Mother F#@ing Business: The Start of a Big Conversation
A few months ago, one of our community members shared a blog post called Motherhood and the Feminist Dream in our closed Facebook group. In her post,Snjezana Pruginic shared that she was having a hard time reconciling her desire to have a child with her identity as a feminist and entrepreneur:
“I feel like I am standing at the floodgates of mixed messaging that we are given as women throughout our lives. The need to fight for being extraordinary leaders, change makers, the desire to live our life doing what we love, having the kind of social life we want, the pull to have (biologically or otherwise) a child and raise a human being, etc. All these different aspects of ourselves come into play at the same time and due to the social constructs of the time we are living in, often times feel like they are pulling against each other.”
The post sparked an active thread of comments from business owners thinking of having kids, people who delayed having a family while they started a business, moms who launched or closed down their businesses while raising kids, and everyone in between.
In typical Shecosystem style, we decided we needed to take the conversation offline. One of the reasons we exist is to serve as a purpose built container for women to come together in a safe space and have open conversations about issues like this.
And so Mother F#@ing Business was born.
Around 15 women gathered on an autumn night at Shecosystem to meditate, reflect, and discuss the tensions between motherhood, feminism and entrepreneurship. We mapped women’s identities and explored what it means to be a woman if it’s uncoupled from motherhood, and we explored how women who don’t have kids can still have creative, nurturing, generative roles. We looked at our external and internal narratives around motherhood. We shared personal stories about setting boundaries as a working parent, suffering from gendered roles in home-life, facing the judgements of colleagues and relatives, and contemplating alternative family arrangements.
The conversation was fiercely honest, non-judgemental, and productive. Women left feeling seen, supported, and less alone. One thing was for certain: we need more of this.
We will be hosting another conversation on January 17 (save the date!).
In the meantime, here is a Resource List sourced by the women who participated in our first Mother F#@ing Business Circle.
If you have something you’d like to see added to this list, please send a short description and link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for Motherhood, Entrepreneurship & Feminism
Amy McCready- “If I have to tell you more time…” : A Fantastic parenting book for various types of challenges
Working Ensemble: A Toronto coworking space with onsite childcare
Tellent : An online community and resource for professional women to pursue flexible careers.
Canadian Government: Information about Special Benefits for Self-Employed people – including maternity leave.
Today’s Parent: An article about planning for parental leave when you’re self-employed Mat leave for self-employed.
Snjezana’s original blog post: Motherhood And The Feminist Dream
Ann Davidman. “Is motherhood for me?”: Online course + book for people unsure if they want kids.
Womb Wellness 101: Clare Kenty’s workshop “The Power of Sound” (November 4th) Connecting to the power of our voice for womb healing
The Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum: More conversations about feminism and business (November 11)
Vania Sukola: Feminist Therapist and with a focus on perinatal and postpartum themes like thinking about becoming a parent, birth trauma, the transition to parenthood, grief and loss, and supporting couples.
One Part Podcast: Episode #84- Not having children by chance or by choice with Jody Day, the founder of the Gateway Foundation.