that they’ll learn Mom’s attention lies elsewhere. The assumption across the board seems to be that Mom has to keep her business to herself. …

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As we entrepreneurs build things and buy things, I’ve begun to wonder: what’s with all of the bots these days being given women’s names by its creators?

There’s Alexa. Siri. Zo. Amy. Amelia. Sophia. Erica. Pepper. Cortana. Tay. Luna. And the AI industry has only just gotten started.

Sure, giving a robot a humanizing name like Alexa is a lovely gesture. It’s a Greek name shortened from the female form of Alexander. It means “defender.” With such beauty and strength attached to the moniker, it’s no surprise that Amazon assigned it to its Echo product for our use.

“Women take care and men take charge.”

There’s also scientific research that says we’re more inclined to forgive bots’ mistakes if they have women’s names because “women take care and men take charge.” The majority of corporate America’s voicemail recordings still feature females’ voices. That voice coming out of your GPS? It’s a female’s voice. Companies tend to assign the jobs of secretaries and assistants to women. So it makes sense that if bots are tasked with the same kind of supportive work, bot creators would assign the same gender to these servile creatures. …


Jill Salzman

Professional brainstormer, do-it evangelist, sassy speaker, founder of The Founding Moms + co-host of the Breaking Down Your Business podcast.

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