Being a self-employed mom can be challenging but also comes with positives. Here are the benefits most important to me.
As a self-employed mom, you don’t have to choose between pursuing your career or taking care of your family. With a little creativity and a lot of hard work, your dreams of making money from the comfort of home are within reach.
Women-owned businesses are 10 million strong, according to the National Women’s Business Council. Whether a freelancer, small business owner or “mompreneur,” there are 1,200 women starting up new businesses every day — many of them moms who want to grow a business while raising their family.
After having my first child, I went freelance full time and haven’t looked back. Now that I have two little ones, both with special needs, I’m grateful to be able to run a business and still play an active role in their lives. No matter your reasons for venturing into entrepreneurship, there are many positives to choosing this path. Here are my top five benefits of being a self-employed mom.
You Decide Your Worth
When women still aren’t earning salaries equal to those of men, self-employment is alluring. Working moms would have to work an extra 155 days to catch up to male colleagues because they make 70 cents for every dollar that men make, explains the American Association of University Women.
In-demand freelancers can make six-figure incomes, or at least a much higher hourly rate than they ever could have in traditional employment. This handy online calculator helps determine your hourly freelance rate by plugging in your desired yearly salary, how many hours you want to work each week and how many weeks of vacation you want to take each year.
You Stay in the Game
While women are talking about leaning in, mommy tracking and downshifting, we self-employed moms feel like we get the best of both worlds: focusing on our careers and family. I never really “left” the corporate world. I’m still contributing, just on my own terms, and you can, too.
More Flexibility and Freedom
If the 9-to-5 grind is stifling your creativity, self-employment gives you the opportunity to be selective with clients and projects, and work whenever and wherever you want.
Being a freelance mom has dramatically increased my productivity, especially since I started with no childcare. I quickly learned how to make the most of sleepy nursing sessions, naptime and postbedtime, and then gradually increased daycare hours as my workload increased and my budget allowed.
Some women feel that a part-time schedule will help them balance work and family, but it can be difficult to negotiate on the job. Self-employment offers the right amount of empowerment and flexibility if you manage your time effectively.
You’re More Available
Nearly one-third of parents of children with special needs have no other choice than to quit their day job and take on a full-time caregiver role, as noted in a survey by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Working for yourself gives you the option to earn an income in between your caregiving responsibilities.
I’ve taken a laptop along with me to my children’s appointments and to check in on my 90-year-old grandfather while my kids were in preschool. I love that I’m able to juggle work and still be very present in my family’s life.
You Set an Example
Working moms tend to have daughters who earn higher salaries and their sons and daughters hold more egalitarian views of gender roles, finds a Harvard Business School study. While the facts pertain to moms who work outside the home, I’d have to guess that this is also true for children of work-at-home moms, who get to see their mom handling conference calls, diapers, deadlines and putting dinner on the table every day.
Business ownership, like motherhood, is worth all the extra effort and can provide the balance and fulfillment we’re all searching for.