Break Free From Mum Guilt And Reach Your Potential

Entrepreneur And Mother Ann Nkune Reveals How Breaking Free from Mum Guilt Is The First Step To Your Dream Career

working mum landscape
working mum landscape

Entrepreneur And Mother Ann Nkune Reveals How Breaking Free from Mum Guilt Is The First Step To Your Dream Career

Three years ago, my friend – a talented, beautiful mother - took her own life. 

That day, I had to face a stark truth: the mum I'd met in the park, devoted to her two small children, with plenty of friends and full of entrepreneurial spark was facing challenges none of us could imagine. Our friendship network had not been enough to stop her doing the unthinkable after the pressures of juggling the demands of parenthood got too much.

At the time, my little girl was just three, and I was, like so many women with children, torn between returning to my previous career or working for myself. But this tragic event was the impetus I needed to take the risk and go it alone. I accepted an offer to take over her ‘mummy blog’, which sealed my fate as an aspiring social entrepreneur. The blog was a forum to grow a support network for parents which was more than just small talk in the park. A place where we could work together on our new identities as parents, dealing with the tricky balancing act of work, children and often imploding relationships at home.

I soon discovered that many of the parents I was surrounded by were frustrated parent entrepreneurs too, nurturing creative business ideas, but not sure whether or how to pursue them. They often lacked time, focus, confidence and the business skills to take the next step. 

Most dreamt of an office space they could visit each day that had flexible childcare onsite - an alternative to the cripplingly expensive childcare on offer at regular nurseries which prevent women from taking the necessary risks to embark on new business ventures. 

And so, my new venture Bloomsbury Beginnings was born. We provide baby friendly offices where women can come and work during the day knowing their children are cared in another room on site by capable staff. We also offer popular business start-up courses offering expert advice and encourage the swapping of expertise and skills so that everyone's business benefits from everybody else's experience.

At the heart of both services is the idea that we need to collaborate to break free from the pressures of guilt, reduced confidence, lack of focus, time and money that come with being a mum. We also actively encourage dads to come along.

Im delighted to say that we have to date helped 30 new businesses to get off the ground, and supported over 150 parents to work flexibly - I only wish there were more places like this so that more mothers could break free and realise their potential. 

Who knows whether my social enterprise would have changed the tragic outcome for my friend, but what I do know is that she would have been a talented, supportive collaborator.

Ann Nkune is Founder and Director of Bloomsbury Beginnings. She runs flexible offices in London with onsite creches where mums can leave their babies while they work on new business ideas with fellow parents. @bloomsbabies

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