Economics, Parenting and Identity

Mompreneurs is a movement that appeared in France towards the end of the 2000s. Its members define themselves as women who create a business when their baby is born, abandoning paid employment in favour of an independence supposed to insure a better work and family balance. The movement may seem insignificant when only the members of its “certified” networks are counted, but it involves deep and transversal processes of individuation, as well as the ongoing public celebration of individual economic initiatives and the stress put on parenting, particularly among the middle and upper classes. Based on three years of research carried out in one of the French Mompreneurs collectives, this article summons up these women’s words, attempting to grasp – given the objective conditions of the independent professional activity they have chosen to practice – what they expected by giving up their salaried employment. After sketching the identity of an entrepreneurial adventure in the guise of “perfect mother”, we will see how the family and its eventual fluctuations affect the life-courses of initially privileged women, revealing the part of fragility hidden beneath that promised, exalting, global enterprise of self.

Traduction : Gabrielle Varro
Keywords: independent work, gender, family, identity, life course
L26, J23, J62