Without a doubt, all moms are working moms. That is not subject to debate at all! As we explore a few of the types of WAHMs, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. The only reason we are categorizing the “types” of WAHMs at all is to help you understand what your goals are. It is not an exercise meant to label you or “put you in a box”.
2. In reality, there are as many “types” of WAHMs as there are moms. None of these categories will fit you exactly. That’s okay. Just take what you can from this post to help you decide what your goals are.
Now, on to the types of WAHMs:
- The Full-Time Caregiver
When a husband’s wages are adequate to meet the necessities of the family, a woman might decide that she needs and wants to devote all her time to caring for her home and children. Many working moms consider this a luxury. To some extent it is, but the woman who gives all her time to keeping her home and mothering her children is doing worthy work. And, make no mistake, very hard work!
We often think of a woman in this stage as one who has babies and preschoolers. This is a great time to be home with your children without having to add the extra burden of working for money. However, many women find themselves in this position again when they have aging parents or disabled children to care for later in life. It is still noble work, and that women is so very valuable to her family.
I can’t really give you links to my favorite WAHMs of this type because they put all their creative energy into their own four walls. I have two sweet sister-in-laws that throw themselves into their homes, caring for children and loved ones and pursuing all the things that make their homes lovely and their husbands and children happy.
- The Main Wage Earner
There are times when the mom has to be the one to earn the money for the household. This may be necessary for single moms or wives whose husbands are disabled, in school or unable to find work. In some cases, it works out best for the man to pursue some of the jobs that don’t earn money while the wife’s work pays the bills.
One of my favorite bloggers in this category is Mandi Ehman. She took her love for writing and organizing and grew it into a whole blog network. She has her hand in a million projects, it seems, while homeschooling and mothering four little girls and a baby boy. This enables her husband to stay home with them as they work together to parent their little ones.
- The Equal Wage Earner
Sometimes a family finds it difficult to live on one income alone. Some moms find it necessary to work full-time while staying home with their children. This is tough and may require extra help, but most of them say it is entirely worth it.
One of the first blogs I ever read was Simple Mom by Tsh Oxenreider. She and her husband both work from home and homeschool most of the time. Over five years ago, her husband, hoping to help her out of depression, suggested she start a blog. Today, she has a blogging network and is the author of soon-to-be three books.
- Assistant Wage Earner
Some families have a home business where they work together with their husbands and children in the same line of work. If the husband is a pastor, the wife must often lay aside her own wage-earning opportunities to be available to him and the people of their church. My mother and sister are both married to pastors, and they always amaze me with all the things they have to keep up with and the support they give to their husbands.
Another example of this would be a farmer’s wife. My friend, Marion Yoder, works alongside her husband to manage their farm. They sell their beef and produce to others, and she is a valuable resource to him in helping with customers and caring for livestock and produce all while homeschooling their children.
Ann Voskamp, one of my favorite writers of all time, is also a farmer’s wife. She gains such beautiful insights from life on their Canadian farm and shares them through her lens and her pen on her blog. She is also an author of One Thousand Gifts which was on the New York Times bestseller’s list for 60 weeks.
- The Extra Wage Earner
I think most WAHMs fall into this category. Of course, that is a totally subjective statistic based on my small circle of IRL (in real life—acronyms again!) and online friends. These are the women who supplement the family’s income from home either in their own home-based business or a job that can be performed at home.
Families are unique and these “extra” wages are often anything but “extra”. Sometimes these wages pay off debt while the husband’s income provides the necessities for the family, sometimes these wages pay for things like homeschool curriculum or entertainment that wouldn’t be possible without the extra income.
One of my friends, Judy Hoch, blogs and works as a virtual assistant to make a part-time income for her family. She also homeschools a large family and does it all with organized grace.
What About You?
I would love to hear about the type of WAHM you are. What do you do from home? Do you have a business, a blog, a story to share? Feel free to leave a comment with your blog link or let me know which “type” you are.