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A SAHM or Stay At Home Parent Is a CEO

Updated on June 23, 2012

Chairman of the Board and Mom or Dad

Recently, I have been reading and hearing statements that to the effect that stay-at-home home parents 1) cannot secure a job or 2) can secure only a low-paying, demeaning position. I sincerely hope that neither is the case for all sdtay-at-homes.

From my Workforce Development and training experience, and if I were into Conspiracy Theory, I'd think that these statements sound a little like a campaign to keep stay-at-homes out of a workplace that is already not offering enough jobs for people that want to work legally in America. However, these ideas also sound like 1) possible repetition of outdated ideas or 2) the recent bad experiences of some stay-at-homes in our country. Neither of these options need be the case.

In my aritcle titled How to Avoid the Top 10 Interview Mistakes, the first mistake for anyone, stay-at-home or not is to go through life generally with no connections that can offer one community support, information, ideas, resource sharing, personal and professional references, and all manner of positive contributions. Stay-at-home parents in our local suburbs particularly have learned this effectively to the extent that they - either moms or dads - earn a degree, take the stay-at-home option, and make network binds with the neighborhood, schools, PTOs, volunteer associations, faith-based organizations, and other entities. When they are ready to enter the workplace or return to work, they have amassed a considerable array of skills and experience in 1) running a home as a business, and 2) contributing to the comminity. Some step right into a role as assistant driector or director of a non-profit organization, for example, or VP of a Volunteer Department.

Stay-at-Homes ARE Employable

Any adult - man or woman - that runs a home without going bankrupt, raises children that achieve high-end GPAs and college scholarships, and is well respected and liked by the community, various clubs and agencies that use volunteers, and the PTO is better prepared fior work with responsibility than the new college graduate that has a moderate GPA, along with no work, internship, or volunteer experience at all. One difference is that these particular stay-at-homes know how to connect and how to present themselves at worthy candidates for well paying jobs.

It can all be started at any time during life, even in mid-career as a stay-at-home - and still prove very useful tio others as well as oneself. Once you begin, you are contributing as much as you are giving. So, this mistake of non-connection can be overcome in secondary school during required volunteer service or in a parent whose child is a sophomore in high school. I'd suggest not wating until all the kids have been out of the house for 5 years, though - one becomes isolated.

During stay-at-home years, the parent can continue education online, even with free courses, and this can also continue throughout the working career and the lifespan. Read more about the Top 10 Interview Mistakes, plus a bonus mistake, here: Avoid Interview Mistakes.

How Much Running a Home Is Worth

Aside from Interview Mistake Number One, a stay-at-home looking for outside work can remember that raising children and running a home is a BUSINESS that Home Managers or Household Managers are HIRED to do for LARGE SALAIRES. A recent search I performed found salary levels in America to be split equally, betwwen $30,000 - 49,000/year and $50,000 or more/year. These salaries were largely above median salary in the their particular cities and towns.


Stay-at-home parents can be obstructed in employability later in life by some circumstances. One is the lack of a High School Diploma, because it is more difficult to secure most jobs without at least this achievement. Many additional jobs require at least a Bachelor's Degree, including some fast food management positions, which formerly did not require postsecondary education.

Unplanned single parenthood before achieving educational completion is a very difficult life circumstance. However, related education and training programs, boosted by ARRA Stimulus Funds 2009 - 2012, are available in many counties around America. Many of these include support services that help with transportation, childcare, medical care, and other needs during training. Unplanned single parenthood is not the best circumstance in life, but it can be managed.

Planned single parenthood. If anyone plans to become a single parent, then completing one's education first is advisable. A college level degree and work that can be performed at home make this circumstance easier to manage. Having worked for several years and being able to afford a nanny is more advisable. An on-site daycare center at work is often ideal, especially if it includes a separate section for children that are ill (not with an epidemic disease or contagion, but less severe conditions).

Planned stay-at-home as part of a couple is a better option. Couples can make informed decisions in this regard and find decision-making help and parenting support at local wellness centers and related facilities. Perhaps both persons in the couple should complete their educational goals before committing to child raising. Perhaps one can pursue education online.

