The Truth About Work-at-Home Moms

Eye Roll 12

woman in home officeThere are so many misconceptions about moms these days. If you stay-at-home or if you work-out-of-the-home, or even if you work-at-home, you are still judged. You just can’t win. Unfortunately, work-from-home or stay-at-home, if you are home for any reason at all, you are sitting around eating bonbons all day, right?

I have done all three and they all have their trying times. They are all hard work. The one that many seem less judgmental about, but certainly also less informed about, is the work-at-home mom.

Here are 5 common misconceptions:

Misconception: Moms who work from home get to spend the entire day being attentive, hands-on mommies who never miss a moment of their child’s life.
Reality:
You spend most of the day either being completely distracted from your work or you spend the day telling your kids to hold on a second. Either way, you end your day feeling like you could have done better.

Misconception: Moms who work from home have complete freedom and flexibility of their schedules.
Reality: If I had more hours in the day, my world would be perfect. I can’t come and go as I please. I am tethered to two little people for most hours of the day, I have to tailor my day around their schedules. Add to the mix work deadlines, conference calls, answering emails, invoicing and brainstorming, a set time dedicated to work progress and a set amount of time for children and I am left for no time for me. If I ever deviate from the schedule, it sets my entire schedule off kilter for the month. To make up for deviation, I have to work at night after the kids go to bed.

Misconception: We work in our pajamas.
Reality: With Skype and Google chat, sitting around in my pajamas is a luxury I cannot afford. There has never been working in my pajamas (yoga pants maybe), unless I have the flu and a deadline and they coincide. In which case, I drag myself from my bed to my office and I meet my deadline because working from home means that I have to work twice as hard and be three times as focused in order to prove myself.

Misonception: We have a stress-free work environment.
Reality: Sure, I don’t have the hour commute each way that I use to have or I don’t have to ride the train into the city but I also live at my job. I live here! I don’t get to go home at 5 pm. It’s like shitting where you eat. Not to mention, working with small people around is like running a gauntlet frought with live wires,150 feet in the air, on a slippery hanging bridge.

Misconception: We don't really work and it doesn’t pay.When I tell people that I work from home, they always ask if I sell Avon, Mary Kay, or thirty-one products. I can always see the panic in their eyes when they expect to be invited to a purse, Tupperware or naughty nightie party. Being home all day translates into others thinking that I am available; to babysit, pet-sit, pick up dry cleaning, give a ride to the mall or wait for the FedEx man.
Reality:
I work harder than I have ever worked in my life. I have a schedule that I try to keep and I have tight deadlines. I have a real job in a competitive field. The only difference between myself and my counterpart who goes into the office is that they get to work in quiet environment surrounded by adults and they have in-house support. No one expects them to be available to babysit or pick up dry cleaning during work hours. No one expects them to drop what they are doing and run to the grocery store.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a sweet deal now. I love my work-from-home status, especially now that my girls are in school all day. When the girls were toddlers it was hard trying to get work done and be available emotionally for them. I always put the girls first because the whole reason I took the work-at-home job was so that I could be there for them. My mommy heart was pulled in a lot of different directions and my paycheck usually reflected it but I had the choice to decide and I always choose to be available to the girls. I don’t regret that. We could have used the money but I knew I couldn’t get back those first moments.

Work–at-home, stay-at-home or work-out-of-the-home, it’s all hard and it’s all worth it. What’s the craziest mom stereotype that you have ever heard about mom’s who work-at-home, stay-at-home or work-out-of-the-home?

 

Image via Flickr/ Victor 1558

internet

12 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Craziest stereotype is something I read here often, thanks to the Internet and people having balls to hide behind a fake name. The stereotype is that "FT working moms let other people raise their kids, so why have kids". This is a crock. I want to ask the women who truly believe that, what do you think happens when you send your kids off to school?? Do you still think someone else is 'raising' your kids? Terrible people that say terrible things.

