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The One Thing the Work-From-Home Woman Needs From You

Humor me for a second and take this mind trip; Imagine you work from home as a telecommuter or you run your own business from an home office or the dining room table for that matter.

Being the professional you are, you get your job done however way you can. Sometimes that means working late into the night or working on the weekends while the 9-5 folks are cruising around. It may mean taking phone calls from inside a closet to get away from all the distractions and background noise of barking dogs and playful kids.

You opted for this work arrangement in other to be able pick your kids up from school or take an elderly parent to his or her doctor’s appointment. You did not want to have to deal with grind of having a daily commute or fret over needing to ask for another sick day from work to care for a sick child or spouse.

You wanted your work to meld into the realities of your life not the other way
round. Makes perfect sense right?

Thanks for taking the mind trip with me; it’s now time to get back to the real (shall I add, brutal) world.Instead of getting the respect that comes with gainful employment and noble work you are belittled and held in derision.

You are made to feel that the work you do, burning both ends of the candle for is not really work because of the location from which you do the work.You have family members and friends asking you when you will pack this “time waster” up and get a “real” job like everyone else.

The helpful ones don’t deride your work choices; they just keep sending you links to online job listings.You get asked to pick up their kids from school because you are “home all day doing nothing”. They call you up at random times during your work day to chit chat and talk about the weather. Even your honey expects a hot meal when he gets back in the evening and hisses out “what have you been doing all
day” when this is not the case.

In the words of the late comedian; Rodney Dangerfield, the woman working from home making an honest living gets no respect. She actually gets the worst of both worlds of working moms and stay-at-home moms all rolled into one.

The lack of respect from society at large came up as a top frustration in the Work-From-Home Woman Wellbeing Survey we conducted in February 2015. We heard back from 253 women, over 70% of them moms who had chosen the work-from-home arrangement because of the flexibility it afforded them.

What they did not anticipate was the contempt that would be directed at them from their inner circle. Their contribution to their family’s financial wellbeing is often understated or simply not acknowledged by their family and friends.

This is disheartening.Would it have been better if these women had opted out of gainful employment when they had their kids and instead relied on state assistance (welfare)? I
think I heard you yell out an emphatic NO. That was precisely the point I was trying to make.

We all as a society need to support these hardworking women who are straddling work while staying at home to raise their kids.These work-from-home women are not seeking charity. They appreciate the dignity of labor. What they love to have however is a little bit of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, a pinch of empathy and lots of understanding.

I think you and I have it in us, we can do this!


Dr. Bola is a family physician with a fondness for women’s health and women lifestyle issues. She is the co-founder of Healthgist.com; the hub for honest health talk for the busy women.

How are you are faring in your work-from-home arrangement? Get your Work-From-Home Wellbeing Index by taking the quiz.

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