Friday, 22 July 2016

#worklifebalance ... Labels

I recently completed a market research survey, which asked me to select from a list of 'employment status' options. Was I a stay-at-home-mum? Was I self-employed? A working mum? These were all on offer, as well as the standard full-time / part-time / unemployed options.

I was actually stumped! I do stay at home and look after my children, but I am also self-employed and work from home every minute I can. What do I want to be recognised for? Does it vary depending on who I'm speaking to? Women are so wary of being judged that we too often downplay our achievements and our roles. We don't want to make other's feel bad about their life choices either, which leaves us in a bit of a pickle! We NEED to have our family and friends on board with us as they are our support network and (hopefully) our main cheerleaders.

Stay-at-home mum?
Stay-at-home mum?
 To my 'mum friends', I have been guilty of massively downplaying my ambitions and the amount of time I spend working on my business. My small successes that I am so immensely proud of  might be mentioned in passing conversation, but I dread being seen as boastful, or as having 'changed'. As such, I (mainly) refrain from squealing and doing a silly dance whenever I get a new stockist, for example - even when that is TOTALLY what my instincts are yelling at me to do! I don't want them to think, that I think I am all Busy And Important, or that I think their lives are less Busy And Important by contrast. And yet I do feel that my business is a large part of my identity. So am I a stay-at-home mum? Not completely, no.

Fickle Craftroom stall at Blogtacular
Self-employed?
To my 'girlboss' friends, I often feel a bit of a farce. Whilst I’m confident in certain areas, I have insecurities about my business. Do they take me seriously? I have no idea. Yet I am still doing the same thing they are – following my dream. Working for myself. Doing what I love, and doing my best to fit it all in around my family. Am I self-employed? Undoubtedly. But not in the high-flying, besuited entrepreneurial way that the terms suggests. And certainly not full time.

working mum
Working mum?
So a ‘working mum’. That fits, right? I wish it sounded more glamourous though. And so even though it is descriptive on both points, I don’t tend to use this either.


How do you describe yourself / what you do?

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