You've just given birth and come home with your new baby. You're getting up in the night, you're sterilising and washing, you're feeding and bathing and you're getting used to a new and very different life. So, what do you do? You start a business!
According to startups.co.uk over 1/3 of new mums aim to set up their own enterprise rather than return to work or become full time mothers, and this in a time reported to be amongst the most stressful for women. So, why do they do it?
"It might sound crazy, but when you're in the thick of things it just makes sense" reports Alli Price, founder of Motivating Mum and Mum to Amelie, 10 months. "I really wanted a job that allowed the flexibility to be with my daughter during the day, particularly when she was ill or teething, and not have to explain myself to an employer. Having my own business enables that."
Sarah Bailey, product designer and Mum to Imogen, 3, agrees. "After becoming a Mum I didn't want to dress in suits and endure an hour commute each way. It just didn't seem important anymore. Working from home allowed me to embrace my new relaxed self and it didn't matter if I got porridge in my hair in the mornings!"
Some Mums feel that this unique station in life actually allows for the development of a business more than at any other time. "Before I was pregnant I had real trouble deciding which niche I would coach" said Alli Price of Motivating Mum "As soon as I knew I was expecting the choice became obvious. I had access to Mums for research, for promotion and feedback and I'm meeting new Mums all the time, who know other Mums."
Founders of The Nannysharers, Theresa Byrne, Mum to Daniel, 8 and Alex Dalton, Mum to Isabelle, 4, took the leap when they realised their need for a service was not being met. "We were both in fairly demanding jobs and realised that the difficulty we had in organising a shared Nanny could be exploited. Simply by being Mums and being aware of needs not met we were able to develop a successful business."
For other Mums, it's a financial decision. To support a growing family nowadays, both parents need to be bringing in an income to survive. "I decided to set up my own business because it worked out so much better for us financially" shared Marita James, book-keeper and Mum to David, 11 months "I do paperwork when David's asleep and save on costs of childcare and then play nights and weekends. I've been so successful I'm actually making more than I was before."
Tanis Brauteseth, Mum to Travis, 4, and Cydney, 2, was encouraged to start up the Wimbledon and Raynes Park Directory because it involved minimal start up costs. "Setting up a business seemed really accessible as all I needed was a computer, a telephone and tons of energy and motivation. I'm sure this is why there are a lot of Mums in business as often all you need to start are a product and a website."
"So, why do Mums do it? It seems there are a number of reasons but Ho Raven, founder of Mummy Marketing and Mum to Amy, 4, and Alice, 2, having helped a number of mums with their business plans thinks it's about discovering their own courage. "After giving birth, you realise, it's only by taking control and running your own business that you can meet the greatest challenge of all - raising a family."