Being a solo IVF mum definitely makes life a little more tricky when it comes to building a start-up. However, there are number of things that I have found particularly helpful when it comes to balancing both my personal and professional life.
Firstly, it is worth noting that most of the challenges have been through choice. Choices which have inevitably led me to the current day. The first of these, was choosing to move to London - 260 miles away from my family - some eight years ago. My family (and therefore my key support network) are six hours away by car; which isn't exactly ideal. My second, was that I chose to have a baby via solo IVF, at the age of 42. However, this is ideal, and I can say without hesitate that Milo, my son, is my inspiration and my sole motivator.
You see, as a person, you could say I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I've had lots of ideas (and I still do), but this one I am determined to make a success. Still, I'd be lying, if I said that it wasn't hard.
It is hard not just simply because I have minimal support around, but as any parent will know - raising a child is a full-time job - a job you can never resign from - and there is no annual leave. So if the baby hasn't slept the night before, I haven't either; and if the baby won't have his nap when I'm due to have a Zoom meeting, then the baby simply becomes my Intern! Going to events seems to be the most difficult thing, as with very few babysitting options, and most events being in the evening - attending these can certainly be tricky.
I often find myself visualising the future: what my days will look like, how I will navigate being present for my son, while also being the Founder of a relationship app. BUT, I keep coming to the same conclusion, and that is: whatever the future looks like, I will make it work.
As a woman, an individual, and an entrepreneur, one thing I do have is confidence. I'm confident in my product, my reasons, my will, my decisions, my choices, my team... the list is endless - but I have these thoughts and feelings in abundance. I also believe that there is no other outcome here but a positive one - not only for myself and Milo, but for the many others who I am creating this app to serve.
If you are another parent out there in business - your own or someone else's - if you’re getting to Friday and you are exhausted, I want to give you a gentle reminder to please, go easy on yourself.
When the 40 hour working week was designed, there was only one person in a household going out to work. Someone else (or indeed the rest of the family) were at home doing everything else - the cooking, cleaning, parenting, and other errands that make up life's admin.
So, if you're feeling a failure today because you are struggling to juggle everything you need to do. Don’t forget….
You are working in a system that didn’t take into account all of the extra life stuff we have to do as fully-fledged grown ups, working in a fast pace world.
So basically, that makes you a freakin' rock star 👊🏼.
Stacy | Founder