Girl power – how working Mums are succeeding in the digital age
There’s never been a better time than now to be a working mum. The internet has opened up a world of opportunities for passionate, creative and hard-working women to express themselves online. Thanks to the digital revolution, stay-at-home mums can start sustainable businesses from the comfort of their own environments with minimal overheads or complications. Professional women can pivot from lacklustre careers to meaningful work that fulfils the heart as well as the bank account. Gone are the days when women had a brutally simple binary choice: family or career. For the first time in history, it’s possible for women to strike a balance that can help lead to a more fulfilling and empowered life in all facets.
If you’re familiar with Sex and the City, you know all about the struggles that Miranda went through while trying to balance work and family. However, that was during a time when women were expected to choose between family and career. You simply couldn’t have it both ways and many women found themselves butting heads with rigid and outdated societal expectations and stereotypes when they tried to. While it may not have been the cliched 1950s image of the immaculately coifed and dressed mother vacuuming the lounge in her high heels, in the heady 90s, many mums still felt immense social pressure to put their dreams and desires on hold to stay at home and look after the children. Fast-forward to today when mums make up a healthy proportion of creators on major platforms like Etsy and Pinterest, and it’s pretty clear that opinions have completely shifted. There’s no longer a compelling reason to pigeon hole yourself into one box or the other when you the modern woman has the choice to work from home or sell products and services online. With the right tools, any mum with the drive and desire to successfully balance their roles in the home and in the workplace can run a profitable business and still give her kids all the emotional and practical support that they need. Internet connectivity, cloud computing, the proliferation of mobile and desktop productivity apps and other related technologies have all made it possible to achieve things in the professional sphere that would have been thought nigh impossible for a working mother less than a generation ago. Whatever your situation, an online business offers the freedom to embrace your quirks and live life on your own terms.
Many mums have found professional fulfilment and financial freedom from blogging, selling digital products, handcrafted or speciality goods, starting podcasts and building communities online. You can also offer a professional skill or service such as web and app development, business consulting, copywriting, or personal coaching to name but a few. All of these are fairly simple and accessible ways to start an online business, work flexible hours and connect with people that inspire you.
Whether single or married, working mums face a unique set of challenges in the digital workspace. One of your kids might fall sick, have an issue at school or simply require more of your attention right as a major deadline is looming. Meanwhile, most working Mum’s are still more than likely to be shouldering the lion’s share of domestic chores. Let’s face it, can you imagine what our houses would look like if we left the bulk of the cooking and cleaning to the blokes? Or perhaps the pressures will be at the other end of the spectrum? Your fledgling business might grow faster than expected, causing you to burn the candle at both ends. In those cases, you might feel that it is your business that is taking you away from your family and not the other way around. This can be a particularly thorny problem as the reality of modern digitally-driven business is that much of what we do follows us around on our phones. While every mum wants to give her little ones the attention they need and crave, It can be a struggle to ignore that important after-hours email, app notification or voice message. Establishing clear boundaries around work and family is a crucial challenge. Ensuring that you have a dedicated space that is reserved solely for work is the first step to achieving this. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be difficult to focus on work or hold productive meetings when you have kids and pets running around and making a racket. Additionally, depending on the industry in which you operate, there can be a certain legitimacy deficit that comes with operating out of a residential address. In an age where nothing can be hidden, your clients may baulk if they view your address on Google Earth and see a front yard strewn with abandoned scooters, bikes and soccer balls. Fortunately, APSO’s virtual office solutions offer the perfect remedy for these dilemmas. Our virtual office locations come with a premium CBD or suburban business address, exceptional receptionist and business services and a host of other benefits. Best of all, most virtual office packages include access to a serviced office suite and/or meeting rooms so you can project an air of professionalism and efficiency when you need it, or simply need a place to work for a while without distractions If you’re a stay at home mum who’s been thinking about starting an online career, the best thing you can do is just start. Don’t overthink it or try to talk yourself out of it. Get out there and take the first step. We’re fortunate to live in an age in which many of the practical barriers to enjoying a fulfilling and profitable career while raising a family have disappeared. If you marry a Mum’s tenacity, organisation skills and single-minded focus with the tools that technology has made available to us, you too can experience the empowerment and immense satisfaction that c