Home / Career & Money / Work & Motherhood 26 women on the surprising benefits of being a mother and entrepreneur Life will inevitably be changed when raising a family and building a business. That said, there are some surprising benefits that may come your way when balancing both. By Gesche Haas January 28, 2024 Courtesy of Dreamers & Doers As a mother of two and 10 years into the founding of my company, you don’t need to twist my arm for me to acknowledge that both motherhood and entrepreneurship are among the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve learned that weaving the two together inevitably unlocks a new definition to the word and there are surprising benefits to having a hand in both worlds. As it turns out, these roles complement each other more than I could have ever realized. Related: 15 women on the surprising challenges of motherhood and entrepreneurship No two stories or experiences are the same. That’s why I spoke with 26 women from the Dreamers & Doers collective to learn more about the nuances and surprising benefits of being a mother and entrepreneur. The journey you’ve had or will have as a mother and founder may mirror the experiences that follow or be a completely different story. There’s truly no way to know until we’ve embarked on the journey ourselves. But there is at least one thing we can be certain of, in the words of fellow mompreneur Stephanie Loewenstern: “Your years ahead will look different than those before becoming a mother.” Sometimes the surprises of life are the most unexpected gifts on our journey. 26 founders and CEOs share the unique benefits of being a mother and entrepreneur I am more productive than I have ever been “My co-founder, Vida, and I launched WeNatal because of the hardship we endured in our fertility journeys and our desire to make it better for others. We started our business in the thick of motherhood—each of us had a newborn and toddler at home. However, having small children didn’t hold us back. Instead, it fueled our growth and success. I am the most productive I have ever been. There is not one minute of my day that is wasted or where I don’t find myself multitasking. While I have not watched TV in three years, I know that this is a phase, and I am using my time in a very strategic way. ” —Ronit Menashe, Co-Founder and CEO of WeNatal I’m uniquely prepared for motherhood because I’m an entrepreneur “I struggled for years with the idea of being a working, professional mom and was genuinely worried I would regret it. I felt so unsure about whether motherhood was right for me in my 30s and 40s. It almost felt like I had to choose between my first love and growing my family and that my career had already won. I intentionally spoke to highly successful mompreneurs to better understand the highs and lows of motherhood. I had many conversations that were super authentic and challenged my thinking. It ultimately created a complete breakthrough in this stuck point of my life. Since I was young, I dreamed about adopting. Within about a year and a half, I became a mom through acquisition. My husband and I dove in head first and found that we absolutely love being parents together. Being an entrepreneurial woman has led me to feel uniquely prepared for the amazing journey we are on. I now feel so clear on the complexities and benefits of being a working, entrepreneurial mother.” —KK Hart, CEO of Hart Marketing & Communications Inc I feel a more profound sense of fulfillment in my work “Many women speak about motherhood as if it’s the ultimate fulfillment of their purpose, but that wasn’t quite the case for me. While I adore my 3three- and 5five-year-old daughters, I’ve found that discovering my identity as an entrepreneur has brought a more profound sense of fulfillment, challenge, and reward than any other role I’ve undertaken. This journey has enabled me to embrace a truer version of myself, and as a result, I’ve become significantly happier. Interestingly, this newfound happiness has translated into being a better mother, allowing me to fully enjoy the quality time I spend with my kids.” —Alexis Reardon, Founder and CEO of Fanfaire I have the flexibility to design my own schedule “I wouldn’t have expected that being a VC-backed founder would give me the flexibility I need as a mother, especially a mother of a child who has a lot of doctor appointments. I work many more hours than I did in corporate, but it’s liberating to know I design my own schedule and can take care of both of my kids’ needs when they need it. The secret among other mom-founders I know is that we’ve all found a way to delegate some domestic and childcare responsibilities. It’s a taboo subject, but it’s important to bring light to it because we each only have 24 hours in a day and the work of modern motherhood is enormous.” —Sehreen Noor Ali, Co-Founder of Sleuth I learned that the skills for motherhood and entrepreneurship are very similar “What surprised me about being both a mother and an entrepreneur is the skill set