Mumpreneurs and the “home work balance” myth

815492_30356691I have a Google alert set up on the word “mumpreneur” – it helps me keep track of what’s big in the world of work at home mums using the journalist’s patronising word of choice (I’m not really a fan of “mumpreneur”, can you tell?) I’ve been a little surprised to get several notifications this week for news sites running pieces on how many women are choosing to be “mumpreneurs” to improve their “home work balance” and to this, I say: the home work balance is a MYTH.

In my 2ish years experience being solely a work at home mum, and then my continued experience as someone working at home alongside a full time job to top up my earnings, if there’s one thing I’ve never had is a “home work balance”. Life swings in two directions:

1) there is so much work to do that home life is sacrificed: housework and chores are neglected, children placed in front of a DVD / cbeebies / insert activity of choice here, food is bought in from whichever takeaway is open that night and partners, parents and other family are rejected in favour of the laptop (in my case)

2) there is too much “home” stuff going on: sick kids, a broken car, your roof is leaking, or whatever personal domestic disaster has cropped up that day

There is rarely a happy medium, it’s always one or the other, and yet life continues. You make it work because you have no choice, because you have bills to pay and you need to keep a roof over your head. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s just not possible to have it all, all of the time.

It sounds miserable and depressing, which is not always the case, but it certainly is the reality and I would advise those planning on giving up full time work in favour of the idealistic “home work balance” to think carefully about HOW exactly they’re going to do that balancing!