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My Mom is an Entrepreneur


My younger daughter pointing to the message on an 1871 whiteboard that reads: My Mom is an Entrepreneur! Photo by 1871/Gregory Rothstein.

Yesterday was Take Your Kids to Work Day (side bar: when exactly did we transition to that from “Take Your Daughters to Work Day?”) Jugl is located inside 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurship hub, and I saw an announcement the night before which said that they were doing an event for members’ kids with a tour of the space and other festivities.

I quickly decided that for my younger daughter, coming to learn about entrepreneurship for an hour with mom was worth missing an hour of 3rd grade (my older daughter is away on a class field trip). I hadn’t reserved babysitter time that morning because I was planning to take her to work myself, so the downside of this adventure was that instead of working from 8-11 and taking out an hour for the program, I now had to make it back and forth to school 2x to get her back and forth. I almost balked on the whole thing, but I decided to just deal and to do some work from a coffee shop near school in the morning after I dropped her off and then run her over to school in a taxi so I could be back in time for an 11am webcast.

Was it the most productive morning? Clearly not. Was it the easiest morning? Uh, no. But when I lay my head down on the pillow last night and reflected on my day, one thing was clear: bringing her was the highlight of my day, and hers too.

So many days feel like this to me. I am working frantically so I can rush out for a meeting at school. I am keeping my head down and eating lunch at my desk so I can make it to the weekday soccer game. I am in my groove, the kind of groove that, when I was young and kid-free (those beloved “DINK” days), I would have just kept working until late at night or until energy and inspiration faded, but I get up and go home to have dinner with my girls and hear about their days.

This working mom life is definitely not for the faint of heart, but I wouldn’t want it any other way and I want my daughters to feel empowered and inspired to pursue their dreams…whatever those may turn out to be.

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