What assumptions do you deal with as a WAHM?Subscribe
I was just over reading the answers to a question that a posed last week in Q & A, and my blood started boiling. Linda posted about how people assumed that she could only talk about her kids when she was a SAHM. I wanted to jump up and down and say..."that's what happens to me all the time". It is so frustrating. I feel like even my own family does this. My sister called me a couple of months ago and asked how every member of the family was getting along, except me. People know that I'm at home during the day, so to make small talk they ask about my husband's job..."ummm...I'm here too!"
I just ran across one of Nataly's old blog posts too. A colleague asked her at a business meeting how her "mommy-life" was going. Excuse me?...How rude!
I love being a Mom, but for some reason people forget that I have an identity beyond my title...and I think it's accentuated because they think that I don't do anything while I sit on my butt and watch soaps all day.
Anyway, all of this got me thinking. What about you ladies? What do people assume about you since you work at home?
People around here seem to assume that I am just playing on the computer and ignoring my kids when I say that I work from home. They keep telling my husband that he is being an idiot for staying home to help with the kids when I´m clearly not doing anything and it should be my job to look after the kids.
While it is entirely wrong to paint anyone with a broad brush, unfortunately the SAHMs that I used to run into seem to only know and speak 1 subject area - their kids. They have absolutely NO idea of how to carry on a conversation that DOESN'T revolve around the kids. And unfortuately, the WAHMs get thrown into that pile because they ARE at home, even tho that's where they work from.
Funny, isn't it, that a man can work from his home, as a lot of sales reps often do, and not a thing is ever said. But God forbid a woman do it, because she's not "doing anything important." At least they can carry on a decent conversation.
I agree totally about the assumptions people have about WAHMs. When I had my first child I was able to bring him to work with me because my husband and I have our own business. After I had my second child it got really difficult to care for both of them. Trying to keep the office quiet for naps, feeding and entertaining them, carrying all the toys and supplies everyday back and forth from home. We got a computer for me to work from home and it got a little easier.
I believe that most men can't multi task. I happen to be able to do it very well. So in between work and customers I could throw in a load of laundry or make up some bottles for the baby, or even put something in the oven for dinner. I believe that's how a lot of the wrong assumptions about me as a WAHM started, I can do more than 1 thing at a time !
1) The assumption that I'm only 50% productive during my work time because I must be playing with my kids all day. (I have a full-time nanny and work upstairs away from the kids.)
2) The assumption that I don't need any down time, ever. I guess this goes along with "she must be playing with her kids all day." But even if I were, hello, that's NOT down time. After I put the kids to bed, I want to sit down and relax like everyone else - not spend the next 3-4 hours working.
3) The attitude that my work-at-home status is a sacrifice for my company. I am able to work much longer hours at home, and I don't cost the company electricity, parking reimbursements, and various perks that others get (e.g., working lunches and such). I am not billing the company for water-cooler conversations or reading the financial news when I get into the office. I attend conference calls when I'm off the clock - feeding my kids dinner or what-not. And I took a huge pay cut to do this. The few sacrifices they make for me are far smaller than the ones I make for them.
You know what's weird to me. Hardly anyone asks my husband how the baby is. The only people that ask him are his parents. None of his friends ask, the rest of his family just asks "How's the son?" and then they move on. No one asks him anything in depth about his kids life. I am the only person that he has to talk about his son to! Yet everyone I know asks me a million details and questions about our son. I don't mind because I am usually tired of discussing the crappy housing market and economy all day at work so talking about my son is a great relief! But why doesn't anyone ask him? He loves to talk about his son and could do it all day but no one seems to care enough to ask him a thing. Funny the difference between how men and women are treated when it comes to children.
Once I decided to stay home full time, I was so afraid that I would be perceived as a 'brainless twit' who could only talk about diaper rash and toddler tantrums, that I made an extra effort NOT to talk about my son to people. Especially ex-coworkers and other moms who work. My life is not boring in any way..But somehow SAHM are made to feel as inadequate members of society. As if we are not contributing anything to this world...
Another issue I find being a WAHM is people don't look at it as working from home...they look at it as a hobby I am pursuing to keep myself ‘busy’.
Don't they realize that we are smart women who are committing ourselves to raising our children and ALSO running a business that contributes to our economy?