Mumpreneurs is a relatively new term used to describe mums who want it all and are happy to go out there and work for it. With escalating childcare costs, more and more mothers are turning to self-employment or freelancing, leaving them with the flexibility to care for their children while also still earning a living.
Women in business have struggled for a long time trying to juggle everything and find the enigma that is the ‘work/life balance’. One child does not seem to tip the scales too much but once you have had your second, third or even fourth, the related costs such as childcare outweigh the financial benefits of working the 9 to 5.
In fact, it is estimated that childcare costs have risen by a fifth in the last year, with an average cost of around £12,000 to cover childcare for 2 children. Research carried out by the insurers LV= concluded children were at their most expensive between the ages of one and four mainly due to the spiralling costs of nursery fees. This is why more and more women have turned to self-employment and so the term ‘mumpreneur’ was born.
Jo, a mum of three from Manchester, decided she needed to set up on her own after realising over half of her full-time wages went towards childcare costs. She recalls;
“My husband and I were stressed out, both working full time and trying to take care of the kids and house. We were exhausted and then when we realised how much of my wage was going on childcare, we decided something had to give. I set myself up as a freelance writer, working whilst the kids are in school and nursery, and taking care of the home. I’m earning more, and I’m choosing my own hours to do that in. Now life is much better, I’m less stressed and so is my husband, as he actually has a pleasant home to come back to!”
You can see from Jo’s statement above that it’s not always just about the money. Huge benefits can be afforded to many families due to the flexibility of working for yourself. You can complete a normal working week in the evenings and at the weekend, which is not something most employers can offer, and get a real feeling of satisfaction from creating your own profits.
Is it really a new phenomenon? Some would argue not. Women have been working for themselves for a long time but only recently have they started to gain their own identity in the market place. This grew from more mums starting up their own businesses to run around their children and home life. The cost of childcare having been the focus of the media recently has certainly highlighted the need for many mums to break free from non-profitable work, and take control of all aspects of their life, making it work not only for them but for their families also.