When I tell people I'm a work at home mom, I usually get dismissive looks, the occasional raised eyebrow, and sometimes even a laugh. If I told someone that I was a domestic entreprening engineer...well that might get a little (as Aretha would have said) r-e-s-p-e-c-t. But we "moms" are not "workers" in the public eye. Whether that stems from tradition (a woman's place is in the home anyhow) or from ignorance (How hard can it POSSIBLY be??), I'm not sure. What I am sure of, is that we deserve proper credit for all the long days, short nights, a**-busting labor, taxi service, errand-running, meal making, child-comforting work that we do. And let me tell you, the term "Work at Home Mom" doesn't even begin to cover it. Not even close.
Sadly, although it is the 21st century, and we women now have equal pay, voting rights, and other equal-opportunity bonuses, we are still FAR from equal in the eyes of the general public, some men, and even yes...in the law. We still have yet to have a woman president, or even a woman president-elect. Woman still aren't allowed to be in the NFL, or the AFL, or to be in the Navy Seals. In fact, women, as a minority group, are now the most discriminated against in the country. African Americans, gays, all manners of religious persuasions, and other minority groups, all have the above opportunities. Women do not. It is a sad fact that society still hasn't quite got the grasp on the whole equal opportunity thing. For those who say a woman couldn't do the job...well, they've never given birth to an 8 lb. baby, have they?
So when it comes to working from home, women already are at a handicap. Although the women's right movement has come a very long way, it isn't quite done yet, and our bras are only a little singed, not completely burnt. People "expect" women to live in the home, clean the house, take care of the kids, cook the meals, do the laundry, etc. Which in itself is a major undertaking as many people already know. But when you add a home business to that, the lines tend to get blurred, and boundaries are, if not completely shattered, blurred around the edges. If you are on your computer answering emails about your business, and your 4 year old falls down and cuts his knee, you have to be there for him...even though you are still technically "at work". You are still expected to do the "woman things" you would normally do, but on top of all of that, now you have a business to run, that doesn't even look like a business to an outsider who sees you running for your crying baby in the middle of a business meeting.
No, working at home while being a mom is not easy. It isn't simple, and for the majority of us, we could make a heck of a lot more flipping burgers at McDonald's for a heck of a lot less effort. So why do we do it? To be able to be with our families...to be our own bosses...to not have pressure of bosses and deadlines...there are a million reasons. But as mother's, more is expected from us.
We have business hours, we have important things to get done. Just like you, we have deadlines, and schedules and important emails. We are your wives, your daughters, your sisters...but we are not your maid who brings in extra money on the side selling that "smelly stuff". We are business women, and deserve to be treated as such.
Stephanie Davies is a 28 year old work at home mom to a 9 year old boy in Mid-Missouri. Her hosting company, Hosting WAHMs offers premium webhosting from $2 per month and up, with an easy to use sitebuilder! She also loves to knit, build websites, and talk to people.