MumBoss. Mumpreneur. Are you offended yet?

Mumpreneur. 

MumBoss. 

Do these terms offend you?

Because they don’t offend me. Quite the opposite in fact; they make me feel empowered.

I read a post entitled “We are not Sodding Mumpreneurs” by a great blogger ‘More Than Toast’ back in february, it’s taken me this long to final hit publish on a post I furiously scribbled down at the time.

The post in question was shared and hailed as gospel by another blogger that I really admire, and who I would describe as a ‘MumBoss’.

I couldn’t have disagreed more with their strong views on the subject. It really got me thinking about labels, and why, as Mothers the term ‘Mumpreueur’ or ‘Mum Boss’ should be a proud label to wear. I just couldn’t get my head around why these terms were being deemed as pitchforks to the feminist.

We should be proud that these labels are becoming so mainstream and this is why…

You see, if being a Mother is the most important job of all, and widely accepted as the hardest and most thankless of roles; Surely turning your dreams into a reality and earning cold hard cash alongside this seismic position of ‘Mum’ is something to shout about?

“I keep tiny humans alive, AND earn money , all on my terms because I’m running the show”

(Ok, so I don’t get to say that phrase just yet. I am working on it though…!)

It was also said that to assume us Mums run our business’ from their kitchen table is offensive. Really? That’s an offensive assumption?

I am not meaning to steam into Alice for writing this, I am just surprised that so many ‘Mum Bosses’ felt this way.

A business that can be run successfully from a kitchen table is anything but derogatory.

Many a brainwave has been hatched in far meeker circumstances. Facebook is the birth-child of a Fresher in their Uni digs for goodness sake – he didn’t even own a kitchen table! And what about that old saying ‘We came up with the idea on the back of a fag packet…’

So why do these affluent bloggers think  it is insulting to assume that a Mum might have begun a start up and run a business from the kitchen table?  I doubt you would rent office space just to brain storm some business ideas…

Surely if you can run a business from your kitchen table AND be there for your family you are, from where I’m sitting, 100% winning the game of life right now. 

I saw an interview with the powerhouse that is Harriett Harman recently. Harriett was saying how, not surprisingly, tough it was to work in Westminster when she had very young children. To keep up with her male counterparts she had to compromise on seeing her children and family life. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that to succeed in that environment something had to give- and it’s usually always the home front.  She hopes to make up for her absence by being there more for her Grandchildren now.

She couldn’t have it all, let’s be honest – I don’t know anyone that does.

If the mould doesn’t fit, then break it.

-That’s exactly what these inspirational Mumpreneurs are doing. 

It’s frustrating that there is still a long way to go until the playing fields are more evenly balanced in the workplace. Like it or not biology doesn’t give us much choice in the matter. We are the ones who have the ‘privilege’ of carrying our babies. We are the ones who grafted for years on a career  only to see it all come to a grinding halt when the egg timer gives way to “PREGNANT”.

Some women would say we had the raw end of the deal…

But it all comes back to this: Why on earth should we be trying to hide our ‘Mum’ label’? Is the struggle for equality becoming so sterile, we have to drop any reference to our lives behind the front door in order to be taken seriously? Surely not…

I’ve said before that I want to wear my label front and centre, because that is who defines me. I am a mother first, and I am proud of that. I am also proud that I am beginning to get a career off the ground on my terms. And  guess what – it’s from my kitchen table.

We live in a world that is allowing us all to be a little more creative, and work a little more remotely, there is a movement towards a more flexible way of working. The hugely inspirational Anna Whitehouse and her Flex Appeal movement are an inspiration and spreading positive vibes that us Mumas shouldn’t be put on the scrapheap just because we procreated.

If you can manage to be a Mumprenuer and do it for yourself, setting up your own business on YOUR terms, from scratch – all while your kids scream blue murder and utter 50,000 unreasonable demands all before 6am, then you lady, are a MUM Boss.

We are kicking legs from under the chairs of our often comfortable, complacent male counterparts. We are shaking things up through sheer drive, determination and the desire to have it all, on our terms.

So here’s to the kitchen table start up.

