The other day I stopped by a local shop after I dropped one of my sons off at an activity. Later that day he saw some of the things I had purchased, along with the sticker on them that shared what shop they were from.
“Sam’s* mom works there, you know.” He said. I looked right at him, “Sam’s mom owns the business. Just like I own KJD Legal and we own the vacation rental.”
His eyes got wide. He had never realized that this mom of one of his classmates, who we usually see in jeans and a t-shirt, who looks like all the other moms, owned the business. He didn’t realize that when she donated the baskets of product for auctions or giveaways, or when she wrote a check for the fundraiser that it was coming from the business.
It made me think about the moms I knew when I was growing up. It was the 80s when I was in elementary school. It wasn’t unusual for moms to work — but they all had jobs – teachers and nurses and secretaries and the occasional doctor and lawyer — but I can’t think of a single mom I knew then who owned her own business. Everyone worked for someone else. The term “latch-key kid” was normal. And while I was always told “you can be anything you want to be,” there was an assumption in there that it would mean a job, working for someone else, making a regular salary.
Given what I do — supporting entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses, many of whom are women and many of whom work from home — it surprised me that I hadn’t even realized how remarkable, how significant it is that the role of women in the business world has changed so much. AND that I can tell you of at least a dozen businesses, off the top of my head, owned by women and run by women who are also moms — and doing the drop off and the pick up and the activities, all while simultaneously running a successful business.
I realized how fantastic it is that my generation is setting an entirely new example for our children about what is possible in the world of work and family. Times have certainly changed