Top Ten Reasons Your Boss (Er, Kids) Owe You Money

When you work at home, you’re often not viewed as “working.”

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) or a work-at-home mom (WAHM) like many bloggers, people assume you are off taking tennis lessons, reading the latest Architectural Digest or having your nails done. 

Some SAHMs even say (apologetically) that they don’t “work” when in fact that’s all they do.

Top Ten Reasons Your Boss (Er, Kids) Owe You Money

When I came across a California employment attorney’s list Top Ten Reasons Employers Owe Their Current and Former Employees Money, I could only think all of the ways my family owes me money… big time.

You Gotta Read This!

1. Meal Breaks

I remember the days when I could actually sit down for dinner.

I’m not talking about eating, mind you, but just sitting down.

Now, if my rear end even touches the chair, one of my kids undoubtedly will need something. Immediately.

2. Rest Breaks

When I worked at an office, I used to be able to take rest breaks.

Or at least bathroom breaks.

Now I have an audience of two boys along with the dog.

When did peeing become a team sport?

3. Overtime

In most civil situations, if you work overtime you are compensated.

Even salaried workers are compensated with the understanding of their hours and level of work.

If I say I’m going to play Pokemon cards for a half an hour, when that time is up, I should be done.

And yet, these little managers of mine insist on more time.

It doesn’t matter if it’s XBOX, reading or playing building blocks, it seems I’m always putting in more time than promised.

4. Misclassification

Misclassification is when a company treats you like an employee but pays you like a contractor.

In the end, you lose out on all of those extra benefits the company owes you. I certainly put in the blood, sweat and tears of an employee.

My laundry room, office and kitchen are provided.

I am obviously an “employee” of the household. Where is my 401K? Where are my perks, like Β½ day Fridays and Nespresso coffee?

I’m thinking I may be misclassified even in my own house, not as a contractor or employee but indentured servant.

5. Discrimination

Discrimination is a serious issue in the workforce, and homes are no different.

My boys claim that Mom is the only one who can fix boo-boos, cook and fold their underwear.

Why? Because I’m the mom, that’s why?

They also understand I’m the one who fixes the toilet, mows the lawn and has a tool bench in the basement, so we’re making progress.

6. Working Off-The-Clock

Working off-the-clock is a sneaky way for employers to get extra work out of you without paying.

As a high schooler, I worked at a grocery store where they would round down your time to the nearest 15 minutes.

They got a lot of free hours out of me. 

Once I had kids, I thought I would be “off the clock” when the children went to bed. Not so!

Instead I have little leprechauns sneaking downstairs and tiptoeing into my bedroom in the middle of the night for extra cuddles.

When do I finally get to be off the clock and not billed for it?

7. Medical & Family Leave

When was the last time you got to take a sick day? A true, honest-to-goodness sick day?

This week I was out with a sinus infection while my youngest had a viral infection (aka fever).

Oh. And I’m still waiting for school to start for my healthy first grader.

Yep. There are absolutely no sick days in this house. Seems there should be a clause written into my contract on that one.

8. Payroll

In many states, your employer is required to pay you on time.

This requirement is mostly ignored in my house.

If the number of times I have to tell my kids to put on their shoes is any indication, I’m in trouble.

9. Tips

Did you know managers and supervisors are not allowed to share in your tips?

Now tell me the last time you had an ice-cream cone without sharing.

That new nail polish you just bought? Is it on your four-year-old’s toes?

Tips in this house don’t go to the worker.

They seem to be spread out among all of the inhabitants.

10. Wrongful Termination

I’d managed to avoid wrongful termination for quite some time.

But earlier this year, I heard the dreaded sentence.

No, not “you’re fired!” It was: “I hate you.”


There’s nothing worse than being fired over something that (1) you are right about and (2) you are right about.

I know it goes with the territory, but still. It doesn’t seem right.

Ah, who am I kidding.

As much as I may be a disgruntled employee, I’m not a disgruntled mom at the end of the day.

However, a paid vacation couldn’t hurt.

Tell me, how much money do you think your family owes you? 

Oh. And if you want to see the attorney’s press release, click here.


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  1. Having been a stay-at-home mom for 20 years, I estimate my family owes me about a bazillion dollars.

    1. Please do! And let me know which one was their fave πŸ˜‰

    1. Julie — If you have any ideas on how to collect let me know πŸ˜‰

  2. In all seriousness, I totally agreed that SAHMs should be compensated with paid vacations alone!

    1. Thank you for understanding! How about you and me start a coalition to get SAHMs paid vacation πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks so much for pinning! I have to admit I’ve pinned multiple item from you, Alice πŸ™‚

  3. As someone who was raised by a stay at home mom, is currently a stay at home wife, and will most likely become a stay at home mom in the next few years, I can totally appreciate this post! Very funny and true!

    Found you on the Bloglovin Blog Hop and now following!

    1. Thanks for the follow! I will be sure to return the favor! Now if I could just get my kids to pay up.

  4. Ohh this made me smile …. I’m owed a fortune!
    Visiting from What Did You Do This Weekend.

    1. If I had a nickel for every time my kids yelled out… MOM!

  5. I am laughing so hard! I loved this post! Definitely sharing it! Tips? If I have anything on my plate, my daughter will steal bites. If I get myself a drink of something and turn around, it’s half gone. My clothes slowly make their way into her room. “I just need to borrow…” I think I’m owed a fortune!

  6. This is really true and hilarious. I shared it with my hubby and we both laugh. Thanks for this and yeah I have to say Gazillion or more than that. Great post Jennifer. Pinned.

    1. Thanks for pinning, Judy. I just started thinking about all the money my kids owed me for my “work” and it came out πŸ™‚

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