The Lie of Making Money While at Home With Your Children

Written by SuzyQ

The truth is that can’t stay at home with your children and make a living at Mary Kay. It takes lots and lots of time away, no matter what they tell you when they’re trying to recruit you.

You cannot have it all.

One of the many myths of a Mary Kay business is that women can quit their horrible JOBs (often referred to as Journey Of the Broke) and stay home to raise their children and have an executive income while doing so. This is powerful motivation to hand over the $100 and get started. The reality, of course, is very different.

The dream is to have a home based business, be home with the kids when they are home, and schedule business activities when they are gone. It sounds so easy! So workable! So flexible!

If we assume the children are in school, there may be at least 6 hours on average per day to “work”  the business. According to the company propaganda, a skin care class takes about 2 hours from start to finish, so that means a mom could hold 3 skin care classes one day a week! This is so do-able!

And the flexibility is just what she wants. The money will flow in, the house will be clean, lovingly prepared nutritious meals will be served on time at the table, the stress of working outside the home will be gone, and best of all, she will BE THERE for her children. She is told that her children will learn a valuable life lesson by watching her set and meet goals, and that Mary Kay children are the best. Raising children around the positive upbeat women who have become her friends is one of the greatest gifts she can give to her children.

The reality is that women do not attend classes/parties at night or on weekends, let alone during the day. The 2 hour class time frame does not take into account prep time (cleaning mirrors, assembling supplies, hostess gifts). There will be a lot of phone time needed to book classes and facials and interviews, and those calls will more than likely have to be made when the children are home in the evening. She will be taught to teach her children to give her some space “When Mommy is working.” To use “inside voices” when Mommy is on the phone. Add to that the time spent on social media trying to promote the products and portray an image of success. And the time spent trolling for new skin in Target or at Starbucks.

She is told to prioritize her life, and make some short term sacrifices for long term gains. The sacrifices include missing her children’s activities. She is told that they won’t remember her absence at the conference title game, but they will remember the car keys she presents on their 16th birthday, from her Mary Kay money.

She is told that children are resilient, and she must always ALWAYS remember that her children are her reason, NOT her excuse. And, if her child’s activities do not interfere with a meeting or an event, then by all means, pack up the kids, along with a few Look Books and samples, and “work” the other moms in the stands. How much easier could this be?

She is told that while Mary Kay loved children, they are not to be present at any Mary Kay event. Breast feeding is best for babies, but Seminar and the 4 or 5 days away might be just the ticket for weaning! And she is told that it is a good thing for her to be gone for a few days. This is a great time for some awesome father-child bonding.

The reality of this stay at home executive income mom is not what was implied. If she wants to make any money at all, she is gone in the evenings for meetings, classes and events. She is on the phone for reorders, conference calls, booking attempts, coaching and director/team member calls. She has to arrange child care, transportation and schedules.

Her income “potential” was a hot button tapped by director, so she came in with a “full store” so she would be at “profit level” immediately. If she can book an appointment, she leaves angry or screaming children in the wake. Her husband (if she has one) wonders when the money will roll in as the products practically sell themselves and fly off the shelves. She learns that child care providers do not get excited about being paid in Mary Kay products.

Our flexible schedule work at home executive income business owner mom finds herself at her wit’s end sooner rather than later. Her quality time with her children is compromised more than she had imagined. When she worked at her “soul sucking” JOB, she was done with work at the end of the day. When she started her Mary Kay business, she soon discovered it was 24/7/365. She is home, but she is depressed.

It is likely that her income has not been replaced, but her debt load has increased, she screams at her children, cries on the way to classes and meetings, substitutes phone calls for hugs, Sara Lee for homemade cookies, and notes left on pillows or in lunch sacks instead of cheering from the stands. She may no longer confide in her husband and her friends may avoid her because they have already “helped” her all they can.

When she expresses her concerns, she may be told that she is not working hard enough, not working with quality women, and not giving Mary Kay a “chance.” When she does not attend an event because she has family plans or a church commitment, she may be told “she doesn’t get it.” She keeps her fears and doubts to herself to herself until she is confronted by a child saying “You love Mary Kay more than you do me.”


  1. I’m sure Mary Kay liked children, as long as they were scrubbed, primped, coiffed, properly dressed, and sat quietly in the corner because children should be seen and not heard.

