Recently, I was on the phone with my Dad while simultaneously a major article that I had been working on was published on a major website. In glee, I shouted out “Yay! My article was published!” His response was a grim, “Are you getting paid for that?”
Looking at the way we live our modern day lives is pretty amazing with all the advances that we have such as laptops, smart phones, and 3-D televisions. With advances in technology comes progress in the way that we live our lives—making it possible for a mom (or dad) to work a full time job from the comfort of their own home.
It baffles me how people are able to accept all of this newness into their lives at a pretty rapid pace, yet are completely taken off guard whenever the term WAHM (work-at-home-mom), comes up in conversation.
Never Say These 8 Things to a WAHM
Through experience, I’ve learned that these are the questions and statements that push our WAHM buttons:
1. “You should be more involved in the PTA, since you are at home all day.”
Yes, I am home a majority of the day –that much is true. And yes, I would really, really LOVE to be more involved than I am in the PTA, BUT I do work full time and manage my entire household, which means that I have about the same amount of free time on my hands as a lawyer trying to make partner at their firm.
2. “Don’t you work at home so that you can spend more time with your kids?”
While a flexible schedule and being more accessible to my family was certainly one of my driving forces in my decision to ditch the corporate office, being at home means that I still need to devote as much time as necessary to working on my current projects.
3. “Why is your house so messy, you work from home, right?”
What I want to say is “Would you like to pay my housekeeper bill this month?” Even though we get our work done from our home office, we don’t have time to get up between phone calls and give our homes a deep clean every day. We work towards balancing work, life, cleaning, cooking, etc the same way that any mother working outside the home does.
4. “So you don’t really have a full time job, right?”
GAH. We have more than a full time job! Working from home does give us the advantage of making our own schedule and possibly getting work done quicker or longer (resulting in weekend work!), but we still put in the same hours and effort as someone working in a cubicle. In fact, my home IS my cubicle!
5. “Wanna meet for yoga and coffee Wednesday morning?”
While this one might be a personal issue that I have, whenever someone asks me something like this, it ultimately translates to me as them saying “I know you’re doing nothing all day, so come do some yoga with me!”
While there are many times us WAHM’s are able to move our schedule around to do something during the day, it means that we will then be working in the evening and missing out on other things, like time to check on homework, watch the soccer practice, or get to talk with our dear friend who’s been waiting for my call for days.
6. “So you must only work during naptime or when your kids are in school?”
Naptime and school time are very precious moments to us, but we still use daycare and babysitters from time to time so that we are able to have regular precious moments where we can get things done.
7. “It must be so nice not having a schedule!”
Hah! No schedule my ass! Working from home means that our schedule needs to be even more planned out and more precise than ever because the distractions come in the form of diapers that need changing and toys that need fishing out of the toilet. Believe me, our daily planner has become our BFF.
8. “Are you getting paid for that?”
This one pushes my buttons the most. Last time I checked, I had bills to pay and wasn’t in the business of doing free work, but for some reason people have a tendency to think that people who work from home don’t get paid.
I understand that it’s very non-traditional to have a position where all you need is a computer and an internet connection, and get paid typically through something called PayPal, but this is the twenty-first century and people need to be more open to its innovations—even my Dad.
Are you a WAHM? Has anyone ever said these things to you? We would love to hear how you handled it! Comment below!
This post was originally published in Mommy Nearest Magazine.