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Are WAHMs on the bottom rung of the business world?

Thursday, 17 May 2012 | By Cas McCullough

I was perusing an awards application the other day.


I thought to myself, “I’ve been in business for two years, it’s high time I entered one of these things”.


However, looking through the application practically turned me to stone. The questions were obviously not geared towards people like me:

  • People who get up and work in their PJs before the children get out of bed.
  • People who don’t get to networking events, because they’re too busy driving kids to music practice and netball games while working from home.
  • People who don’t sit on boards, because they are helping out at Scouts and soccer instead.

And it’s unlikely that life will be any different as my business grows because I have chosen to stay at home with my kids and work from home.


I have heard people say that Work At Home Mums (WAHMs) are on the bottom rung of the business world. I’ve also heard people say that WAHMs aren’t worth targeting with business-to-business services because they don’t have disposable incomes to spend on their businesses.


WAHMS, I’d like to know what you think of that. Are we on the bottom rung of the business world or are we just misunderstood?


I don’t think any WAHM goes into business thinking they’re going to make a loss. I personally know lots of WAHMs (myself included) who spend a small fortune each year on developing their businesses and joining networking communities.


The truth is that with around 67% of all Australian small businesses being home-based, we are making our collective mark on the economy and that deserves some attention and recognition.


Personally, I’m tired of people stereotyping WAHMs as bored housewives with hobby businesses.


Yes, some do have hobby businesses, but if those hobby businesses help pay for school fees and piano lessons, then that is a making a contribution to the economy.


And if being a WAHM means working through postnatal depression by doing something productive, then that means less strain on our health system.


Getting the picture?


So, WAHMs, be proud of what you’re doing and the contribution your making to your families and communities. You are making a difference and you are valuable.


Never let anyone tell you differently.