Acknowledging And Accepting Your Intense Mum Guilt When Setting Up Your Business

by Dr. Vicky Prokopiou

I feel compelled to tell you how I am feeling right now, at this moment. 

I want to give you insight into the flurry of emotions that working mums who start a business can experience.



I have the guilt of putting my kids in the care of others and the guilt of not spending as much time with them as I want to soon. Alongside this lives the feeling of excitement to embrace my wants and achieve my goals in life. 

I’m heading into a new stage of my life back in Sydney and I have everything riding on the success of my business. I need and want it to showcase everything that I have worked so hard for in my 39 years of life. 

My journey and life experience have all come to this moment of immense emotion and challenge. 

This is my time to start how I intend to finish.


 I’ve come to realise that everyone has choices and that there is no one right way to approach and do things.

I can say that I feel overwhelmed at times, but then I remind myself that I’ve done all this twice before. And everything always works out. 

My motivation and thirst for challenges drive me. It gives me comfort in knowing that I will accept no other outcome other than success. It is all about the balance of effort and favourable results. 


Within me, there exists a shadow of the intensity of my financial commitment as I recognise the physical and mental workload ahead of me. I plan my next moves during the evenings when my little ones are asleep. 

I have an hour of opportunity dedicated to working, and it is a time of concentrated thoughts and strategising.

I write this as I gaze at my sleeping baby girl on the bed next to me. I’ve enjoyed being with my kids so much this last year that I can’t lie that I am a little scared of our new ‘normal’ that is to come. Change is something that we should all welcome, even if it makes us uncomfortable at times.

One thing that I do know is that I will be more mentally present, unlike in my past where I’ve taken my work stress home and burnt out.

I wonder about the milestones that I’ll miss out on, and my heart sinks at the thought of putting her in preschool for the first time. My past experiences with my boys have been hit and miss with preschools. I wonder whether she is too young. 

I went to preschool from a young age as my mum went back to university to study and I think that I turned out ok. This gives me comfort. The thought of homeschooling has even crossed my mind. I just know that I don’t have the time for that. So I happily retreat from this thought and rely on the experts. 

I want my kids to feel safe and to grow into confident adults. I don’t want to shield them from the world but I want them to be street smart and to protect themselves and each other.


A mixture of anxiety and excitement is normal when you’re only weeks away from opening your dental practice.

I currently face several internal hurdles daily. 

My current hurdles are:

The continuing variations to the project and subsequent budget

I’ve had to go to the bank thrice for loan increases. That’s what you get with 100+-year-old buildings and being a client who knows their practice vision. And then comes servicing the loan.

Hiring my foundation team

This is a big one as I hear that there is a shortage of people wanting to work or with the right skill set that I’m searching for. With COVID government benefits easing over the next few weeks, I hope that people start to think positively about their career and future and even consider a career shift into private dental practice. 

I’ve organised specialised training for my team but I need a team to train. My team will be my work family. I want them to soar to their potential. I can’t do it without all of them.

Deciding the care that is best for my kids without imposing on family

I understand that my parents have sacrificed so much of their life to give me my social and schooling education. Yes, I’ve worked hard myself but without them, I would not be where I am today. And they still, to this day are by my side, as is my gorgeous sister. I’ve enrolled my kids in a new preschool. It’s a gamble as I need to make sure that the preschool is an ideal fit with my morals and beliefs. Trust me, I’ve hit that roadblock before, and it was very confronting.

Couple Time

Scheduling couple-time with my husband is tricky with young children and two careers. It is important to us that we enjoy each other’s company but discuss our present and our future. To help each other to rise above any concerns or things that give us anxiety so that we can move forward.

Being Conscious of The Importance of Your Self-Care

Finding time for myself as I embark on practice ownership again is not easy. My passion for supporting women through Above It is stronger than ever. 

I’ve already booked in to get my hair done locally, and I plan to do this more regularly now that our FREEDOM Day has arrived. 

Support local business! Business is tough. Remember that behind every small business is a family that relies on your ongoing support.

There you have it. An insight into the daily thoughts and feelings of an ambitious working mum. 

I try my best, and that is all that matters. It takes finesse to make sure you have moments to breathe as you strive to create and maintain a balanced life.

Know your wants and your needs so that you can be happy with your decisions. Answer to yourself and only you.

Remember to be there for one another and take time to listen. Firstly listen to yourself and then to those around you.

Let’s all be there for each other.

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