Are You a Mousewife?

Filed under: Opinions

computer mouseWhen I was growing up, I knew very few kids who had moms working outside the home. With the exception of a few girls with divorced parents (also rare), just about everybody I knew came home to a full-time mother who relied solely on her husband to support the family. The mom who stayed home was so common then that she didn't need a name to differentiate her from her working counterparts. She was just a mom.

Things have changed a lot since then. When more and more mothers began joining the workforce, the mom who wasn't earning an income earned a name: the stay-at-home mom. I know some mothers who bristle at that title because it gives the impression that they aren't actually doing anything except staying at home. We all know that isn't true.

But these days, many SAHM's resolve to stay out of the workforce is being tested by economic hard times. Raising children is an important job, but the pay isn't so great. Lots of us have found a way to earn some money while not compromising our desire to be full-time parents. We take jobs that we can do from home -- usually on our computers. And now, since we are actually earning some money, we get a new name: Mousewife.

A new study of British mothers finds that almost half of them are making extra cash by working from home at computer-based jobs. From selling things via Internet auctions to writing product reviews to handling overflow typing, they are bringing in some much-needed extra money while simultaneously caring for the kids.

I see the same thing happening where I live. Almost every SAHM I know is earning a little cash with a home-based business. And while they are all grateful for the opportunity and happy to be doing it, I guarantee you they would not like to be referred to as a Mousewife. I get the clever reference to the computer mouse, but couldn't we come up with something a little less...mousy? Or, better yet, let's just drop the labels altogether. We are all moms and we are all working in one way or another.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.