Thursday, December 29, 2011

From Good Day Atlanta on Fox 5: Business Moms Find Ways to Work from Home

Channel 5 had this segment on Good Day Atlanta this morning about full-time moms who find a way to make a living even as they manage their homes and raise their children full-time.  None of this is new, by any means but it's an important reminder that economies and personal circumstances are constantly changing and people have to find a way to make a living by thinking outside the box.

A few thoughts on the video segment:

1)  I hate the term "stay at home" mom (or dad).  "Stay at home" implies you're not working and nothing could be further from the truth.  I prefer "full time" mom/dad.

2)  While moms are still the ones that struggle the most with whether to work full-time inside or outside the home, a growing number of dads are facing the same decision.  According to the 2010 Census (whose statistics I'm crunching for a new page on the Chamber of Commerce site) about 6% of full-time parents in Dunwoody are dads!  That's up from zero not too long ago.

3)  The one drawback of the story above was over the issue of childcare for work-at-home parents.  The mom with her four daughters hanging on her while she's working is completely unrealistic.  As I said in a post about 1 1/2 years ago, working from home is not a substitute for child or family care.  Work-at-home parents have to ensure that their charges are provided for, either by dividing their time equally, or working during school/daycare time.  To its credit, the story did showcase how some moms were using local daycare for their children while they worked.

4)  Working from home, either by telecommuting or entrepreneurship, is not a fad, or a hobby, or an oddball  threat to our residential neighborhoods.  There are several hundred home-based operations in Dunwoody alone.  (Another statistic I'm working on for the Chamber.)  I propose that work-at-home families and home-based businesses can preserve the residential neighborhood by providing income to pay the mortgage when the economy fluxes.  If you think a home-based business ruins a neighborhood, what do you think a series of foreclosed homes will do to it?  Time to take this movement seriously when the Zoning rewrite takes off.

5)  Check out Bob L's post outlining possibilities for future growth in town - or the lack thereof.  A strong business community is not the enemy of comfortable residential neighborhoods.  On the contrary it is what keeps residential taxes reasonable.   Those of us paying taxes multiple times because we are employers and business owners as well as homeowners say "You're Welcome".  Further, there is no clear line between "us and them"; those angelic homeowners and demonic business owners. Many of your neighbors are both.

In June the Dunwoody Chamber is putting on a Business Expo in a joint effort with the Sandy Springs Chamber (one of my many web projects in coming weeks).  If you are able, go on down and meet some of the local businesses and I'll bet you will see and learn about a lot of people you already know as residents.

1 comment:

texas_fan said...

Great post. I agree completely with everything you said. I hate the term "stay at home" mom. It's been something I have had to overcome for YEARS now!