The following is an excerpt from my interview with Hope Oriabure Hunter on my podcast, You’ve Got This.
As a career sales professional, Hope could sell anything she believed in as long as it helped the people she sold it to. She spent years honing her skills to a razor’s edge across several different industries. Now she has transitioned those skills to entrepreneurship as the founder and CEO of Black-Tie Babysitting, Inc. a special occasion on-site childcare service.
She also serves as a liaison with the community, vendors, and other local marketing partners to strategize and align Black-Tie Babysitting’s services with what the marketplace requires. By servicing events such as weddings, business meetings, and other occasions it is a win-win for all parties involved. She uses her passion for children and families as a platform to talk about the unique challenges of being a mompreneur and real-life solutions to make the journey a little smoother.
It is a balancing act, especially when you’re founding your own business, whether it’s a one-woman show or whether you’re intending to have employees. How do you balance that?
Hope: I think the number-one thing is that there’s really not a balance. It never truly every balances its way out. Some days, I’m an incredible entrepreneur, an incredible business owner, and a terrible mom. Sometimes, I’m a great mom and a terrible business owner, and that’s just because it doesn’t balance out. One of my favorite quotes is that we expect women to work like they don’t have children and to raise children as if they don’t work.
Sometimes we think we’re not really a mom if we’re working, whether it’s for ourselves or for someone else.
Hope: Absolutely. I mean, I call it kind of like the PTA mom syndrome. Why can’t I be her? Why can’t I do the bake sale? Why can’t I come up to the school and help teachers and be the homeroom mom and help with the Christmas parties? And I just had to get to the point where I just had to tell myself, “Hope, you can’t do this.” I always use the analogy of the dress: That dress fits her but that dress is not for me.
I think part of the key is to find out what we can do and do that, to focus on the positive as oppose to the negative. I think it’s important to really play to our strengths that way and to help our kids see that we are not just showing up because we feel it’s expected; we are showing up because we are interested or we have talent that could contribute to this event or volunteer opportunity.
Hope: Yes, what I think too is that you can’t take for granted if you are able to give birth to this child, raise this child to the point that now, they’re ready to go to school and you see them every day, you clothe them every day, you make sure they are clean, and they are ready and focused and ready to go to school—that is a feat in itself.
I always use the analogy of the dress: That dress fits her but that dress is not for me.
I love your idea of just reminding ourselves that often, we feel like a failure when we could have success, whatever that looks like, if we just reach out a hand to someone else because chances are, they want to help and they probably are going to need help too.
Hope: Absolutely, because I tell everybody all the time, especially before I got married and everybody would see, “Oh, my gosh, Hope, you run this business and you have a full-time job and you have these four kids all by herself. Oh, poor Hope, your plate is so full.” I got to the point where I said, “Well, the best thing about having the full plate is you never have to go back for seconds.” When this life is over, I would’ve done everything I wanted to do or even wanted to try to do. The other lesson is that I always tell people that your plate is as equally full as mine. Your sides are just different. I think when we understand that, then that levels everything out.
There are a lot of things that we can do, whether we’re mompreneurs, whether we work, whether we stay home, whether we homeschool—we are all juggling a lot of balls. I think when we really look at it that we are all in this together, we can have better honest conversations when we focus on that.
Hope: I think the thing too that we’re talking about, having failed and stuff like that, and this is something I tell people to a lot is to have an epic fail, you have to have an epic try, and that epic try, it doesn’t always lead to try and fail. Sometimes, the lesson is learned from that failure.
To hear more great advice and stories from Hope, listen to “Bouncing Back From Parenting Fails” on the “You’ve Got This” podcast.