I recently heard a woman say that being
called a "work at home mom" was professionally demeaning.
Being one myself, my initial reaction was to agree with her.
"Thatís right, Iím a professional, Iím not just a bored
housewife dabbling with a hobby here," I said to myself.
Upon reflection however, I came to
realize that I disagree. Deeply.
Working out of your home while caring for
children makes for some unique (and comical) situations. If you canít
have a sense of humor about these things, then maybe a field job is more
But letís face it, just how
professional can you be when much of your work is done with a toddler on
your lap? And that is, after all, one of the great benefits of working
at home; you can consult with clients wearing bunny slippers if you
like. Whoís to know? Sometimes we just need to keep things in
perspective. I know that the work that I do is top quality, and I
donít sweat what others think of my work environment.
But I do wonder how that woman deals with
some of those little challenges that come with being a work-at-home
For example, maybe she feels that going
out of the house with soggy Cheerios stuck to her behind would be
professionally demeaning. She must have found a way to avoid this. I
should call her...
Not being able to locate a pen because
theyíre all in use fishing Barbie clothes out of the toilet. This
might be seen as unprofessional.
Or, while trying to convince a potential
client how you would be the best choice if heís looking for quality,
professional results your 2-year-old is proclaiming proudly, "I
went poo-poo Mommy!" over and over.
I've known others who have tried to mask
their true work environments using some creative metaphors. For example:
"As soon as my colleague completes his current assignment"
really means..."As soon as my 5-year-old is done with his Mr.
Potato Head CDRom"
"We'll be outsourcing the finishing work" really
means..."My teenaged daughter will be earning her allowance by
collating and stapling your reports"
"I have an urgent matter to attend to" really means..."My
3-year-old has been awfully quiet for the past few minutes and she was
recently asking for a haircut"
Does this mean I should lock my kids in
their rooms while Iím on the phone? While that can at times seem like
a perfectly sensible idea, usually basic time management helps to avoid
these situations. My view is that if a client thinks that the quality of
my work will be less just because I have children, he can look
Maybe Iím shutting the door on some
business, but I refuse to have my children feel that they come second.
And I do, in fact, think of myself as a Mom first, and a business owner
second. Besides, I think that the day is getting nearer that people
really wonít mind their projects delivered with a few soggy Cheerios