With the rise of social media, the prevalence of judgement on other parents has reached epidemic proportions. A recent US study* found that 90% of Mums and 85% of Dads feel judged by others, and nearly half of all parents feel judged almost all the time. According to Sunshine Coast business coach and mother of twins, Lauren Marie, this constant demand to conform to others’ rules not only undermines a parent’s wellbeing – it also stifles their ability to follow their dreams and create new financial opportunities for themselves and their families.
‘Sadly, as parents, particularly mothers, are busy trying to conform to society’s standards, they are limiting their ability to thrive, create and – ultimately – make more money,” Lauren advises.
A passionate entrepreneur with an unconventional pregnancy story, Lauren is concerned that most parents regulate many of their life choices in order to be seen as a ‘good parent”. As the expectations grow around them, new mothers and fathers begin to stifle their natural impulses, sacrifice their dreams and place more emphasis on society’s unwritten rules than on personal fulfilment. In doing so, Lauren believes that parents limit their actions – and therefore their possibilities for true happiness and financial wellbeing. “What if becoming a parent could allow you to create more, not less?” she suggests. ‘What if you are not expected to be -perfect’?”
As a Joy of Business facilitator working with mumprenuers from around the Sunshine Coast, Lauren has seen first-hand the self-imposed limitations that parents, particularly mothers, place on themselves around business and money. ‘The standard point of view is that children somehow restrict the ability to own and run a business, but I reject that notion. In my experience, my children can, and do, contribute to my business. They are a part of the creative process,” she shares.
Lauren often hears the following – Myths of Motherhood’:
1) It is not possible to be a Mum and run a business: Lauren asks, ‘What if being a mum allowed you to create more? Why not have it all? Why not use being a mother to your full advantage? What if becoming a Mum could allow you to create more, not less? What if you having a business was a contribution to your kids, not a sacrifice?”
2) Being a good parent is all about sacrifice: ‘Have you started making sacrifices -for your family’? Have you started giving up parts and pieces of you -for your kids’? The problem with that is, the more you give up, the less of you there is in the world. And the lessening of you is never a contribution. Not to your children, to you, or to anyone!” Lauren warns.
3) You must maintain balance: ‘I hear this all the time: setting work hours, attending gym three times a week, yoga every morning, creating -husband time’ after the kids go to bed. I tried this … and I fell asleep,” Lauren remarks. ‘Today I answered emails and Skype calls while pushing my kids in their swings. Yesterday I listened to a lecture while I made dinner and the kids’ dad played with them. It works much better for all of us if we go with the flow!”
Lauren believes that children thrive in environments where their parents place emphasis on creativity, possibility and personal and financial fulfilment. ‘Your children will learn how to be and what to be based on what you be and do. When you choose more for you, they learn that it is ok for them to be more to.”
To read my Q&A and full original article go to Femail.com.au