I just watched a guest video post by Scott Stratten on www.jessicaknows.com where Scott suggests Work At Home Mom’s should not advertise themselves as such.
First, let me say, that I agree with everything Scott said. I operated my business while staying home with my kids, but rarely did my clients ever hear them. I didn’t advertise that I was a WAHM (work at home mom), I refered to myself as self-employed. Why? There is a stigma attached to being a WAHM, an unwritten belief that if you’ve made nurturing your children a priority, you are somehow less of a business person.
I don’t take issue with Scott, I take issue with a society that holds onto these false perceptions, being a WAHM is NOT a detriment to business. It’s the age old consideration of whether the sippy cup is half full or half empty.
Consider these myths that many still regard as truths:
- Children get in the way of doing business.
Staying home with my children was the most difficult job I ever had. Staying home with my kids while balancing a full time career was even more difficult. Women who balance the needs of their family with the needs of clients ought to be applauded. Already they’ve proven they are exceptional multi-taskers. Scott mentions Virtual Assistants (VA’s), along with the ability to quickly prioritize tasks, multi-tasking is one of the most important skills to possess in that industry.
- WAHMs won’t be as focused on the client’s business.
Being a WAHM requires determination and long hours. Taking care of children, cooking and cleaning is WORK. Mothers, whether they work inside or outside of the home, perform two jobs. They’re dedicated, they’re reliable. Many of them may take time to run to school during business hours but they are also available after 9 pm when there’s that rush job the client forgot. There is flexibility in their hours that you won’t find elsewhere.
- Being a WAHM is not about doing business
We are whole people. Not parts. I am self-employed and I am a mother, both of those jobs are very important to me and how I handle my entire life speaks volumes about my character. Living a balanced life makes me a better business partner, so yes, if being a SAHM enhances who I am, then it will benefit YOUR business.
We, as a society, need to stop considering parenthood as being an interruption on the road to success! Balancing parenthood while working from home enhances skills – we shouldn’t be hiding that, we should be shouting it from the rooftops. The women who are openly saying they are WAHMs should be thanked, because it’s their skills and abilities that will prove to society that employing a WAHM is a benefit rather than a detriment to any business fortunate enough to work with them.
Note: I’m taking down my website The Sticky Floor and moving the existing content over here. This was originally published on March 01, 2009.