Work-at-home moms or WAHMs have grown in number nowadays, but they’re still considered to be a rare species. A lot of people don’t understand why they’ve decided to quit their nine-to-five job, and many are still confused about exactly what they do at home. Because of this, WAHMs often get numerous irritating comments from their family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and even strangers. If you’re planning to be a work-at-home mom, here are some of the remarks you’ll come across with:
“Wow, look at all the free time you have!”
People will assume that you’re lounging around, watching TV, and eating ice cream since you’re at home most of the day, but you know this isn’t true. Like many women, you’ve probably decided to quit your job and work at home so you’ll have more time for your family, and you can end up having more family time since you no longer have to commute to and from the office. But the fact is that most of your day will be consumed by work-related tasks, and you need to manage your time wisely to avoid being overworked.
“Can you walk my dog/grab something from the store/do other errands for me?”
This is another manifestation of Comment #1: people assume that you have lots of free time that it won’t hurt you to spend an hour or two helping them. While there’s nothing wrong with helping your friends and neighbors, you have to make them understand that you’re actually working at home — not sitting on your hands with nothing to do. Tell them that you’re willing to run an errand for them — after your work is done for the day (and you’ve caught up on your deadlines) or during your day off.
“So when are you getting a real job?”
The traditional definition of “job” involves going to the office every day, having a boss to report to, and interacting with coworkers. But the arrival of the digital age has changed the meaning of what a “job” is. As a WAHM, you can earn a substantial income and achieve professional satisfaction even when you don’t commute to an office, answer to a boss, and be surrounded by colleagues.
“Your house is probably spotless.”
Many WAHMs feel pressured to make their house look like it’s on the cover of a magazine. After all, since they stay at home, they should be able to keep their space neat and attractive, right?
Well, not really. Remember that you’re at home to work: to earn an income, satisfy your clients, and be successful in your home-based job or business. The dirty dishes, overflowing laundry hamper, and messy living room can wait — your clients won’t be so patient.
“Don’t you go crazy being alone all the time?”
Being a work-at-home mom can be lonely, but you can take lots of steps to counter the loneliness. Meet your friends for lunch, or take your laptop to the library or cafe so you can surround yourself with people while you work. You can also join online forums for work-at-home moms, where you can chat with other WAHMs and share your frustrations and victories. Of course, tell whoever made the comment above that being alone isn’t such a bad thing; if you’re an introvert, you’ll probably appreciate the fact that you can work without being interrupted by nosy, chatty colleagues.
These remarks can be irritating, but don’t let them get to you. Instead, consider them as an opportunity to educate people about your life as a work-at-home mom and help them understand the ups and downs of being a WAHM. To learn more about running a business at home, just get in touch with me, Claire Barradell. As a WAHM and a business coach, I can help you get your venture off the ground and put it on the path to success.