I have been a work at home mom for 3 years now, running my own business while taking care of our household. In those 3 years, I overcame some major roadblocks and learned a lesson or two. I’m sharing my experience today, in the hopes of helping anyone who is thinking about transitioning from a stay at home mom to a work at home mom.
Lessons Learned as a Work at Home Mom
Working at home can bear a number of rewards that make the venture extremely worthwhile. However, working at home all the time is not necessarily rainbows and sunshine every day. You’ll have good days and bad days. You’ll even face roadblocks that stand in your way of even getting started.
Understanding what the potential pitfalls are, can prepare you to face them head on and win.
- Find a balance between work and personal life
Some work at home moms have a little trouble getting into the swing of balancing career and personal life issues.
For me, this was one of the toughest areas. I foolishly believed I can juggle it all without having a dedicated schedule or a to-do list.
I was wrong. Boy was I wrong.
I learned that I have to stop multi-tasking and separate my work and personal life, or my work hours seemed never-ending and my personal life was put on the back-burner. Once I set up a dedicated area for my home office, created a schedule, and started using a to do list, things got better. Whether they spend too much time working or not enough, failing to strike a balance can have the potential to lead to disappointment in one arena, the other or both.I learned that I have to stop multi-tasking and separate my work and personal lifeClick To Tweet
- Working at home can often feel lonely
If your business doesn’t require a lot of human interaction, you might feel lonely after a while. You spend most of your days at home, and most of your communication happens via emails. While that still counts as “communication” it cannot truly replace real face-to-face interaction.
However, there are ways to counter that. One of the easiest ways to battle it is to set one day aside when you actually replace your home office with a coffee shop nearby. You can also sign up for various networking and meetup events in your city/town or schedule face-to-face meetings with your clients when possible.
- There will be times when you will feel guilty
This was another big issue for me. While I was still in the beginning stages of my newly launched business, trying to juggle it all and failing, I often felt like I was neglecting my family. And that only added to my stress. Not having the balance was eating me and the guilt was overwhelming. However, once I learned to better manage my time and created a dedicated schedule, the guilt slowly diminished.
My family knew what my working hours were and that after work, I will have time for them.
While the whole idea of working at home very often involves having more time for the family, work needs to be on the priority list, too. The long and the short of this reality is that sometimes moms will feel guilt for not being there even when they are there.
- Background noise is a no-no
In some areas of work, background noises found in a home can be a little embarrassing and may even come off as unprofessional. Talking on the phone to a client while a child has a fit or a dog barks loudly in the background just doesn’t “sound” as professional as many would like.
That’s why it’s important to set an area in your home as a designated home office and make sure to schedule your calls during the time your little ones are napping or when another family member can watch them for a couple of hours.Background noise is a no-noClick To Tweet
- You will be tempted to work all the time
The danger of working at home often lies in not being able to “leave” work at the end of the day. With this in mind, many work-at-home-moms tend to overdo it to their detriment. While this might be great for the business, burning out can happen if anyone works around the clock and fails to unwind, relax and breathe once in a while.
- Dress for success
While it is certainly nice to be able to roll out of bed in the morning and “report” to the office, this can be a double-edged sword. It is all too easy to still be sitting in that bathrobe at 6 p.m. on an ordinary Tuesday. This can have a negative impact on self-esteem.
While the pitfalls are very real, there are ways face them down and win. No matter the challenge, having a good plan in place for coping can make a difference.
Working at home does require a lot of dedication, discipline, and patience. It’s not for everyone, and that is perfectly okay. There are a few things that should be carefully considered if you intend to become a work at home mom.
Even if you are a stay at home mom, adding a career into the mix can change things a bit. To make sure you’re going in a good direction for you, it is important to review such things as finances, family support and your ability to cope with the prospect of working at home.
It all depends on how well you and your family can handle the transition. Some women and their families thrive better when work stays at work. Others shine in the home business setting. No matter what path you choose, as long as it works for you, it is perfect!
Are you a work at home mom? What lessons did you learn?