Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

I am lucky to have access to self-employment. My wonderful momma has given me the opportunity to contract with her on a regular basis, and it benefits me now more than ever. I get to be home with my daughter while my husband works, and soon, I will be home with two children. It is such a blessing to not have to stress about returning to work to support my family. However, there are unique challenges to being a work-at-home mom that a lot of people don’t realize.

First, I know nothing about running an entire business. Oh my god I can’t even imagine the stress and hard work that it takes to run a business from home and raise kids, but people do it all the time. I only know my time as a work-at-home contractor working part-time, and even that whoops my ass. I may be in my pajamas, but I am not lounging.

The Pros:

  • I get to be home with my kid(s)!
  • I don’t have to answer to a boss.
  • I schedule my own hours.
  • No annoying co-workers.

This all leaves so much flexibility for me as a mom and a person.

The Cons:

  • Explaining to a toddler I have to work.
  • Explaining to a sick toddler that I still have to work.
  • No health insurance or PTO or similar safety net.
  • No friendly co-workers.

There’s something isolating about working for yourself. Even the worst jobs have some sort of comradery as you band together against awful working conditions. And although it is definitely a pro that I have the flexibility to stay home with a sick kid, that doesn’t mean work still doesn’t need done. Explaining to my toddler on a good day that I can’t build a tower with her RIGHT NOW even though we just build a tower ten minutes ago can get tricky.

I just don’t think work-at-home moms are recognized. It’s like we live in this awkward limbo of providing for our families as if we were a working mom, and yet still expected to maintain a household as if we were a stay-at-home mom. The benefits are incredible, but the stressors are unique. I’ve hovered over my laptop with a child on my boob, I’ve completed my work once my daughter has gone to bed, and I’ve spent early Saturday mornings finishing the latest project.

There is this weird assumption that self-employed people get all the perks, but really, you get screwed every which way. There is no support, not that our country supports working parents as it is, but still! Many women who run a business are straight back to work days after giving birth, because they don’t have a choice. Sure, we chose to leave the workplace, but in cases like mine, it was the job or my family. It didn’t matter that I had a baby at home, I better be pulling 60 hours. It didn’t matter that I had to pump at work, because my office door should never be closed. The choices for working moms in America aren’t good, so I’ll choose my family every time if given the opportunity.

I wouldn’t change it for the world, but damn, some recognition would be nice. Moms juggle a lot, and we all need a bit of love. I’m not out here selling you makeup or overpriced leggings on my own time. I’m a work-at-home mom trying to add a little extra income to my growing family, with clients that give me deadlines just like a boss would. So for all the work-at-home moms out there, you’re doing awesome. My work-at-home parents are definitely an inspiration, and huge props for running a business. It’s a tough job, on top of an already tough mom life. Every mom choice comes with different challenges, but work-at-home moms, I see you. The struggle is real.