There is no doubt that mompreneurs work hard for everything that they achieve. Balancing the needs of your family with the demands of running a business is no easy task. However, by focusing on the additional challenges that mompreneurs face, it is easy to forget that being a mother offers some advantages. In particular, when you are a parent, you have access to a multitude of networking opportunities. Here are some ways that your children can help you make valuable contacts in your community:
Birthday Parties. Once they start school, you might find that your children have an unbelievably busy social calendar. While you may initially view children’s birthday parties as just another addition to your already hectic schedule, try to change your perspective. At a birthday party, you have a chance to connect with people outside of your circle. Often parents just stand around making small talk, but if you use this time to genuinely engage with the other guests, you never know who you might meet.
Committees. Whether at school, in your neighbourhood or at an extracurricular activity, parents are always being asked to join committees. Your first inclination may be to say no because there are already so many demands on your time, but take a minute to reconsider. When you’re working on a committee with other parents, you have a chance to make meaningful connections. Remember that it is the quality not the quantity of contacts in your network that counts.
Discussion boards. Many parent groups host discussion boards where you can post your concerns and receive advice and support from other parents. Be active on these forums and use them to build connections with people in the community. As you get to know other parents online, you may find opportunities to meet them in person.
Take a class. As a parent, there is always a topic that you want to explore further. Whether you are learning about baby massage or strategies to help you relate to your teenager, it is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests. When you’re enrolled in a class, you see the same people week after week, which allows you to slowly build a friendship. This can be a less intimidating way to network, especially if you are shy around new people.
So you were up all night helping your daughter with her homework and your son spilled grape juice on you while you were on your way to an important client meeting. Making your day easier is clearly not on your children’s agenda. However, hidden in those late nights and dirty laundry are valuable opportunities. If you can find them and use them to benefit your business, you will be unstoppable.