Recently, my choice to not work outside the house to be home with my children, ages 2 and 7, came under attack. It is an attack many moms who make this same choice endure. We hear phrases like:
•“You need to get a job.”
•“Why aren’t you working?”
•“Why don’t you just send him to daycare?”
•“Being in the real world will be good for you.”
•“Why would you want to write a book?”
•“You can’t make enough money, so just give it up.”
The list goes on and on.
If you have decided to work from home while parenting your children, these comments are not unfamiliar to you.
Each of these “comments” is simply someone’s opinion and we all know about opinions – everybody’s got one! Just because someone says something doesn’t mean you have to comply or justify your choices. Usually these comments are coming from those in our personal circles, from our family and friends, people we believe we should listen to.
Let me encourage you to take a minute to think about the other person’s circumstances and choices. Just because you are family or friends with someone does not mean their world view or value system is the same as yours.
Let me explain…let’s say you decided that being present and available to your children by being home was a top priority for you as a parent. Another person’s circumstance may require them to work outside the home in order to provide their family the lifestyle they desire. One choice is not better than the other – just different. There are sacrifices and benefits both ways.
It is common to feel the need to defend your choices when you feel attacked or judged. You may feel the need to engage, to explain and defend your choice to work from home. Before you dive in, think about the other person for a moment. Will the conversation turn into an argument with each side trying to convince the other they are right? Or can you both have an open- minded discussion about the choices and how/why they work for each family?
If you feel the comments are coming from jealousy, frustration, resentment, and misery, there is little point in having a conversation requiring you to defend your choices against an irrational argument. Many people don’t understand the entrepreneurial mind or the willingness to give up certain luxuries in exchange for time with children.
The norm for most people and the reality for many parents is a high stress, rat-race, hamster-wheel job. Anytime you make a choice outside of the “norm,” people will criticize and judge. It may be beyond what they can understand as possible – they just can’t comprehend it.
On the flip side of normal is the entrepreneur! If you are able to have a business that allows you to be with your children instead of shuttling them off to daycare, to work with them through their homework, and to have family dinner most nights of the week, GO FOR IT!
Know in your heart why you have made this choice. Quietly own your right to parent your children. Have satisfaction in the uncomfortable choices you have made to create a reality for your children that includes your presence. Remember, the “real world” ain’t so great and you are not missing a whole lot!
Most people will never understand your entrepreneurial spirit, thought process or choices – that’s ok! Love the fact you are not part of the norm, instead of apologizing for it! And NEVER let anyone steal the dream God has placed in your heart. 🙂
Kate Powers is a published author, speaker, consultant and coach. Kate has been helping women in business achieve greater success while achieving life balance for over 10 years.
Visit Kate at http://KFPowers.com.