Running Multimillion-Dollar Businesses While Balancing Motherhood: Here’s How

Balancing entrepreneurship and childcare can be a daunting task, made worse by the pandemic. The rising costs of childcare in the UK and the USA are forcing an increasing number of primary caregivers – the majority of whom are women – to juggle both business and caring for their children.

Thousands of childcare centers that closed temporarily because of lockdowns are still at risk of shutting permanently. These centers tend to be low-margin businesses with low levels of cash reserves and may not be able to reopen due to the additional expenses garnered during the pandemic.

This situation has forced some women into a sticky situation, and the expensive private childcare or nurseries don’t help.

A lot of people think that motherhood and entrepreneurship don’t mix. This is an unfortunate misconception because there are many reasons why moms make great entrepreneurs. From being organized to amazing problem solving, mothers can do it all, but they still need a level of support, which often includes affordable and more accessible childcare.

Kokomo’s Ria Graham and Good Moms, Bad Choices’ Erica and Milah are just some examples of moms with thriving businesses.

Ria Graham

For Ria Graham, balancing a business and motherhood means waking up early to toilet-train the kids and taking phone calls from playrooms. Ria and her husband Kevol run Kokomo, a Caribbean restaurant in Brooklyn, and raise three children, all under the age of four.

She booked $4 million in revenue last year, which Insider verified with documentation.

Ria Graham and her husband Kevol Graham own Kokomo in Williamsburg. Credit: Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

As a mom, Graham understands firsthand the struggles many women experience. While she doesn’t have a maternity leave policy at her company, she offers unpaid family leave, life insurance, 401(k), and accident and commuter benefits that mothers can use to support themselves and their families.

For example, a mother can use unused sick days for paid maternity leave, or she can access the benefits in the company’s disability insurance plan if there are birth complications, Insider reported.

Ria’s Schedule

5 AM

Graham blocks off her early mornings to spend time with her children — she said she wakes up at 5 a.m., toilet-trains her daughter, prays with the family, and prepares breakfast.

9 AM

By 9 a.m., she’s focused on the business. Graham said she typically goes into the office four times a week but also does some administrative tasks from her home.

5 PM

She said she tries to end the workday by 5 p.m. so she can eat dinner with her family and relax. But sometimes, she continues to work after her children go to sleep.

“Most of the time I do a little work after I put them to bed as well,” she told Insider.

Erica and Milan

Erica and Milah started Good Moms, Bad Choices soon after meeting to create a safe space for candid conversations on motherhood that weren’t happening anywhere else.

Since launching the podcast in 2018, Good Moms, Bad Choices is now a thriving business and community.

Building a business and raising children are challenging endeavors on their own, and doing both simultaneously takes a great deal of focus, flexibility, and grace.

Below is some advice from Erica and Milan via The Balanced Black Girl podcast.

Take Intentional Breaks From Your Business

Entrepreneurship can feel all-consuming, that’s why it’s important to take breaks when you can. This can look like setting boundaries around business hours, not working on your business outside of those designated times, or making time for yourself each day (even if it’s just 5-10 minutes of quiet time for meditation or screen-free time).

Find Friends Who Will Help You Along the Way

Support from others is one of the most valuable assets you can have. If you have friends who are also moms or entrepreneurs (or both!), they’re probably in the same boat as you are. Reach out to them for help and support. For Erica and Milah, working together and confiding in one another has helped them immensely while they build their business.

Delegate If Possible

Take stock of your current schedule and find out what tasks on your list could be done by someone else. If you’re having trouble telling which responsibilities you can outsource and which ones you should keep, there are some simple questions that can help.

Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.