required for being a mother and an entrepreneur is very much the same. I like to call this the “MIGHT” way of thinking. This references the very true saying about preemie babies: they are tiny but oh so mighty. M: mental toughness; I: it’s a marathon not a sprint: G: grit and gumption; H: high-pressure decisions; and T: tactical skills.” —Jodi Klaristenfeld, Founder of FLRRiSH I have gained valuable lessons in self-love and grace “What surprised me the most was the valuable lessons in self-love and grace that motherhood taught me. For someone who had always been a go-getter and an adrenaline junkie, used to burning the candle at both ends, motherhood forced me to slow down. It limited me to accomplishing just two significant tasks a day. It was a stark change, but it also sparked a rapid evolution of my dreams. Recognize and celebrate even the smallest achievements in both your business and motherhood. It’s the combination of these victories that will drive your overall success and fulfillment.” —Juliana Uto, Director at Wealth Bravery I now know how agile and curious children are “My husband and I are digital nomads. We’ve moved our family all over the world over the last 15 years. I’m constantly impressed with how incredibly agile, curious, and accepting our kids are in the process. Witnessing their agility has taught me how to be a better, more flexible and caring mother, entrepreneur, and team leader. While I might be further in my business career without kids, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not be the person that I am without them. I’m incredibly grateful for my experiences as a mother.” —Lisa La Nasa, Founder and CEO of diaVerge.com I see how much pride my kids take in our business “I’ve been blown away by the pride my sons take in our business, especially when they can help us or see the products in grocery stores. They know how much my husband and I put into this business and rather than be resentful or jealous, they want to help. My son once even introduced himself with the last name ‘Belgian Boys,’ and both of my kids are known for carrying Belgian Boys coupons in their backpacks. Don’t hide your work—let your kids get involved. When I have work to do in the evening hours, I let my two sons be part of that in their own way, whether that’s stickering boxes of samples or their own lunch boxes. I print coloring pages with Belgian Boys-themed images of waffles, pancakes, and breakfast scenes. They feel like they contribute as they help Mom with ‘marketing.’” —Anouck Gotlib, CEO of Belgian Boys I spend much more time with my kids as an entrepreneur “I worked in corporate America for 20 years until I launched my own business. One of the unexpected positives has been how much more time I spend around my kids now. Because I mostly work from home, I can take breaks between tasks or meetings just to chat or even run out to the deli to get Mug Root Beers. I’m just more in touch with the day-to-day things that happen with them than I was when I was in an office or on back-to-back Zooms for nine hours straight. Being a solopreneur has been a hard and often isolating experience, but developing stronger relationships with my sons has been such a perk.” —Amy Keller Laird, Founder of Mental I am inspired by motherhood “For me, motherhood has been a surprising source of inspiration in a number of ways. It is the ultimate practice in listening to your intuition. It provided me with an empathy, understanding, and perspective on other women, especially mothers, in a way I never had before. This triggered my desire to build my business. It made me more intentional about how I spend my time, making me ruthless with prioritization. It’s made me more driven to want to make an impact in my life, in the lives of my family, and in the world.” —Devanshi Garg Sareen, Founder and CEO of Motif Beauty I experienced my business as a refuge from the unpredictability of motherhood “We so often hear that the reason for pursuing entrepreneurship is to have more time and freedom to work less and parent more. But what truly surprised me is how my business came to feel like a refuge from the unpredictability and uncertainty of motherhood. It was something I could more easily control. I have found myself hiding in it at times as a sort of safe space. I have had to work to be intentional about setting boundaries with my business in favor of more balance.” —Lexi Hartmann, Founder and CEO of iHartContent I experience seasons of life so differently “What surprised me the most about being a mother and an entrepreneur is how I experience different seasons of life. When my son was born, I was 29 and still climbing in my career. As a workaholic, I committed more to work than my family as a way of disassociating from my life. In the last few years since I’ve started my healing journey, I stepped off the hamster wheel career climb and began reconnecting with myself. As my relationship with myself emerged and evolved, I yearned to be a more present mother. Initially, it was an effort to repair the relationship with my family. Now it’s a deep devotion to bringing the conscious leadership approaches I apply in my career over to my family life. This has been my most challenging year in business, but I’ve never felt more connected to my family or more joy.” —Dom Farnan, Founder of DotConnect I know my kids are of proud of me even at a young age “One thing that surprised me the most about being a mom and an entrepreneur is how proud my kids are of me at such a young age. Whenever they see my products they exclaim, ‘That’s my mom’s business!’ or we will be at a store and they will say, ‘They should sell SWAIR here.’ I am shocked how much they ‘get it’ already. Their pride helps to ease the guilt I feel about working such long hours and reminds me that I am showing them a strong female role model.” —Carrie Sporer, Co-Founder of SWAIR I realized there was something I could love as much as my career “It was hard for me to think that there was something that I could love as much as I loved being a surgeon. I had my first son when I was a surgery resident at UCLA after being pregnant during Covid-19. It was a stressful time with a lot of uncertainty. He was so tiny when I went back to work full time after just four weeks at home with him. I worked 80 hours a week and would run home to try to bond with him. Finding balance during this time was a challenge. I loved motherhood more than anything, but I still had many ambitions for my career. Now as a mother of two, I feel empowered that I was able to thrive under those challenges but realize that my measure of success has changed. I don’t feel guilty taking days off or working four days a week to be with my kids. Being a great mom and seeing my kids learn gives me so much joy.” —Dr. Shabnam Ghazizadeh, Facial Plastic Surgeon at Dr. Shabnam Ghazizadeh MD I didn’t anticipate how much my kids would understand my business “I was a mother before I became an entrepreneur. I launched my business while my children were toddlers. My reasoning was that if I started small while they were at home, then I’d have built the foundation for my business by the time they went to kindergarten. I worked during nap time. I also showed them what I was doing and working on so that they would understand what my work was and why I was asking for them to play by themselves for a few extra minutes. My kids are now 7 and 8. They not only understand my business and what I do, but they offer to help me with social media photos or client gifts and have been guests on my podcast.” —Michelle Glogovac, Founder and CEO of The MLG Collective® I view motherhood and entrepreneurship as complements to one another “Being a mother and an entrepreneur means you are running two meaningful businesses at once. While in theory this may seem unsustainable, somehow they complement each other and you find yourself showing up like never before. Motherhood has been the ultimate expander in my experience. I have upleveled in every way because I don’t have time to get stuck in the weeds or ruminate. If negative thought patterns do arise, I can very quickly ground myself back in what is truly important.” —Amelia Kruse, Certified Executive Coach at Amelia Kruse Coaching I am a more effective business owner “Being a mother has driven me to be a more effective business owner in every aspect. My kids are my sounding voice, the constant reminder of how to prioritize my time, my efforts, and everything that makes being a mother and founder worth it. If I were to do this before having kids, I don’t think I’d be nearly as motivated to succeed. There is no such thing as balance. You can only prioritize your life with the things you value most, and then you’ll find your peace.” —Nomiki Petrolla, Founder of PDS Lab I seamlessly integrated motherhood and entrepreneurship “One of the most surprising aspects for me has been the seamless integration and the peace of mind it has brought into my life. Transitioning from a corporate role to entrepreneurship has enabled me to be more present for my son while effectively managing my work commitments. The unexpected peace of mind resulting from this transition has been a game-changer, positively influencing both my efficiency and overall well-being in ways I hadn’t anticipated.” —Emilie Mascarell, Fragrance and Beauty Product Development Consultant at Emilie Consulting I can wear the same coat of armor at work and at home “I used to wear a different coat of armor at work than at home. My self-care has now become focused on wearing the same uniform in both jobs and being my most authentic and transparent self no matter where I am. This allows me to show up for my job and my kids with minimal effort and maximum energy. You can do it all if you plan ahead with realistic, specific, and achievable goals, and solid support systems around you. It really does take a village. You may not need the village, but the village will prevent you from burning out.” —Dr. Leslie Dobson, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist at Dr. Leslie Dobson Psychological Services I realized how much of a door-opener motherhood can be “Motherhood has been an incredible door-opener for me, personally and professionally. It’s been an opportunity to connect with people in a new way and unlock new friendships and business opportunities in places like the playground or kids’ birthday parties. Alternatively, I’ve been surprised by how much I appreciate work trips and my time away from my family while finding myself excited to come back home.” —Emily Merrell, Founder of Second Degree Society and Co-Founder of Ready Set Coach I have amplified and reshaped my values since becoming a mother Photo credit: Maria Kanevskaya “Having a daughter has amplified and reshaped my values in the most incredible way. I am a healthier, more responsible person, and I am more compassionate with myself and others because that’s who I want to be for my family. Entrepreneurship is how I extend my values into the world. Now that I am a parent, I build from a deep, inner sense of truth instead of on societal values and expectations. Sometimes it feels like the harder path because there is more external friction, but I feel aligned within myself. And that is success to me.” —Kendra Koch, Founder of Touchy Feely I didn’t need to wait anymore to get the work-life balance I wanted “I am surprised at how long I waited to lean in and get the work-life balance I so badly wanted and now adore. I always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and running my own business, but I let fear get in the way and put it off for way too long. Five years ago I decided to invest in myself, take a chance, and set up my own LLC. I have zero regrets. I love the flexibility that comes along with working for myself. Without a doubt, it has enabled me to spend more time with my boys, joining them at school, sports, and other life-moments I would otherwise be missing. We only get to enjoy our kids once, and time does fly by way too fast.” —Marissa Joy Pick, Founder of Marissa Pick Consulting LLC I have such accommodating clients “One of the biggest surprises to me has been how accommodating my clients and those in my network have been knowing that I am a mom of two. When I was a mom working in corporate, I had to act as if I didn’t have kids or other responsibilities. When I became an entrepreneur, I felt like I’d found my people. Not only moms, but as entrepreneurs we are connecting on a real level in a kind and understanding way with the goal of helping others succeed.” —Tiffany Coyle, Co-Founder and CEO of Twinning Pros I know my team will step up when needed “As a founding CEO with a small team, I was nervous to take a break for maternity leave, as I take care of a lot of specific things at my company. While I only had a couple of weeks totally off, I was so pleasantly surprised at how much my team stepped up to take care of things I was unable to. I could move into ‘urgent/necessary tasks only’ mode without any major interruptions to my business. Actually, the year I gave birth we had the biggest growth year yet. When I heard the term ‘it takes a village,’ I always thought of family stepping in to help. But my team at work was really the village!” —Degelis Pilla, Co-Founder and CEO of TribeTokes I discovered my own strength and resilience “What surprised me most in my journey as both a mother and an entrepreneur was the discovery of my own strength and resilience. Starting a business was scary, but it was nothing compared to the challenges of new motherhood. A year later, looking back, I see that I didn’t just survive; I thrived and set a positive example. This experience has been a profound lesson in mastering time management and balancing the demands of motherhood and business ownership. Ensure you have a solid support system and be gentle with yourself. Expect tough days and understand that you need to prioritize self-care and love more than ever. Your years ahead will look different than they did before becoming a mother.” —Stephanie Loewenstern, Founder of Bright Link Talent I take more pride in being a role model than professional accomplishments “I have always taken great pride in my work. Once I had my kids, my pride shifted from professional accomplishments to being a role model to show them anything is possible. It also became very important for me to surround myself with other women who could show them different paths than the one I took. I want them to know success is different for everyone. Whatever their success looks like, I’m here to support them.” —Dawn Scott, Founder of The Empowered CPA All individuals featured in this article are members of Dreamers & Doers, an award-winning community that amplifies extraordinary women entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders by securing PR opportunities, forging authentic connections, and curating high-impact resources. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and get involved here. 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