Seeking solutions to a daily parenting challenge inspired Joanna Parker to launch a business helping other moms. We chat about how she balances motherhood and entrepreneurship.
Balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship (and helping other moms do the same!)
Joanna lives in Englewood, New Jersey with her husband and three children. She is the founder of a company called Yumble
, which is a weekly subscription service of fully-prepared, healthy meals designed just for children. Between spending time with her family and running her business, her days are very full.
A typical day
Joanna starts her mornings with an early workout. She gets back home in time for her children to wake up around 7 am. From 7 to 8:30, she is 100% in "mom-mode," having breakfast with them, getting everyone dressed, talking about their day ahead, and driving them to school.
At 8:30 am, she comes back home and puts her Yumble-hat on she commutes to New York City with her husband. She spends all day with her team in SoHo and drives back home around 6:30 pm. She has her end-of-day meeting with her husband/business partner on their drive back. They arrive at home around 8 pm and temporarily take off their Yumble hat to give their two older children some attention and check their homework.
Yumble really is a family project. She and her husband run the company together, and their children are the inspiration for the products. The family subscribes to the meals as well, so they like to talk about the meals as they come in the mail. Yumble was born from Joanna's own efforts to get food on the table for her family. She knows it's a big challenge to prepare healthy food that the children will actually eat, so mealtime can be stressful with children. One of Yumble's missions is to alleviate mealtime stress.
At her wit's end about meal-planning, Joanna threw out a question to a mom support group on Facebook to see how people would respond to the idea of having a week's worth of cooked meals for their children. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so she cooked about 30 meals for her first 10 customers and put everyone else on a waitlist. A follow-up survey revealed that each customer wanted repeat deliveries the next week, and that's when it dawned on her that this product needed to be a subscription.
Yumble is not a meal-prep kit service. Instead, it provides fully cooked meals, which allows moms to have healthy meals ready in 90 seconds or less. The idea was a solution to Joanna's own struggle, so the resulting product is genuine.
Biggest productivity challenges
Joanna's children are still young, which means she feels the challenge of balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship. She had stayed at home with her two older kids, so she cooked them dinner every night and tucked them into bed, but she doesn't get to do that for her youngest. With a routine set in place, though, she finds that her youngest child knows what to expect and embraces it. Setting up reasonable, reliable expectations for her children has allowed her to feel less guilty about not being present at certain times.
Joanna realizes that the modern-day mother faces the pressure to be a juggler. She recognizes that balls will be dropped, but that's okay since she can pick the dropped balls back up or simply set aside the ones she can't handle that week.
Her biggest challenge has been accepting that it's okay to mess up. In the end, she knows her children will be stronger and more independent and competent because she's not always there. (That being said, it doesn't mean children won't be independent because moms are at home.) What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Everyone should be confident that they are doing the best they can...