Being trolled is a part of my job that I still find hard to deal with. I know full well that when someone lashes out at you (especially when they know nothing about you) it says more about them then me.
However, today I had a message that I have found hard to shake - it said that by targeting mums and working with mums I was discriminating.
Discrimination is a word we hear a lot, I believe it's discrimination when a woman is told that there is no way she can do her job in anything but a full time basis which she can't make work around her family. I believe it is discrimination when women lose their jobs when they are pregnant, or when they are on maternity leave. I believe it is discrimination that when a woman returns from maternity leave and is given a "downgrade" on her previous role or is passed up for promotion as she has a family and might want to work part-time.
I am not the first (or the last) business to target mums or work with mums - digital mums, mumsnet, netmums and the rise of the "mumprenuer". You have instamums, mothersmeetings and lots of networking events, online courses and coaches who focus on mums. So why did this woman target me?
Becoming a mum does change you and you are different to how you were before. For many of us, that does mean PND, anxiety and a lack of confidence. I have struggled with my identity since becoming a mum and I am passionate about helping others who have been or are going through similar. It isn't because mums are better than other women it is because we have different struggles.
I know there are loads of women who aren't mums who I could coach, I could choose to work with people who are struggling to conceive or who don't want kids. However, this is not my reality and I believe when you are a coach you are meant to work with a certain group of people. For me, my tribe is other mums.
I champion mums starting up businesses because I have first hand experience of how so many careers are not compatible with kids. Of course, many people want to start up businesses who aren't mums but they might have different challenges.
I have reflected on the idea I am discriminating and I feel it is unfair, I am clear in my marketing and clear in why I work with mums. The fact that due to a glitch in Facebook advertising someone who was not meant to see my advert saw it and it triggered something I am of course sorry for, however I am not apologetic for my purpose.
I believe we should all support and build each other up, being a parent and having your own business is balancing act. Let's work together as humans and appreciate our differences. You never know what anyone else is struggling with and if you don't look below the surface you might not see what their purpose really is.
The "parenting niche" might seem a bandwagon that people are jumping on but the reason we are is to build each other up and support one another because it is hard.