The Mompreneur Diaries

Such a loaded term, no?
Wikipedia tells me a mompreneur is “a female business owner who actively balances a baby and the role of entrepreneur.”
Dads who do that are just entrepreneurs. Or businessmen. Or industrialists/tycoons/magnates. Never dadpreneurs.
But this post is not about that.
This is about how mums get back to (their professional) work after becoming mums.
When I had A, I was a journalist. When he was just 45 days old, I went back to work, leaky boobs et al.
And what a coincidence – one of the first stories I did was on Mompreneurs in Dubai. Their stories, challenges and love-hate relationship with the mompreneur label.
It was a sign … soon I was to leave Dubai, come back to India and start the course to becoming a mompreneur myself.
It has such a cute ring to it no – a mommy who dabbles in big fancy things like setting up a business. In between diaper changes of course.
Never mind, that in reality, it’s actually a full-blown job. Tougher than a 9-5 since this was a start-up that needed attention almost 24/7.

When I thought of Tura Turi, one of my first thoughts was that this should be a space for women who want to get back to work. Women who work just as hard (often harder) as any of their counterparts but are often seen as slackers only because they’re also bringing up a baby.

So what happens when mums with babies actually get to work. Here’s one of our stories.
Tura Turi’s first set of products were ready and we needed to photograph them. My first and only choice for this was a very dear friend who was also a mother to a feisty 6 month old. In an earlier avatar she was a producer and camera-person for one of India’s biggest news channels (certainly not a job for the faint-hearted).
I wanted her to do this shoot not just because she’s fantastic at what she does … but because since the birth of her son, she had barely managed to pick up her camera. We both needed to prove to ourselves that we could still do it.

Shoot Day
Under normal circumstances we would be discussing props and lighting. Instead this is how our conversation went –

Her: I’ve checked the weather and we’ll get the best light for shots from 12 to 4.

Me: Great. 2pm is usually nap time for the babies, so we’ll figure out some shots with them before that.

Her: Should I carry the baby’s lunch with me?

Me: I’ll have lunch prepared. We’ll feed both the kids between shots.

Just as we were ready with set up, my baby decided to have a meltdown.
Down came some of our props since they were the only things that seemed to soothe him. Of course the baby’s aunt who is co-founder of Tura Turi and was busy with set design that day, had to double up as nanny and babysitter.
20 minutes later we were ready to start again.
Wait a second, where was her baby?
Just as she had knelt down precariously to get a close-up shot of one of the quilts, her son decided to crawl right there and pull it off.

Behind the scenes at Tura Turi’s first photoshoot
Her: I’m losing light and still need to take some shots.

Me: Ok, I’ll just feed both the kids while you take them.

Her: Here, you want to set up some more shots while I just rock my baby to sleep?

And so on and so forth.

Yes, being a Mompreneur (or whatever cute term we have for it) may sound fun, but it is a lot of work.
And because it is 2015, we women will do our darned best to make sure we continue doing whatever we do best (babies in tow if that’s what it takes)

Case in point:
Despite that manic day we did manage to get some beautiful shots.

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