I might have reconsidered having kids if I knew there was such a stigma around working moms. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, and apparently, there is not a lot in between. This is where society needs an upgrade.
I have been very fortunate to be able to work from home. Though my workload has been rather thin some days, I generally am able to bill 20-30 hours a week with my consulting business. But this is on a good week. I’ve had weeks where I bill nothing. I don’t receive healthcare benefits, holidays, paid leave, bonuses, or sick pay. It’s all on me if I don’t get my hours billed.
However, there are other stay at home moms, who need to supplement their family single income. Most of them are stuck selling MLM products that no-one really wants to buy. LuLaRoe leggings clog their closets, social media selling has taken over the internet, and everyone is clawing their way up the personal coaching ladder, marketing themselves as a personal brand and waiting for the scraps from Amazon affiliate program to get them through the month. This can’t be the only options available to parents who want to raise their own children but need additional income while working from home.
We must face the fact that you cannot survive on a typical single income if you are supporting and raising a family in North America. This is our sad reality, and it comes down to the stagnant 9-5 that somehow became the norm. How did the 8 hour day come about? Thanks to the Industrial Revolution people worked more than 10-16 hours a day. This wasn’t sustainable, and soon the eight hour day was created, and finally implemented by companies like Ford around 1914. But how does this work into today’s society? Bottom line is: it doesn’t.
Our society today is much more complex than back in 1914. We are more global, connected, online and mobile. Heck, after our little visit to the hospital over the weekend I was in awe of the mobile x-ray machine that got wheeled into our room to find out what my 20 month old swallowed. With all this mobility, why do we feel the need to amass people into a soulless working culture of commute-office-commute clogging up our highways and commuter trains when the majority of their work is done on the computer, at a desk, and if you are a grown-up, you don’t need someone leaning over your shoulder, babysitting you to make sure you’re not scrolling social media instead of getting that TPS report done. Enough is enough!
It’s time for society to embrace the work-from-home-stay-at-home-mom (or dad) WFHSAHM. We are an integral part of our society, raising the next generation. We as parents still need income, financial security, a choice in our professions, a choice to work from home and take care of our kids, and not have to choose from a 9-5 and missing our kids growing up, or staying at home and being severed from the work culture until our littles go to school or leave home. How heartbreaking is it to see mothers cry when they are not able to get their 3 month old to feed from a bottle because their maternity time is up and they are barely recovered from birth. The trauma of their life changing monumentally has barely sunk in as they struggle to pump breastmilk from the coat closet at work. Or the father who doesn’t get any paternity time, and no time to bond with his new baby over a week before he has to go back to work grinding the 9-5 day in and day out where he sees his baby’s firsts over Facetime. The way society acts towards stay at home parents is astounding. Still to this day, the stigma breaks my heart, that parents have to choose between two ideals that no longer serve any purpose other than to feed the industrial machine that robs us of our living hours.
I am but one person but I know many who would jump at the chance to stay and work from home to be able to be with their kids as much as possible while providing an income to their families. If you are an employer, I implore you to think about the talent, the work ethic and the ability these parents have, and to not turn them down for full-time employment because they choose to be home with their babies. We shouldn’t have to choose, because we only get one life here on this planet, and it should be our choice. Sat Nam.