Work-life balance is never easy, but for parents who work at home, the juggling act can be near impossible. After all, with the never-ending housework and kids vying for your attention, squeezeing in a few hours of undivided time for your work is quite a feat.
“I’m not looking for a WAHM,” the potential client told me. “I’m looking for a writer.”
Does that mean that work at home moms can’t be writers? While you and I both know that there are hundreds of talented WAHMs earning a very good living, the truth is, we get a bum rap. People associated WAHMs with mommy blogging and party plans, they don’t associate us with serious writing.
If you find your WAHMiness is getting in the way, consider the following:
- No one knows or cares if men or dads are working at home – Do we see a lot of discussions about WAHDs? Do men often announce “Hey world, I’m a work at home dad?” No. They don’t talk abut it and potential clients don’t think about it. It’s only an issue if we bring it to their attention.
- Your situation has nothing to do with your ability – Work at home moms know that being a WAHM has nothing to do with getting a job done. However, there are a small handful of WAHMs who do take any job that comes along as long as it pays money – regardless of skill and talent. We all sort of get lumped into this same group.
- A client sees being a WAHM differently than we do – When potential clients see a work at home mom they think of someone who spends more time caring for kids than doing work. They think we’re too busy driving the minivan to soccer games than to handle their projects.
- Potential clients see WAHMs as being desperate – Have you seen the ads that read “Perfect for Work at Home Moms?” These clients are targeting WAHMs because they feel we’ll take any old money in order to stay at home with our kids.
There are some things you can do to get around the WAHM factor.
- Don’t tell anyone you’re a WAHM – The fact that you’re working from home or that you have kids or that you’re trying to make ends meet, should have no place in a cover letter or resume. Stick to your talent and your ability. Highlight your strong points, don’t make it seem as if you’re desperate to have work in order to stay home with your kids.
- Be choosy about your clients– Choose the best work at home jobs. If you don’t want to be pigeonholed or stereotyped, don’t take jobs that aren’t traditionally “WAHM jobs.”
- Schedule phone calls during times kids are in school or napping – When clients hear kids in the background they don’t think you’re focusing 100% on their projects. Oh sure, they know we’re work at home moms, but they don’t want to be reminded of it.
I love being a work at home mom. I’m so happy I’m able to have a successful work at home career. There have been some potential clients in the past who weren’t impressed with my WAHMiness, however. They equate “working at home” with a hobby or needing to bring in some change while our kids are sleeping – and you and I know this is very far from the truth.
What do you do to break out of the stereotype and show your clients you’re a professional writer first and work at home mom second?