Last weekend at the end of a two day video shoot, my tired tween spoke up and said, “I want my mom! I don’t want the producer, editor, or entrepreneur… I WANT MY MOM!” There was no need for clarification about what she was articulating. She had been patient, accommodating, helpful and pleasant even though she was bored, tired and it was Sunday. She had done all that I had asked without complaint and supported me while on I was working on location, as she witnessed me accommodating everyone else’s needs.
When she piped up about being done…she was done. In this particular case we were leaving an art museum and bracing for the cold walk to the parking garage while I slowly let the adrenaline of too many demands go. I wrapped her now adult-sized hand in mine, and we made our way back to the car with some small talk. The remaining functioning brain cells started to make the calculations about what was in the fridge at home that could be easily made before I’d fall asleep.
It’s times like this when the pressure begins to build up in head and heart and I wonder why I decided to make that move from mom to mompreneur. We enter our home, drop off all the bags, and slide into the kitchen to see what culinary magic I can create that will be both nutritious and tween approved.
I sometimes wonder why this journey has to be so hard; parenting and creating a sustainable career as an artist. I do know that when you combine the two, the level of difficulty expands exponentially.
Last week a college student interviewed me for her business class. She asked me if what I did was tough. She asked me if doors had been closed to me because I was a woman AND a person of color. She asked me how I continued to do the work in the face of great challenges. When it was all over she told me I inspired her.
I wonder what my daughter would choose if she had the choice. People often tell me that I am modeling great things for her like persistence, leadership, and overcoming adversity. The greatest challenge for me has been modeling love, patience, presence and connectedness while still advancing my career objectives.
When you become a parent, you no longer have the benefit of doing whatever you please without there being consequences. Mompreneuring is what I do. Sometimes it’s not a giant leap that gets you here, sometimes it is that first step, followed by another and another. No matter how we arrive here, it’s worth reminding ourselves that our kids didn’t ask to be a part of the journey. Yes, they learn amazing things watching us make magic happen out of two pennies and a stick of bubble gum, but they also sacrifice in ways we may not always notice.
I’m thankful my daughter felt empowered enough to let me know she had had enough of my alter ego and that I was present enough to realize her immediate needs. The pressure of making it all work as a single mompreneur can be immense, and the journey can be lonely sometimes, but it’s at the end of the day that I am grateful when I look in the mirror and know that I gave it my all.
By Tatiana Bacchus
Edited by Grace Alfiero