8 Things You Should Never Say to a Work-from-Home Mom

Helen Farmer dropped by with the following. I think she pretty much nailed it. 

Throughout history writing has been regarded as a lone profession. In fact the isolation of the job has often been considered as one of the key reasons that writers are prone to addiction and mental illness. Personally, isolation sounds like somewhat of a luxury to me. Many people believe that being a work-from-home mom is some kind of charmed lifestyle where you can reap the benefits of a high flying career while still being able to make the school bake sale. 

You're viewed as the ultimate plate spinner; 
Mary Poppins and Hilary Clinton rolled into one. 

However as a freelance writer with two young children I can testify that the reality is much different and my plate spinning act almost always ends with broken crockery. Here are just a few of the dumb statements you should never say to a work-from-home mom...


You get the best of both worlds.”
If by 'best of both worlds' you mean I get to work doubly hard in two jobs (one of which is unpaid) then yeah, I guess I get the best of that. But if you mean I reap the benefits of angelic children and home-making skills that Martha Stewart would be proud of whilst simultaneously running a multinational business empire from the comfort of my chaise lounge, then you couldn't be more wrong.

You can work when the kids nap.”
OK so that gives me a maximum of 45 minutes of solid, uninterrupted work time during the day, providing of course that the little darlings choose to nap at the same time...which NEVER happens. Besides the eldest is four in a few months and is gradually phasing the much loved afternoon nap out * SOB *

You don't need to set an alarm in the morning like the rest of us.”
You're right, I don't. But not because I have the luxury of choosing my hours – because I have two children who don't seem to realize that there should only EVER be one 5:30 in the day. If it's not the eldest jumping on me singing the chorus of Let It Go at the top of her lungs, it's an explosive nappy wake up call from the baby. Good morning world!

You can fit the housework in.”
You're kidding right? How many working mothers do you know that pop home during their working hours to blitz the house, scrub the floors and prepare a gourmet meal? Just because I'm home doesn't mean I'm not working! If I manage to meet a deadline and keep the kids alive in one day then I consider that a personal victory. Getting housework done on top of that would be a miracle! Like most working parents, unless its hazardous or seriously gross it gets left until the weekend.

Why would you pay to put them in childcare when you're home all day?!”
Would you take your kids into work with you? How much do you think you'd get done before someone emptied a filing cabinet or ate the contents of a hole punch. If you want to be a successful freelancer then you need to dedicate yourself to your work and that means you need support with looking after the children - for their safety and your sanity. Sometimes when deadlines are looming I need to throw myself into my work with no distractions, the same as everyone else. And trust me, two kids, a crazy dog and a house full of toys combined can be a pretty big distraction.

You get to work from the comfort of your own home.”
Ha. Comfort? Have you seen my house? If you think sitting on a sofa covered in crumbs and dog hair while two small people throw cereal at each other in front of you then proceed to clamber up your calf is comfortable then think again. Give me a swish city office block any day of the week. At least I'd have an employed cleaner!

You can take holidays when you want.”
To some extent I can pick my holidays and working hours. But they're often pre-determined for me by doctors appointments, school plays and unexpected stomach bugs. And I always have to make the time back up even if that means working until midnight on a Saturday evening when most other people are enjoying a few cold beers while the kids are in bed. And since calculating holiday pay as a freelancer is seriously complicated, it becomes far less appealing. 

You look exhausted!”
Really? I thought I had it easy?! 
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