    • Or in boarding school. That’s where she sent her youngest to get him out of her way. Her older two married young and left home.

    • Not to mention the “child motivation program” taught to consultants. The consultant is to take a child to a store, have them pick out a toy they really, really want, then tell the child that she will buy them the toy after she completes some Mary Kay goal (usually something like calling 10 people and warm chatting 10 more people per day and booking 3 classes a week for a month.) The idea is for the child to nag – I mean motivate the consultant to achieve that goal.

  2. Holy smokes, that’s… evil. Just evil. As evil as putting socks in an Xbox box and posting the resulting meltdown on Youtube.

    Children young enough to fall for that don’t really have a concept of time and abstract concepts. I can remember being maybe six and my mother told me my aunt and uncle were bringing my cousins over in two hours. Two hours meant as much to me as two centuries, two nanoseconds, or two fleepnorks. Result: asking my mother approximately every 5 seconds it it was two hours yet. Result of the result: me getting in trouble for bothering mommy and me getting upset because I didn’t want to be a pain but I really just didn’t understand, and I didn’t even get to enjoy the visit when they eventually showed up because mommy was mad at me.

    So, brilliant, you pink-pigeon-poop-for-brains. Foist your motivation off onto an innocent child who won’t understand what you’re telling them, who WILL be hella disappointed that the promised toy never materializes, who will get sad and scared when you inevitably snap at them for doing what you told them, and will learn to loathe everything about mommy’s job and who will learn that her promises mean squat.

  3. This probably made a lot more sense back in the 50s or 60s, when fewer women worked outside the home. You could hold a sales party during the day when the kids were at school, and then be home by the time school was out. It was also a welcome opportunity for stay-at-home moms to do a bit of socializing with each other.

    That world no longer exists. Your potential customers now work outside the home all day. By the time they get home in the evening, they still have to do the cleaning, the meals, and the laundry, plus help the kids with schoolwork. Who has time or energy to host a skincare party on top of all that? That’s the LAST thing most moms want to deal with.

  4. I swear…it’s been 33 years since I briefly sold Mary Kay. It was 10 years before I even had kids, and I can’t imagine the stress if I had. Your article is so spot-on, and it makes me anxious just reading it. I thank my lucky stars I got out after just a few months when I was 22 when my director went from “No, you don’t need any/much inventory to get started” to “When are you going to start holding 3 – 4 weekday evening classes?” One of my first newbie classes was for a bunch of tipsy female realtors. My nerves were already shot, and it didn’t help that getting them to listen was like trying to shush a bunch of sugared-up toddlers. I feel so bad for women who really the money and desperately sign up for Mary Crapola. This company needs to die already.

  5. I have been looking for a site like this one one for 6 years. You are awesome! As an ex husband from a Mary Kay Director (who lost directorship and the not so “free car” when she was no longer able to steal from the family funds to boost her sales) – you wouldn’t believe what I was put through. Praying on people pleasers is promoted ( heard this on a phone call ) while developing a narcissistic mentality of not caring who gets hurt in the process of attaining the goal or whatever it is you want. I personally wouldn’t trust your wife on the trips. A “what they don’t see won’t hurt them mentality ” Mary Kay is a nightmare for anyone that has true family values.

    I heard of several marriages destroyed ( in her circle of influence ) including a highly respected preacher who tried to stop the chaos. His wife started spreading rumors of porn pressure and destroy him when he wasn’t following along with the program. It all was cleared later but I believe his career was destroyed.

    Narcissism hiding behind a shroud of positive feminism. Definitely not positive empowerment. The husbands are simply viewed as slaves and source of income for the business.

    Just my opinion and can’t say this is the norm based upon my horrible nightmare experience. And I do mean horrible. Divorced now and just glad to be away from all of it. However, I saw the same philosophy established in other members of her circle actually would not believe it….just what I experienced and what I was told by my ex.

    • You are not the first MK spouse to come here with a wrecked relationship. To be successful in an MLM you have to be indifferent to the swath of ruined families you leave behind you. It’s usually done by blaming the ruined – they didn’t work their business right, they didn’t want it enough, they were sabotaged by their spouse – whatever numbs your conscience.

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