Every May, we dedicate the day to celebrating mothers and their unconditional love and support (even though they deserve to be celebrated every day!). However, women should never be defined solely by motherhood: all their passions and achievements should be highlighted and recognized. On Wednesday, June 6, MALA will host Chicago Mompreneurs to do exactly this (and to learn how they do it). We hope you’ll join us!
To get a preview of the evening’s conversation, MALA intern Farah Harb talked to one of our panelists – hard-charging mom Lisa Prock, the founder of Tea Time Socials – about her career, her family, and the time she finds for herself. We love her for being a MALA friend and advisor. Join us on June 6 to ask your own questions!
Q: Lisa, what has been the most difficult mompreneur moment that you experienced while juggling motherhood and business?
A: It was figuring out finances while getting business off the ground and running. There is no stable paycheck at first. It took an emotional toll on me, especially when I also had to support little ones. It wasn’t just me anymore; I could just live off of chicken noodle soup, but I had kids to worry about, too. It was actually very scary, especially in the beginning stages.
Q: Is it important for you to disconnect from work to be fully present with your family, or do you treat both as part of a single life?
A: It is a mix of both. There are times when it is just me and the kids, doing crafts, and I shut things off; I put my phone, my email, and my computer away. But, if there is an emergency at work, I have to hop on and check my computer, and my family has to understand that.
There are also days when I need time purely for myself so that I can work, which is made easier when my kids are at school. But, I don’t miss baseball games; I don’t miss ballet. I don’t miss certain things, because I want to be there for my kids. I think it is nearly impossible to separate my work and my family 100 percent!
Q: Do you ever dedicate time just for yourself—not to your kids or to your business?
A: Yes. My husband and I have date nights. Sometimes I even just shut everything off, go for a run, or grab coffee with my mom.
When I first started out as a mompreneur, I was not doing any of that. But it is very healthy to make time for myself and I’m actually very productive this way. When you talk to people about normal things, you make connections and you get new ideas. When you know yourself better, you know your business better.
Q: Even though they’re young now, would you want your children to work with you when they grow up?
A: I actually started one of my businesses, Tea Time Socials, because of my daughter Emma. And she already works with me! She comes to the socials and tea parties, helps me set up tables, and makes friends there: she loves it so much. If my business is still successful and lasts until she’s older, and she wants to work with me, it would be a dream to carry it on with her. Sometimes, she talks about wanting to become a pediatrician, so I would never force my work on her. My son, however, definitely does not want to do what I do!
Q: What is the most fulfilling part of being a Mompreneur?
A: Having the best of both worlds; it’s really a two-layered luxury. Because I have my own business, I don’t have to be at the office as often. I can be at Emma’s dance classes. I don’t get to miss their lives. Being a businesswoman has actually taught me a lot about being a mom, especially in being an example for my daughter and son. For example, I get to show them the importance of making decisions and being bold, of not being afraid to go up there and do your thing. I learned that myself through being an entrepreneur, which I was able to exemplify and teach to my kids. Another big part of entrepreneurship is being really social. So, I really push my kids to talking to other people, making friends, and not just keeping to themselves.
Q: With Mother’s Day just having passed, what is your ideal Mother’s Day?
A: Well, this Mother’s Day was fantastic. My husband made me breakfast. Then, I went and grabbed flowers for my grandmother, and we had a very big barbeque. I’m Greek, so I come from a very big family! The best part was spending time with my mom and my grandmother—who have taught me so much in life and have always pushed me. This is pretty much what we do every Mother’s Day and I love it—just enjoying time with the family.
Q: Thank you, Lisa! We can’t wait to hang out with you on June 6 at MALA MOMPRENEURS CHICAGO and continue this conversation.
To learn what else is going on in the MALA community, visit our Events page!