Mothers Working From Home Struggle To Balance Work And Family

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Kelly McCants is the proud owner of Modern June, a business that offers custom-made aprons and tablecloths, tote bags and party banners, as well as oilcloth and other materials for the do-it-yourself people. Her home in North Side Richmond is also her sewing studio and the place where she founded her company in 2006.

She is also the mother of two. Making a balance between her busy work day and her family responsibilities can be impossible at times. ‘

’You think the rough times are when they’re toddlers and babies, but when they get older, they don’t think they need you, but they (do) need you,’’ McCants said recently, when she was asked about managing her kids and her job.

She even had to take a break from her business in January for more than a month in order to take care of her family’s needs. She stated that it was a difficult decision which hit them financially. However, it was also very emotional for Kelly since she worked so hard in order to build her business.

“It’s hard for me to stop doing things,” McCants said. But “I can be Martha Stewart when they’re in college. Right now, they have to have me.”

Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother magazine and the Working Mother Research Institute said that over 30 years of research has shown that men and women start out from the same place when they’re young, but “there’s a cliff in corporate life for women (where) our lives become more complex as we get older.” She added that women “are still the caregivers-in-chief” and “they’re looking for the ability to control their own schedules.”

Shannon Poppa, a licensed professional counsellor with Thriveworks said that “People often compare themselves to this idealistic view (and) that’s very dangerous.” Mothers who work from home are faced with numerous challenges and it can be exhausting if they try to be super-moms; that is, if they try to be a good worker and a good parent while struggling with household chores and other obligations and responsibilities.

On the other hand, Maddie McCants enjoys spending time with her mother: “I love crafting with her. She’s always teaching me new things and how to handle things. It’s like talking to another artist, someone who treats me like their equal.” Kelly McCants concludes that you have to prioritize when you’re a working mom: “It’s trying to give who needs you the most, what they need. Sometimes you just have to make do. That’s life.”

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