We have all heard stories about one person supporting the other through med school or law school, only to have the graduate terminate the relationship after graduation. Many other factors enter into any couple's decision to have one member stay at home with the kid(s), including financially supporting the family on one income. This is a reason that increasing numbers of stay-at-homes are working through LIVE-OPS, a company that provides employment via Indipendent Contractor status for online work. it requires a high speed Internet access and a lindline telephone. When one is successful in this line of work, one accumulates experience in operating TWO BUSINESSES: 1) the home, and 2) the LiveOps business.

Examples of Success

Paula Deen of the Food Network gets on the nerves of some people. Others love her. The connection she has made with people through volunteer service is undeniable to all of them. Regardless of all that, she became wealthy after serving many years as a single parent with a high school diploma. Her story is well known to viewers

Both her parents died when she was about 23, her husband left, and she had agoraphobia that prevented her leaving her house and two young sons. (She was really stay-at-home.) By 1986 or so, she was confident enough to start work as a bank teller - yes, an entry level position, but it was work outside the home and she took it as a positive - she was almost 40. By 1989, as the age of about 43, she began catering and her sons delivered the meals for her home business called The Bag Lady. In 1996, she opened her own restaurant and connected with the Food Network in 1999. An additional restaurant and books followed. Then more volunteer service.

Food Network may turn your stomach off eating, or you enjoy some of the chefs, but we must take our hats off to those that were stay-at-home parents.

Another of these is Sandra Lee, who has developed a more-palatable cooking show during 2009 than in previous years. It continues to depend somewhat on prepared foods from the store, but is an advance over Semi-Home Made. She was born to teen parents and she ended up raising her own siblings when she was just 11 years old.

Sandra is another that can fry a viewer's nerves, but improvement can be recognized by the public and has been rewarded with a Daytime Emmy. She's also an author of 16 well selling books.

Regardless of background, stay-at-homes can make a good living when they enter or return to the workforce.

Outside the food world, we have the historic example of Lillian Gilbreth, the non-typical stay-at-home mom of 12 children in the true 1948 story Cheaper by the Dozen. Her husband specialized in time-motion efficiency studies for business and life and when he died, she took over his business and operated it with even better results than did he.

And for stay-at-home dads:

About Lillian Gilbreth

Lillian Gilbreth

Mrs. Gilbreth earned a Master's Degree in 1902 before she was married in 1904. Even through having 12 children, she earned the PhD in 1915.

All of these years were those in which not a large number of women were attending university, but their number were beginning to increase with their movement to demand the vote.

Employment Trend - 5 Times the Jobs as in Fall 2009

From and - The leading employment trending and job search engines.

  • Autumn 2011
  • "Household Manager" - 15,000+ jobs nationwide (only about 3000 were posted same time 2009).
  • Salary: Marked increase over 2009. No position below $30,000/year in late 2011; over 7,000 positions at or above $50,000/year, 1,700+ at or above $100,000/year.
  • Top 10 Locations: NYC, Jersey City NJ, LA, Indianapolis, Chicago, Jamaica NY, Huntsville, San Francisco, Jackson Heights NY, Corona NY.

Home Managers Job Trends

Household Manager positions increased through the summer of 2009, then declines slightly in October 2009, and seem to be gradually rising at the end of 2009. Data provided by job search and trending engine.
Household Manager positions increased through the summer of 2009, then declines slightly in October 2009, and seem to be gradually rising at the end of 2009. Data provided by job search and trending engine. | Source
The decline pictured in January 2011 leveled out through August, then was followed by a huge increase in September-October 2011.
The decline pictured in January 2011 leveled out through August, then was followed by a huge increase in September-October 2011.

Deen and Smithfield Donate 25,000 Pounds of Food


Smithfield Hams or Smithfield Meats donates "protein" to the hungry. It may often be hot dogs, which is not the healthiest fare. In addition, reports of mistreatment of meat processing plant staff have surfaced.

Like Tiger Woods, Smithfield shows that nobody is perfect.


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