Pippa Bourke, Creative Junction
Having kids saved my career. Sure I may be overweight, sleep deprived and snot-encrusted- but I am a ‘career mum’.
My husband and I own two businesses. We couldn’t share, so we had to have one each. We have two of most things; two brains, two businesses, two cars, two laptops and two kids… It brings the whole ‘equal rights’ thing that our mothers and grandmothers fought for into a whole new light.
My mum, now in her late 60’s*, often talks about making a choice to either work or have kids. The whole feminism movement taught us that women are not inferior beings and that we can do anything a man can do. For me that isn’t entirely the case. My mother cringes every time I say that changing tyres and putting out the rubbish are ‘blue jobs’. But there are some things that men just do better than women. Just like there are some things women do better than men.
As a woman we have always had the baby creating side of things sussed- some may argue it takes two to tango but that is an entirely different story. Anyway, back to the baby making side of things. We create life, go through pain equal to a 6 tonne truck running over our nether-regions and then are expected not only to tend to our child’s needs, but also our husband’s and household. Nowadays thanks to inflation, most of us then have the choice between living in poverty- or going back to work.
But what if there was another option?
Mums in business are taking over the internet. With access to an entire world amongst our washing piles, tantruming kids and discarded toys there is a secret club that you would never believe existed.
I first heard about a local networking group for mums through a friend of mine who was in the same coffee group. My husband and I had recently bought our kitchen manufacturing business, he was living his dream as a self-employed cabinetmaker/designer and I was doing the books. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would be living in his shadow for the rest of our lives.
I went along to the group simply as a way to drum up more business. Our target market was females aged between 30 and 50 so what better way to reach them than in a group full of mums?
These women were incredible. I felt like I’d been let into an entirely new world. They all were doing stuff they genuinely loved, you could see the passion when they introduced themselves and I could feel the energy in the room.
I had assumed that mums in business would be all about rich women pursuing a hobby and calling it a business. These were REAL women pursuing a hobby and MAKING it a business. This was feminism to a whole new level. The ‘career mum’- the mum who has the amazing business and the flexibility to look after her family too.
I started by writing a few blog posts on our business page. My background as a hard-nosed journalist made it difficult to adjust to ‘fluffy writing’, but the feedback was amazing. Before long I had people offering to pay me to write for them! The networks that I made within the group paid off and one of the ladies took me under her wing, teaching me everything I needed to know to launch myself into the world of content writing for websites.
My business is still very new, but it’s mine! For the first time in my life I’m getting paid to write about what I want to write about. I can call myself whatever job title I like and there’s only one person I need to answer to in MY company, ME.
I believe in karma, so my ultimate goal is to pass on the skills and knowledge that I am learning along the way to as many people as I possibly can. If it wasn’t for the secret mums in business club I would never have known this lifestyle to be possible, and I would never have believed that having kids would push me onto the right career path!
*I will now know if my mother reads my writing or not as to whether I get a phone call within the next 10 minutes clarifying her age.
Pippa Bourke, is the founder of Creative Junction, a business specialising in writing website content, blog posts and newsletters. For more information check out www.creativejunction.nz.