"Mompreneur" and Other Titles That Have Got to Go

photo credit:  Andrew Neel , via  Unsplash

photo credit: Andrew Neel, via Unsplash

We all have monikers that get under our skin, ones that we can't shake no matter how hard we try. For me, that name is Mommy. Let me explain. If I birthed you or have become a mother figure to you, by all means, call me Mama, Mom, or Mommy. If not, please don't.

I’m not sure when adults calling other adults “mommy” became the norm, but even the first time I heard it I was taken aback. I'm not a mommy blogger, I'm not a hot mama, and I'm not a mompreneur. I'm a person first, mommy second. I’m not a blogger because I’m a mama, I’m not attractive despite having kids, and my successes aren’t attributable to my offspring, so don't diminish my talents or achievements by qualifying them with other titles I carry.

Think about it: you wouldn't call someone a “mom lawyer”, a “mom teacher”, or a “mom doctor”, so why add “mom” to any other career choice? Being a mom doesn’t define every aspect of a person’s life, so please don’t add arbitrary qualifiers to titles we have worked hard for and earned.

I know there are mothers who embrace the term "mompreneur", and that's great. I certainly don't judge people who apply the term to themselves because they feel it accurately describes them. If being a mom plays a central role in your writing or your entrepreneurial venture, adding “mom” to your title may make sense for you, but don't assume that just because I have children calling me a mommy fill-in-the-blank is welcomed. This also applies to emails addressed "dear mommy blogger" and listing anything with “mommy” in it as my official title in a national publication, unless you've specifically asked first. Since my kids are only part of what I write about, and they don't have any part in my business, I consider myself a blogger and entrepreneur, period. No “mommy” or “mom” required.

If there is a part of you that thinks I'm overreacting, ask yourself if you know any dadpreneurs. Maybe think back to the last time you used the nickname "hot dada" to describe a random guy? I'm guessing you can't think of any, right? It’s because we don't tend to qualify men's accomplishments and talents with whether they have offspring or not. We don't create cutesy words for dads who work, and we certainly don’t give them job titles with “dad” in them. Maybe it’s because men aren’t seen as dads first, people second.

The term "mompreneur" feels like an acceptance and reinforcement of the stereotype.

The term "mompreneur" feels like an acceptance and reinforcement of the stereotype that women starting their own companies is somehow strange or unnatural. It feels like a way to describe someone working on a hobby while her child naps when actually, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women. These women-owned businesses employ nearly 9 million people and generated $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017. Not bad for a few naptime hobbyists, right?

If any of those millions of women business owners ask you to call them a “mompreneurs”, by all means do, but, until then, give them the same respect you would give to any other successful business owner, man or woman, regardless of whether they have children or not.


Leanne Heilman is the owner and founder of Rave & Review®, an award-winning Seattle-based site featuring new and established products, the best destinations, and tips and tricks for parents.