What Makes a Great Momager
Before we delve into what makes a great momager, let’s define the term: As the name implies, it is a combination of “mom” and “manager,” and refers to a mother who manages her child’s or children’s show business careers.
The term was brought into existence by Kris Jenner, perhaps the most famous momager of them all. (She even trademarked the word!) Many show biz moms have taken up the responsibility of organizing their children's business affairs. These endeavors, though borne out of genuine care and desires to keep one's child safe, can turn out to be highly complicated. For that reason, it's important for momagers to know how to navigate this new business venture and how it will affect relationships with their children.
Mom vs. Momager
If a mother chooses to make this leap, boundaries must be established between the business side and the parental side of her daily life. Momager Kerri Moseley Hobbs (mother of child actor Anthony Hobbs) stressed the importance of this in an article with Hollywood Mom Blog. "Mom and Momager are two different people; create the split personality," Hobbs advised. This is not to suggest that a momager should show no motherly love to her child while organizing her child's career; but that momagers should know when to favor a professional approach over an emotional, protective one.
A mother’s natural parenting skills can directly translate to her new job as a momager. Both roles require a person to be prudent, attentive, and quick-witted. In addition, moms can translate their time-management and organizational skills from the household into the professional realm easily.
It is understandable how moms' protective instincts could interfere with business situations, but those instincts can be used to keep their children’s career interests safe while navigating the industries they want to pursue. Especially in entertainment, where competition is fierce, having someone compassionate and adept at problem solving in your corner can be a great boon. Momagers can vet opportunities as they arise and judge what may or may not be safe for their children. They can also identify and pursue opportunities where a child may not see them.
At the end of the day, however, it's important not to allow too much of one's personal life leak into professional situations. A momager is still a manager, and she must conduct her child's affairs with the same professionalism as a regular talent manager. That means studying up on the industry, networking, managing finances, and coordinating publicity. It's a big job; one has to be prepared to do the hard work.
Being the Best Momager You Can Be
Moms who have turned momagers are in a very special position when it comes to advocating for their children. They have the added bonus of watching them grow and change as people, while also growing professionally. Momagers have the unique privilege of a hands-on experience of raising a child to achieve his or her dreams. Instead of simply encouraging from the sidelines, momagers get to actively participate in the adventures and excitement alongside their children.
Momaging, when done right, can strengthen a bond between a mother and child immensely; But when done poorly, it can also damage that bond. Remember not to bring any stresses or problems from work back into the household with you. Be sure to give your child time to be a child and not a client, and give yourself time to be a mother and not a manager. Maintaining this balance is the key to a healthy professional and personal life with your child.
Becoming a momager is a big commitment, one that will have a large impact on your relationship with your child. If you are considering this change, be sure you understand everything it entails. Be prepared for the ups and downs, but don't lose your sense of adventure. And most importantly, remember to dream big, and let your love for your child help guide you both to a long, successful career.