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Career & Money

Working Moms On The Reality Behind 'The Balance' Of Motherhood And Entrepreneurship

Unpopular opinion, but as a mother, you may have to choose your career over parenthood sometimes. Let’s talk about it.


Disclaimer: just know that we celebrate girl bosses over here! That includes the 9-5 girlies and women who take the non-traditional route of entrepreneurship. But sometimes, I feel like working moms deserve their own set of flowers. With so much red pill content today that centers around telling women who they are and how they should live, shout-out to the women who continue to denounce this way of thinking while fighting to make a name for themselves - outside of their families and children.

To those women, this is for you.

WHAT WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT ENOUGH

Evelyn Hambrick

Evelyn Hambrick and her daughters

Photo by Jamel Hope

A speech that lives rent-free in my head would have to be the 2014 commencement speech given by Shonda Rhimes at Dartmouth. That’s where the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator recalled learning that she can’t be everything to everyone, including her own children. “If I am killing it on a Scandal script for work, I’m probably missing bath and story-time at home,” Rhimes shared. “If I am at home sewing my kids’ Halloween costumes, I am probably blowing off a script I was supposed to rewrite.” That’s the reality of being a mom who’s also a businesswoman. But we don’t have to look outwards to Hollywood for such examples.

We can also talk about Evelyn Hambrick, a business owner who works out of Huntsville, Alabama. “I have more moments than I like to admit; moments where me being an entrepreneur trumps me being a mother,” Evelyn tells xoNecole. The mother of two began her entrepreneurial journey during the pandemic back in 2020 and currently runs four businesses. Evelyn says she used her “shelter in” downtime to learn as much as she could about her passion, photography. As a result of that, she now owns a commercial property that operates as a photography studio while also owning and running a daycare.

Evelyn Hambrick

Evelyn Hambrick

Courtesy

Evelyn was able to achieve all this after seemingly having to start over. “My husband left right after he found out I was pregnant,” she says. “I then moved in with my sister and her husband. I was actually on bed rest and couldn’t work because I was a high-risk pregnancy.” Evelyn has her village to thank for getting her back on her feet and for keeping her there. After her second child was born, Evelyn’s close family members decided to move to Huntsville, where they purchased a house together and helped support each other for nearly 10 years until Evelyn moved out in September 2023.

PUTTING YOUR DREAMS ON PAUSE

For some working moms, starting over can look a lot like starting from rock bottom, but for others, it could mean starting fresh after raising children. This is a story freelancer LaDwanya “LD” Roberts can also attest to. She is a wife and mother of three who’s worked as a producer in reality television for nearly 10 years. Almost immediately after graduating from Clark Atlanta University, LD, like so many other working moms, decided early on in her motherhood journey that she would be a stay-at-home mom until her children were old enough to be on their own. For LD, that also meant putting her producing dreams on pause.

Today, though, LD’s eldest is a freshman in college, which now means that new doors can open up for her. “When my kids were younger, I wouldn’t take a job out of state because I didn’t want to be away from them,” she says. “But now that they’re older, I can. And we have FaceTime now, thank God!” LD commends her hard-working husband, her parents, and her in-laws for being the support system she needed while working and raising her children.

“My husband is a good father and dependable,” LD says. “I know he’s going to make sure the kids eat at night and have dinner. He never complained. He’s a man’s man and took care of the bills.”

MOMENTS WORKING MOMS ARE ASHAMED TO ADMIT

LaDwanya \u201cLD\u201d Roberts and daughters

L-R: LaDwanya “LD” Roberts and daughters

Courtesy

A well-balanced parental household should be the standard for every child, but we all know that it isn’t the reality for many. Evelyn says her co-parenting experience has not been what she thought it would be and is especially not reflective of the co-parenting dynamic she had growing up. “They had the perfect trade-off relationship. Instead of making my mom leave work, my dad took over,” Evelyn recounts. She adds, “(It) wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned they didn’t like each other, but they didn’t make it known to me at all.” Evelyn respects her parents for giving her a safe environment that wasn’t full of drama because they had mutual respect for one another.

Not much has changed today. Evelyn’s parents are just as hands-on in their grandkids’ lives. She’s grateful that her parents can be there, even when she can’t, “They don’t miss the fact that I am an entrepreneur and am busy.” Evelyn even recalls a day when she didn’t know her daughter was sick in school. It crushed Evelyn when she found out what happened next. “My mom picked her up even though I said I was available,” she says. “My child said, ‘I told the nurse don’t call you because I know you’re busy and working.’” Evelyn continues, “I felt horrible. That day, I was free, but she didn’t know it. I was trying to surprise them when they got home from school. The fact she had to tell someone outside our household bothers me.”

LaDwanya \u201cLD\u201d Roberts

LaDwanya “LD” Roberts

Photo by Ramseys Rivas

So yes, working moms are missing a lot of important moments, and unfortunately, so do their children. But both LD and Evelyn always work to make sure their children know the why. As for LD, “They understand that things cost and life is expensive. We have a home, food, things they want, (but) mommy and daddy have to go to work. They’re never upset (that) I have to work. They (just) wish it wasn’t such long hours.”

As for Evelyn’s children, she says her eldest child tells her all the time that she wants to be a photographer like her and that she wants to own businesses. As for her youngest, “My 4-year-old has been with my mother since she was born. She has not had me like my oldest. All she knows is me being gone. After one day, she tells me she’s ready to go back to her GG.” Evelyn says she tells her daughters regularly that she will shut everything down if they need her to.

THERE’S LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

Today, these hard-working moms are still working to be an example to their children that it’s important to pursue your dreams and passions. LD is now setting her sights on being a casting director and is currently working as a casting assistant, something she’s been passionate about for some time. She says, “I realized life is short, and I want to go after what I want.” Her advice to working moms is, “The most important thing you can do is read your word, stay grounded, whatever you believe in, do that.”

Evelyn believes that it’s a good idea to include your children in what you’re doing. She offers advice to fellow entrepreneurial moms, “I let my children be with me when I’m working so they can see what I’m doing when I’m not around. If you quit too soon, you’ll miss your blessing. Just wait. The biggest mistake you can do is give yourself a date of when it will happen; you can give yourself a goal (though).”

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Feature image by MoMo Productions/ Getty Images

 

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