This is an archived article that was published on in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As we celebrate Mother's Day this year, most of us can probably agree that the one thing a mom does not need is more work.

After all, while some workers complain about being on call 24/7 for their bosses, moms have been doing that for generations. Never a day off, never a job they won't do. And multitasking? Who do you think invented it?

That's why it may boggle the mind to think that many moms these days actually want to work more. Maybe not changing diapers or doing laundry, but they do want the kind of tasks that earn them money, challenge them intellectually and allow them to feel a professional sense of achievement.

The biggest problem is finding the right kind of work at the right time. Many moms may have only a couple of hours a day to devote to work outside the home, while others only want to work while their children are at school. The key is finding a way to match willing moms with employers.

Lesley Spencer Pyle has set up what she believes is a solution. Pyle, who has been working from home since her first child was born 12 years ago and is pregnant with her third, has just started, where women pay $99 a year to hook up with interested employers.

''There are so many moms that are talented, but they don't necessarily have the skills to market themselves,'' Pyle says. ''We help them do that, and make the connections.''

Pyle is founder of Home-Based Working Moms,, a professional association and online community of parents who work from home and those who would like to.

Her idea to help market moms comes at a time when the debate grows more heated about women putting their careers on hold while they stay home with children.

Critics argue that women hurt themselves both professionally and financially by opting to stay home with their kids, and may never recover what they've lost career-wise.

With more than 5.4 million mothers putting their careers on hold to stay home, Pyle says that employers are ready to tap into the growing legions of stay-at-home moms.

Still, she's also been one of those women in the trenches, and says that anyone considering working from home ''has to be ready to persevere.''

''There are lots of highs and lows, and lots of struggles,'' she says. ''You may look at me now and say it looks easy, but it wasn't always this way. It's been trial and error.''

For those considering the work-from-home option, Pyle has some more advice, including:

* Look before leaping. ''Just because a friend is doing something doesn't mean it will work for you,'' she says. ''Make sure it's something you would be interested in doing, something you would really like that fits your skills. Don't kid yourself that you'll grow to like something you know you hate.''

* Gather support. Support from family or friends is critical before launching a new venture. Committing to such a venture can ''often drive a wedge in a marriage,'' so a spouse's support is critical, she says.

* Be realistic. ''Don't expect to make any money for the first six to 12 months. We had to cut back quite a bit for me to stay home with my daughter, but we did it because we were really committed to it,'' she says. ''I even worked a part-time job outside my home for a while just to make it."

Also, if you're planning on working more than 10 hours a week, you're going to need help with child care. Working with children underfoot can be stressful and affect the quality of your work, she says.


* ANITA BRUZZESE can be reached c/o Business Editor, Gannett News Service, 7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Va. 22107.