When you are a home – based professional, there is a certain kind of pride that comes with being able to tell others that you work for yourself. However, that pride can sometimes waver a bit when you encounter someone new who asks you what you do for work. I don’t know about you, but I always experience a brief moment of fear that I will be judged based upon what I do for work and how I do it.
The fact is that I am a stay at home mom. I also happen to have a small private law practice and a freelance writing business. When I meet other people, I want to portray what I do in a positive and maybe even inspirational manner without seeming like I am bragging too much. Some people might say “who cares what other people think” and to some extent that is true. People will think of me what they will, and it makes me sad that people on both sides of the “mommy wars” make some pretty harsh judgments about moms who handle balancing work and family in a different way than they do.
The way that I normally approach the “So what do you do for work” discussion is to tailor it to the type of person that I am speaking with. If I am talking to another parent of young children, the impression that I want to make is that I can identify with them whether they stay at home or work outside of the home. It is possible that my description may inspire them to think about whether they could work from home part time. If I am talking to another lawyer, I want my description to be accurate, yet I do not want them to come away from the conversation thinking that since my practice is so small and I am fairly new at it, I don’t know what I am doing or don’t take it seriously. In those cases, I talk about my small case load as essential to being able to serve my clients in the way that I believe that they deserve to be served – with my full effort and attention. When I meet other freelance writers, I speak freely about where I find my work and what kinds of work I do in hopes that they may also find work from the same sources.
Photo by mconnors on morguefile.com.