For the most part, many work-from-home moms I know really enjoy their situations, myself included. However, despite how chill and ideal it all sounds, with all the bonbons and wine and time spent on the couch (with a laptop, obviously), there are some things about being a work-from-home parent that can get me fired up, and it’s usually when I’m dealing with other judgments or assumptions about my work. So, it's hardly a surprise that there are a number of ways you don’t realize you’re angering work-from-home moms. Don't worry, though; that's why this list exists. You can't fix what you don't know but, well, now you'll know.
Of course, and to be fair, working-from-home won't work out for every parent or every family. It might not even work for my family forever, because things change and, as the parent, I have to adjust accordingly. However, for right now I’m pretty into it, and I usually find myself appreciating it at some point every day (usually around the time I wander into the kitchen for my second or third cup of coffee, realizing no one is judging me or raising eyebrows at my drawstring pants that may or may not also have an elastic waistband).
Still, it’s not always as simple as it seems, so here’s the areas where I might politely suggest that others exercise a bit of extra precaution when they encounter a majestic work-from-home mom in (or out) of her natural habitat.
Assuming That Their Work Is A Hobby
If only my work was something I could drift in and out of, like the tide or the wind or the way Lady Gaga drifts in and out of my heart. The fact that there are other people counting on me; the fact that there are deadlines to be met; the fact that there are emails to be replied to; the fact that money is exchanged; it all means that my work is definitely not a hobby.
Assuming That Their Work Isn’t Career-Related
I know, guys, I know. I’ve seen those sketchy headlines boasting “MAKE $10,000 IN A WEEK” and “$200 Every Minute And All You Do Is Blink At Your Screen”. However, I can assure you, that there is a lot (really, a lot) of career-related, legitimate, dreamy work that can be done from home.
Really, Assuming Anything About Their Work
Oh, you want to talk about my job? Great! This means you’re seriously interested in discussing all the ins and outs of freelance writing, the struggles, the trials and tribulations, and the (gulp) rejections? Oh, wait, you’re not? You want to joke about sending off your high school research papers for quick cash? Yeah, sorry. Can’t help you there.
Asking Their Partner What He Or She Does, And Not Asking Her
I understand that encountering a mom at a park at like 2pm on a Tuesday, or at the library at 10am on a Thursday, would make it somewhat easier to assume that she doesn’t work. I understand, and I’m not mad. However, if you’re meeting both me and my partner at the same time, and you ask him what he does, but don’t ask me what I do? Yeah, that’s not cool.
Assuming That Her Time Isn’t Valuable
While the way I spend my time now is totally different than how I spent it when I worked out of the home, I’m still not so much of a baller that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Just like stay-at-home moms have plenty of things to fill their day and don’t need us to speculate, work-from-home moms are often in the same boat.
Implying That Work Is “On The Side”
If by “on the side,” you mean, “super important but just not as important as my family,” then yes, we can say that my work is on the side.
Making Assumptions About What Kind Of Childcare They Do Or Do Not Use
Childcare for work-from-home moms can be a complicated issue. I want to be able to say, “Sure, I can work with my son on my lap, and I can totally smell his head whilst casually typing like it ain’t no thing,” but I know this is just not true, because he is two and two-year-olds do not sit still when in front of a keyboard. They bang it like fireworks on the fourth of July, and leave me questioning every choice I’ve ever made in life.
Implying That They’re Cutting Corners
Would I like to spend equal amounts of time with my son and my work? I mean, it depends on the day, but often they don’t need the same amount of time. It ebbs and flows, and looking at me like I’m making a terrible mistake because my son is spending the afternoon with his grandparents to give his dad and I the chance to get things done doesn’t help anyone.
Passing Any Sort Of Judgment On Her Choices
Really, I think a common thread here is that it’s probably best not to pass judgments on work-from-home moms. I mean, it’s probably best not to pass judgments on anyways, but I know that’s a tall order. We’ll start with the baby steps.
Assuming That They Do All The Housework And Maintain Otherwise Traditional Gender Roles
Of course, I’m sure there are some households that may divide up their chores this way. However, mine is not one of them. My partner works and helps around the house, I work and help around the house, and we share parenting duties. Last I checked, it was working pretty well.
Failing To Compliment The Fact That They Clearly Showered And Put On Real Clothes To Come Hang Out With You
Of all the ways you can upset a work-from-home mom, this might be at the top of the list. Did this mom take a shower and put on an actual outfit? You clearly mean something to her. I recommend responding accordingly.