Here’s to those inspiring Mothers who are cooking up these innovative businesses and changing the face of society.

Here’s to the Mum Boss in us all.

What does Emma Watson & The Migrant Crisis in Libya have in common?

 

Choice. Freedom. Rights: Feminism.

I wasn’t entirely sure how to tackle my comeback to writing after a month long self-inflicted ban. That was of course until I saw Ross Kemp’s latest, deeply shocking documentary. I suddenly felt the compulsion to begin scribbling once again, in aid of International Women’s Day…

 ‘Libya’s Migrant Hell’ aired on Sky 1 a few weeks ago. Except this wasn’t Libya’s hell, this hell belonged entirely to the Migrants. Tears poured out of my angry red face as I struggled to process what Kemp was saying, and the horror he was witnessing.

I wanted to highlight not only the frightening injustice being dished out by the world’s governments to these Women and Children. But the truly shameful way the media have cast this grotesque crisis aside, in favour of highlighting feminism and women’s rights from the point of view of Emma Watson’s chest.

The ‘coverage’ Emma has clocked up is appalling. We shouldn’t be debating if a women who actively promotes feminism should be persecuted for showing half a boob: Who cares! It’s her body and she is choosing to show or not show as much as she wants. Emma Watson has the ability to exercise that right. Unlike the hundreds of female Migrants who find themselves caught up in this lawless Libyan nightmare.

What we should be debating and creating as much noise as possible about, especially in the run up to International Women’s Day, are the powerless women being forced into prostitution as part of a sick ‘pay as you go’ migrant scheme.

The Women with no choice. The Women who have been stripped of their right to choose as they succumb to a web spun out of the repugnant smuggling and trafficking gangs. Those Women who have been encouraged by their own families to run straight into the hands of the most evil of human beings.

These are the women we should be bringing into the media spotlight.


Or how about we make some noise about the hell-on-earth detention centres? An environment so hostile people are dying on a daily basis. These prisons, (let’s not mess about here, they do not deserve the name ‘detention centre’,) are being endured by the women and children who have either been ‘rescued’ from the sea or detained prior to getting on one of those inflatable death traps. Which by the way, the smugglers know will never make it to the advertised destination. The inflatable rafts aren’t hardy enough, instead the smugglers are relying on the Italian coastguard perimeter to deliver the dead-behind-the-eyes migrants to European soil. A sickening twist.


Libya is making the Calais Jungle look like a Center Parcs stay.  

This is Mum-guilt like I have never experienced before. Seeing pregnant women, babies and children, just like my own, being kept in a concrete box with no end date in sight is a revolting disgrace. Witnessing a mother breastfeeding her baby in a raft which had crammed in so many people that bodies lay on top of bodies. Those visible were whipped with a lasso so long it resembled scenes from the times of slavery.

Of course, by the time these women and children have reached the rafts they have already survived several hundreds of miles travelling in the back of a van across a desert, which is widely accepted to be more dangerous that crossing the ocean. Isis training camps are frequent, rebels patrol the area with check points, not to mention the blistering heat with temperatures of up to 45 degrees, contrasted to the frozen nights. Limited water, and just enough food to stop them starving to death. Oh and guess what – this cost them upwards of £4,000.


I am embarrassed and truly saddened that as I type this there is Toddler a few thousand miles away, just like mine. But they aren’t playing in a sand pit with their friends or about to eat so much lunch that they will feel full and happy. No, they are sitting lifeless waiting to live or waiting to die in these limbo cattle prisons reminiscent of a concentration camp. There is no joy, no warmth, no security for these toddlers. Their only crime was their Mother’s desire for a better, safer life.

Where are the UN aid tents? Libya is not a war zone – so what is taking so long? Their own African governments don’t appear to want these women and children back. There seems to be no attempts of repatriation;  The Leaders are simply turning a blind eye. It makes you wonder what these women were running from? What could possibly be a fate worse than indefinite imprisonment, abandonment by your home country, stripped of your nationality?

Individual identity is no longer relevant, for the term ‘Migrant’ fits all.

