There are many stereotypes about stay at home and work at home moms. Lazy, overprotective… you know the routine. But what about the charge that we are underemployed?

Definition (from Barron’s through Answers.com)

People who are not fully employed according to their education, abilities and experience. Underemployed people are not utilizing their full capabilities and talents, which often leads to frustration and anger.

Many SAHMs and WAHMs are indeed capable of holding jobs that require the education and experience they acquired before choosing to become a SAHM or WAHM. But saying this doesn’t take into account that many at home moms WANT to be there. They don’t feel underemployed.

The job of an at home parent, whether or not they have a work at home job or home business, has many challenges. Raising children is not easy. But the job satisfaction for many is extremely high. It’s really hard for me to even think of that as underemployed when it is such a pleasure.

Now, in many cases women don’t realize just how many jobs can be done from home. It is not all that uncommon for a woman to step down to a lower job when they decide to work at home because they don’t realize that many good jobs can be done from home. It may require working on a freelance basis, but the jobs can be found.

All work at home jobs are hard to find. That’s pretty much a given by anyone who has ever had to search for one.

Running a home business can increase your odds of doing something that is in line with your skills, experience and training. However, not everyone will want to run a business in that area, being more comfortable with doing business in some other area.

So are we underemployed?

It really depends on the definition you want to use. Yes, at present I earn less than I would if I chose to work outside the home. No doubt the same is true for other WAHMs, and of course those who are purely SAHMs aren’t earning at all.

But if you count job satisfaction, most would consider themselves fully employed. And to me that counts tremendously.

[tags]SAHM,WAHM,stay at home,underemployed[/tags]