What it is really like to be a work from home mom. Know what to expect if you work from home and how others will react to your career.
by Christine Keys
Being a work from home mom is something that kind of just happened along the journey of my motherhood.
I didn’t set out to be a work from home mom. I was actually just planning on being a stay at home mom.
But I needed something more after the birth of my second child and I entered into the wonderful world of blogging.
I did start a blog with the intention of making a bit of pocket money, but I didn’t think of it as a real job until I was about 1.5 years into it.
Now I run two blogs and make a good income from it and I definitely see it as a business.
The opportunity to work from home has been a tremendous blessing to our family. Obviously, the finances are a benefit, but more so is the creative outlet that my business gives to me.
With all that said, I want to share with you some of the realities of being a work from home mom just in case you’re considering it doing it yourself.
#1 You Have to Be Disciplined
I’ve always loved routines and have worked to have all of my babies on one from a fairly young age.
It just keeps the world ticking along a little more smoothly than it would otherwise.
In order to be a successful work at home mom, I’ve had to be very disciplined with my time.
There are days dedicated to certain tasks and times within those days that are broken down into more to-do lists.
My personality lends itself to that kind of living, but if you’re not used to having to be self-disciplined and structured with your days, this may be a struggle for you.
#2 It is All About Balance
Really, this can be said for life in general, but it really is true when it come to being a work at home mom.
Balancing the care of the home (I’ve gotten good at cleaning FAST!), the care of your children and your work commitments is a constant balancing act.
Being disciplined and structured helps with that, but you also need to be able to set healthy boundaries.
I have one day a week where I don’t do any work-related stuff at all, so I can totally focus on my family.
There are also times when I work no matter what (well, unless I have a sick kid…then all bets are off).
#3 People Won’t Understand
This is something you should prepare yourself for because it is very common for people to just not understand what you do.
When you say “I’m a work from home mom” people still seem to think you’re open and available for all kinds of commitments and playdates at any old time of the day.
To be fair, even before I was a work at home mom, I still couldn’t just drop everything and go. Stay at home moms are BUSY!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to diplomatically explain why I can’t meet up at “x” time because I need to work.
You can’t change what people think, but you can set up firm boundaries. Don’t feel as though you have to apologize either.
Would anyone else apologize because they have to go to work? Nope.
Treat it like any other job.
#4 Your Hours Will Be Unconventional
Work when the baby sleeps…that’s what work from home moms do.
You will find that your hours will likely be a little unconventional, especially if you’re working from home without childcare.
I work when my children have their independent play time in the morning, again during their naps in the afternoon, and usually a little once they’re in bed for the night.
Remember to also make sure that you’re having a day or two off so that you don’t burn out though!
If you really love your work it can be difficult to stop and rest, even when you feel as though you should.
#5 It Doesn’t Look Like the Pictures
Have you seen those pictures of work at home moms wearing a pant suit expertly rocking a baby while typing up an email?
Yeah…that’s not real. AT ALL.
There are days where I wear makeup and days where I don’t wear any at all.
If I do hold my baby while typing, it is usually a slow and tedious process which includes batting her hands away from the keyboard multiple times.
Most days there are interruptions, babies crying, toddlers whining, and a mom that definitely has NOT got it all together.
So don’t feel like you’re a failure if you don’t look like the “picture mom”. She isn’t even real to begin with.
#6 You Have to Multi-Task & Time Block
Multi-tasking is a natural part of motherhood. Working from home will mean learning how to do more than one thing at once and doing it well.
However, there are just some things that cannot be done well if you’re trying to do something else at the same time.
For those things, I time block. I mark out times during the day where I will focus only on one or two specific tasks.
Sometimes multi-tasking is necessary, but it has been proven that you are more productive when you focus on just one thing at a time.
#7 It Can Be the Best of Both Worlds
You may wonder if the concept of working from home is just a “grass is greener on the other side” reality.
Sure, it could be, but it doesn’t have to.
If you can focus on being disciplined, balanced and productive, you’ll find that being a work from home mom really is the best of both worlds.
I absolutely love being able to stay at home with my children, bring in an income, and pursue my creative passions.
I also love that my children get to see an example of entrepreneurship and working outside of the box. Christine is a work at home mom that has been blogging since February 2017. Her blogs Christine Keys and Raising Kids Making Money are both her passion, income and creative outlet. She has been able to create a lifestyle where she can make money while also staying at home and raising her three young children. She loves to create beautiful things and to constantly be learning. When she’s not blogging or wrangling her three crazy kiddos, you’ll find her binging out on Netflix.