GirlN... GirlNamedBillie

There's a difference between school and daycare. Daycare is when someone else is purely caring for your child, whereas when they're at school the main goal of them being there is for them to learn. See the big difference? I am deathly afraid of sending my daughter to preschool next year because she's been with me all 4yrs of her life! I have the strong need to care for my child, that's why it's so scary, but I know it's the right thing to do, I couldn't homeschool her and strip her of the chance of socialization, friends and professional lessons. I'm not a teacher, I'm a parent.


And the worst stereotype I've ever heard is that stay at home parents are lazy because we don't work, we sit around all day watching soap operas (I loathe soap operas!) eating sweets and other comfort food (I wish, I have a soon to be 4yr old and a 2yr old to care for, 2 dogs to care for, household chores that never seem to end, working out and I extreme coupon) and become obese (I'm in the process of losing weight, but I'm coming down to 120lbs from 131lbs at 5ft6in, I've never been anywhere close to obese, I'm at 127lbs!)

nonmember avatar Emily

I think every mom has her own way of doing things. If you work outside the home and it's working great. If you stay at home - great. It doesn'tatter what any idiot has to say. At the end of the day the only people you are accountable to is your children. I work from home, homeschool my children. It's tough but I make it work. And I never give a crap what others have to say about how I am raising my kids or how I live my life.

gabe05 gabe05

A good part of the reason that I homeschool is a desire to take full responsibility for the raising of my kids.  I have seen too many times where a bright child gets bored in school and stops trying because they aren't challenged or a child who is struggling falls through the cracks.  I got my master's degree in Education knowing I would use it to make certain my own children got the education I desired for them because they are my responsibility.  Every mom has to make these decisions for themselves, but there are many who don't want to hand over the education of their children to a school.


 

gabe05 gabe05

I feel the need to add that between a weekly co-op, travel baseball and basketball for my ten year old son, baseball for my three year old, five dance classes a week for my seven year old daughter, choir and AWANA for all three, socialization is the least of my concerns!

nonmember avatar Shannon

I do think when you send your kid off to school you are letting someone else raise them. They are spending the majority of their waking hours being molded and influenced by complete strangers that you know nothing about. You are just accepting that they are "o.k." because the state school board says so. But those of us who homeschool are the CRAZY ones, right?

jalaz77 jalaz77

There I go. As I said.



Shannon-

"I do think when you send your kid off to school you are letting someone else raise them". Yea you are crazy because of that statement. Very ignorant comment. Fine you homeschool I don't why? I wanted to get an education I could use and want the same for my kids. Nursing degree here, that is a waste of an education to stay home and homeschool. A masters in education is far different, they have the education to homeschool. I know my kids are ok why? We also take what they learn in school and continue educating at home plus more. And we parent, are involved with our kids. We don't send them off and say not my problem anymore. So we do quite a bit, work FT (36hrs for me), educate at home, sports, play dates, cook at home, museums, zoo...shall I go on? So really you do no more than me.



AGirlNamedBilli-yes dear I do see the difference but as I stated I work because I wanted to be a nurse and you really can't stay home to do that. I am talking about the martyrs that go on and on about others raising your kids. Daycare.

nonmember avatar Shannon

Would you be surprised to discover I have a Master's degree as well (Neurobiology)? That I had a career spanning over 15 years before I had my kids? That I don't have such a high opinion of myself that I think educating my kids at home is a "waste" of my education? That still doesn't get to the crux of my argument that you have no idea who these people are that are teaching your kids. I mean, you meet them a couple times. How well do you know them and you are trusting them with your kids for most of the day.

Trans Trans

I am work at home mom from past ten years and I will totally agree with all the points which you stated.  Grass is always not green on the other side, we think that if we stay at home we can keep eye on our kids and can add those extra dollars. it is very difficult to cope up with both the things but it is not impossible little patience and time scheduling is required and the path becomes little smoother and easier.

Wendy Evans

Being a work at home mom is different. It is much easier if you handle little projects like writing paid product reviews. A great place to do this is www.userpr.com. You can write on a wide range of products and you will be paid $10 per review. You can easily rake in an extra $500 monthly with www.userpr.com

1-10 of 12 comments 12 Last