How can mothers pursue vocational opportunities?
July 1992

“How can mothers pursue vocational opportunities?” Ensign, July 1992, 55

How can mothers pursue vocational opportunities while staying at home with their children?

Linda Orvis, Anaheim First Ward, Anaheim California Stake, a bookkeeper, free-lance writer, and mother of six children. Many business ventures lend themselves to home-based operations. Saving some corporations millions of dollars on insurance and other operational costs, home employment is the wave of the future. Computers, modems, fax machines, and networking continue to help make home employment an option for many people.

Jobs for mothers with children at home range from accounting, child care, sewing, and tutoring to innumerable other possibilities limited only by one’s interests, initiative, time, and ability.

The key to successful home employment is advance preparation. Susan, a young mother of two toddlers, was earlier encouraged by her parents to pursue an education that would enable her to stay home with her children. Talented in music, she earned a degree in that field and now teaches piano in her home.

As a mother of three children, Judy wanted to learn an enjoyable craft that would bring in extra money for her family. Stained-glass windows interested her, so she learned the skill and has gone into business making stained-glass windows in her home.

Melissa is a mother of four children who was worried about her husband being laid off from work in the aerospace industry. Not knowing what home occupation would suit her best, she began taking computer classes. She didn’t find her niche there, so she enrolled in another community education class and now prepares to work at home as a medical transcriber.

Before committing yourself to a home business, take the time to weigh the costs, both monetary and personal. If you are required to buy expensive equipment, be sure that your expected income will make the investment worthwhile. Look into hidden costs as well by talking to people already in business. Most important, know how much time the work will entail: Can you arrange your own work schedule? Will you be able to handle the work load without neglecting your family and other responsibilities? Through personal prayer, we can decide what measures must be taken for our material well-being.

Some marketable skills may not detract from family time at all. For example, if you crochet, you can make the items while you are with the family and sell them later.

People who work at home are not exempt from paying federal and state taxes. Other regulations may apply as well, so it’s a good idea to check with the state department of commerce and your local municipal center before undertaking a home-based business.

A major challenge facing working mothers is finding balance on the tightrope between family and career responsibilities. Children need nurturing, which takes perseverance and, as often is the case, undivided attention. Unlike many of their professional counterparts who work away from home, mothers who work at home are in a good position to attend to their children’s needs throughout the day. However, crises do arise, so a home business enterprise with a flexible schedule is a definite advantage.

Although home employment is not for everyone, it can be a good option for mothers who need to earn money while staying at home with their children. If it’s not in the picture now, it may be in the future. In the meantime, it’s wise to develop, maintain, and improve marketable skills that may one day prove crucial to our temporal salvation. “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)