I've been a stay-at-home mom for over 10 years. In that time, I've noticed that there are several assumptions that people make about me and my time that I don't think are fair. Now that I am working from home, some people treat me differently—but they still assume I have more disposable time than other moms. I think it's time to set the record straight. All moms are busy and we have a right to say no to requests on our time, no matter what our work choices are. That being said, here are five things that people have assumed I am willing to do because I stay at home during the day.
1. Buy and Sell MLM Products
I think it's awesome when moms find a way to make some money from home (I'm trying to do the same thing!), but that doesn't mean I'm willing to buy or sell whatever you are trying to push. Please don't approach me under the guise of starting a friendship and then launch into a sales pitch. I'm also a lot more willing to buy something that you came up with on your own, rather than buying products from companies that have a bad reputation for exploiting moms. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission found that 99 percent of multi-level marketing distributors lose money and I'm not willing to part with my hard-earned money to help support that.
2. Be Everyone's Babysitter
If I wanted to run a day care, I would open one. Please don't assume that just because I am home during the day, I will be willing to watch your kids whenever you need. I have had neighbors approach me about watching their kids every day after school for no pay, and others who have barely ever had a conversation with me but feel fine with their kids coming over to my home unannounced several times a week to play. Working from home means that having a large amount of kids in my work space is chaotic and difficult. That being said, I'm happy to help out when I can if you ask and arrange play dates that work with our schedules.
3. Answer My Door
Just because I am home during the day, it doesn't mean I can be reached there. In fact, as an introvert who is not a fan of unannounced visitors—chances are, I will not even answer my door unless I am expecting someone. I have found that true friends will almost always give you warning and that most daytime visitors are solicitors who are, admittedly, just doing their job—but are also barking up the wrong tree.
Please don't assume that just because I am home during the day, I will be willing to watch your kids whenever you need.
4. Go Weeks Without Any Kind of a Break
There seems to be a pervasive idea that stay-at-home moms are so fortunate to not have to work outside the home, that they don’t need any kind of vacation time from their daily responsibilities. We all need a break, whether we work outside the home or not. Moms are always on call, and sometimes the only way to truly get a break and reset is to take a vacation away from our kids—without guilt.
5. Constantly Volunteer at My Kid's School
When back-to-school time rolls around, there are always sign-up sheets for volunteering and fundraising to fill out. I believe in helping out teachers and schools, and try to be involved with class parties and donating however I can. Since I work from home and have a toddler in my care full time, I am not always able to volunteer in the classroom or on field trips even though I am a stay-at-home mom—and I refuse to feel bad about that.