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  • Writer's pictureKara Lea

"Stay-at-Home Mom." Real people. Not Actors.

There I was, trying to fill in the gaps of my resume. I think more people have been there than would readily admit. Imagine my surprise then when I typed in “Stay-at…” and a drop down menu appeared with the phrase “Stay-at-Home Mom.” What?! LinkedIn actually classifies that as a career now?!

I don’t know if the powers that be are aware of what that simple act did for me in that moment. Whoever pushed to have SAHM be an official title in the LinkedIn universe, I applaud you. When you spend years in a thankless, low visibility, outlier job…, you start to wonder whether anyone will take you seriously again. Anyone over the age of 12, that is.

But I had to lay that down, especially when the kids were all younger than school age. That has changed now, which is why I can do more with my voiceover career, but still, the kids have not yet flown the coop. There are weekends and summer vacations. Caregiving is one of my top priorities, because being a mother does not mean you merely practice chaos control. My "career" is a voice actor who also actively teaches her children to be upstanding, helpful, self-motivated, disciplined leaders. That does not come from eating bon-bons. It comes by requiring accountability, having them clean (and re-clean as necessary) their rooms, and demonstrating what all of those aforementioned qualities mean. It means cleaning the house when no one will see, taking care of yourself when you might not leave the threshold of your home, and planning for things that keep the general machine of life running. All while answering seemingly inane questions.

Like the one posed to me at 6:59 A.M. the other day—“Mom, do you have a favorite arm or leg?”

But when a professional networking site has the decency to acknowledge this task as a career, my heart is elevated.

I have a wonderful network of stay-at-home moms, and they are some of the most productive people I have ever encountered. They will homeschool, volunteer, meal plan, chore plan, vacation plan, life plan, get kids to lessons…and all of these things are secondary, really, to the daily task of just being a mama. Many of them have degrees. Nursing, teaching, prior military…or, they delayed their own desires so they could stay home and rock their babies.

And guess what? Most companies are trying to advertise to those women. This article from MDG Solutions sums it up well. Some of the statistics they included:

· 70% of women in the world age 15 and older are moms

· Women own 40% of all private businesses in America

· Women are responsible for 85% of household income spending in the U.S.

· 75% of women identify themselves as the primary household shopper

· Women control $2.1 trillion dollars of spending each year in the U.S.

· 93% of food purchases are made by women

· 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women

· 92% of vacation planning is done by women

· 50% of products typically marketed to men are purchased by women

So, wouldn’t you want a voiceover artist who has been there? A voice actor that understands what it means to be a mother? You want a “real person?” You’ve come to the right place. Just check out my resume. A VO who speaks “mom” fluently.

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