There is a stigma attached to the term ‘Migrant’- a nuisance, that just won’t go away. Governments fight over how many they will allow to stay as official refugees and locals rebel in droves about those coming to ‘take over’ their towns. My perception has changed, this documentary has changed my warped views. There is no way I could go through what these people are currently going through. If they make it all the way to Europe they should be welcomed with open arms. This is running the gauntlet like nothing I have ever seen before.

Thank God for the brave reporting by Ross Kemp and his team. Awearness is finally creeping into the lives of us ordinary folk, for we should never underestimate the power of ‘Ordinary’. I tweeted Kemp and asked him how we can help. In my mind I imagined an SAS escort as I boarded a plane for Tripoli to single handedly take on the most feared smuggler gangs in the world… Not surprisingly, his response was slightly more conservative:


International charities are putting increasing pressure onto governments. Funds are at last being pledged to help this crippling humanitarian crisis. The more noise that is made about this dire situation the better.

As Ross Kemp’s poignant words are still swimming around in my head, I’ll leave them here for you to ponder…

“I don’t care who you are or where you come from… As human beings we have a duty to try and stop this suffering”

Never a truer word.

International Women’s Day should be a day to celebrate being a Woman, and to take a moment to recognise those that desperately need our help.

The Sisterhood doesn’t care for creed or colour; if you can write that letter to your MP, if you can pledge that pound or 2 to Medicins Sans Frontieres, you can help give these women their right to choose once again.

Burkini, Bikini. Potato, potarto.

I’m sorry, have I missed something here…?

How on earth is wearing a Burikini a threat to national security?!

I have just been frankly stunned to read that French police in Cannes ordered a woman who was asleep on the Promanade des Anglais beach, wearing a Burkini, to strip down or risk being pepper sprayed. Has the world gone mad?

If you haven’t ever seen anyone wearing a Burkini in the real let me explain – it is basically a wet suit with a mid thigh length over dress which also covers their head.

Have you ever felt threatened by someone wearing leggings and a tunic with a hat on whilst standing in the Tesco queue? Me neither… so why on earth as soon as the sand and sea is involved everyone starts freaking out over this level of cover up?

Woman must strip to wear bikinis on the beach? p*ss off.

It has baffled me, and left me feeling pretty bloody sad actually.

The French are saying that the Burkini causes offence, so boobs and g-strings are totally fine on the beach, but my god if someone should dare cover themselves up in the name of their religion they shall be prosecuted. More like persecuted.

This summer we went to a very crowded indoor swimming pool complete with slides, waves, verruca’s. You know the sort of place. There were maybe 20 girls and women wearing Burkinis. We were all in very close proximity (think packed lift) so I got a really good look at the ensembles. Did I feel threatened by these woman playing with their children whilst covered up? NO. Did I at any time feel offended that they chose to cover up their bodies? NO. Was I slightly envious that they didn’t have their wobbly bits on show like I did? YES!

So are the French simply penalising these woman to make a stand against the Muslim communities in the wake of the terrible Bastille terrorist attack earlier this summer? Woman who are on a beach minding their own business with their families, but have just choosen not to show their bits off and cover their heads? Shall we also ban sarongs and hats too then?

Seriously, this has gone too far now. Drawing a line in the sand like this is surely going to push Muslim communities away, making more of a divide, sending the message to anyone not able to question the ridiculousness of this ruling, that Muslims are not welcome. Way to go France.

Do you know what’s even sadder than a woman being fined for wearing a long sleeved top and a head scarf? Not one person came to this lady’s aid on the beach. The pictures just show open mouthed on lookers, no one came to her defence. She was a middle aged woman on her own surrounded by 4 police officers, being humiliated and striped in public.

I’m off to the beach today, I’ll be wearing a hat and maybe even a long sleeved top as I burnt my arms yesterday (oh balmy blighty!) I’m not expecting anyone to site me a terror threat, or for the police to approach me and ask me to strip.

There’s got to be a better way to patrol your beaches France, come on. Think outside the box a bit. Making laws that are both racist and sexist is never going to end well. Stop dividing your country and targeting these Mumas. You are embarrassing yourselves.