Virtual Voices

Mompreneurs blend work and family

Education

Mary Pride, mother of nine and the editor of "Practical Homeschooling" magazine, has a word of advice for mothers trying to blend work and family: "Don't start a magazine."

A business with rigid deadlines makes flexibility difficult, and flexibility is now the goal of more working women. According to the Bureau of Labor, nearly 26% of working women with children under 18 work flexible schedules, compared with just 14% in 1991. U.S. News and World reported, "More mothers are finding smart ways to blend work and family."

Pride has been blending work and family since 1985, when she began reviewing homeschool curriculum and publishing books. Her business eventually grew into a magazine and a website called Homeschool World. Pride edits, reviews books, writes articles, sells ads and conducts business negotiations.

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She said her business is a family venture: "There's a feeling of participation." Her children help with everything from magazine layout to editing to website development. Pride advises mothers starting a home-based business to involve their children in the planning process, especially if the mothers plan to pass it on to a child someday.

Pride emphasized, "Women at home with their families work, whether or not they have outside paid employment." Pride said our culture only considers work valuable if it pays, but mothers whose full-time job is family care certainly aren't "lying on their backs popping bon-bons all day long."

"We went into this whole area to help families trying to save their families," Pride said. Pride said her own family comes first. When her oldest son contracted double pneumonia and suffered from scoliosis, she was able to give him the 24-hour care that he needed: "My biggest reward is that I get to be with my kids, and that makes it all worthwhile."

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