Mums feel stigma around long hours and starting a business

Baby Show poll shows women feel there is stigma attached to starting up a business when their kids are young.

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Over half of mums feel there is a negativity around women who start up their own business or work long hours when they have a young child, compared to only 16% who say the same for dads, according to a new poll.

The poll of 1,000 new mums for The Baby Show, shows 45% of mums think that dads who run their own businesses are celebrated, compared to just 9% who feel women are.

Some 51% of new mums questioned said that they would like to start up their own business during maternity leave, although 70% choose to return to work after having their baby. According to the poll, 78% of new mums feel that starting their own business would give them the freedom and flexibility to fit in with their new family lives.

It shows 63% of those polled say that a lack of funds is holding them back from starting a business, while 37% say a fear of failure is stopping them.

When it comes to returning to work 40% said that they would feel guilty about leaving their babies at a young age. 39% felt that they would feel sad that their maternity leave is over and 37% felt unconfident that they would be able to balance both work and family life. Only one in five (20%) said they would be excited to return to work.

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Laura Williams, founder of The Modern Nursery, founded the company when she was pregnant with her first daughter. She says: “I have certainly received negative comments about working too many hours on the business and making it work around my children.

Nothing is ever said of my husband. Life as a Director of a business is intense, especially when you have a team of staff. This means that despite the fact that my hours are flexible and I am there to do school pick up, the workload is still there after I’ve put the kids to bed. A 1amer or 6am start in the early days, and even now is not uncommon.

However, it is a choice that I don’t regret making and I’m so glad I can be there for my kids when they need me”.

The Baby Show takes place at Olympia London Friday 18th until Sunday 20th October 2019.  Laura will be speaking at an event on 19th. For more information visit

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