Ninety six percent of families with young children have one parent who is employed, a little over sixty percent of those families have two parents who are employed. While the statistics on employment aren’t changing, the way that parents are employed is.
With the exception of mainly in home daycare providers, parents used to have only two options, to work outside of the home, or be a stay at home parent. At present 2.6% of all workers consider themselves to be working at home. This includes those who telecommute for companies, freelancers, and those with home based businesses.
Work at Home Moms, or WAHMS, are growing number as more women realize that they can have a career, and be home with their children, and get the best of both worlds. Working from home isn’t all sitting around in yoga pants with your hair up, it’s a lot of hard work.
In fact, many women say that it was easier to work outside of their homes, simply because they only had one hat to wear at a time. Being a WAHM is a balancing act that constantly has you switching from work mode to mommy mode in a matter of seconds.
7 Pros and Cons of Working at Home
Working at home isn’t for everyone. It requires a lot of multitasking and flexibility that would earn you a place on the US Olympic Gymnastic team. On the other hand, it really is the best of both worlds, you get to be present in your children’s lives and have a fulfilling career.
Here are a few of the pros and cons of being a WAHM that can help you decide if working at home is the best thing for you and your family:
- Pro- Working at home gives you the ability to be home with your children and have a career at the same time. This is a great option for moms who would like to homeschool their children, or don’t want to waste a huge part of their paychecks on childcare.
- Con- As a WAHM, home becomes work. It’s like being at work 24/7. Traditional jobs allow you to punch the clock and take a break from the workplace for awhile. When you work at home, home is your workplace.
- Pro- Working at home can allow you to work whatever hours you choose to work. Some employers allow you to pick and choose the hours that are convenient for you to work. Others have shifts that you can choose to suit your needs.
- Con- By not having set working hours, it is all too easy to slack off on work, or leave things until the last minute.Working at home is still working, you have to complete your work in the timeframe that your clients choose.
- Pro- Working at home saves money. There are no childcare expenses, the dress code is casual, transportation costs are non existent, and you aren’t tempted to pick up fast food on the way home.
- Con- Being able to juggle children, work, and household duties all at the same time can be stressful. You can’t do it all, sometimes you will have to let household tasks slide to meet a deadline.
- Pro- Working at home allows you to build the career that you want, on your own terms.
- Con- Working at home can get lonely. Many WAHMs miss the social aspect of working outside the home.
6 What Hours Should I Work?
Working at home offers you the flexibility of choosing a position that offers hours that suit your family’s individual situation. The exception to this, are companies that assign you a particular shift, or clients who prefer that you work certain hours.
Some WAHM work opposite of their spouses, so that they are able to work unencumbered by the needs of their children. Others choose to get up early and get their work done in the morning before children are awake to avoid distractions. Some squeeze work in wherever they can, while the children nap, or are otherwise occupied.
Having set hours dedicated to completing your work seems to work best for most WAHMs. This allows you to schedule children’s activities, appointments, and household duties around your set schedule. This makes it easier to make work a priority, just as you would if you work outside the home.
What Kind of Jobs Work Well With Little Ones Underfoot?
Working at home is quickly becoming the new reality for thousands of people nationwide, and there are thousands of jobs out there. The trick is finding a job that will work for you.
If you have little ones, phone jobs probably aren’t for you, unless you have someone on hand to watch the baby if he or she gets fussy.
Freelancing is a popular option for moms with littles. It requires very little phone time, and you can choose your own hours, for the most part.
Virtual assisting is another great fit for busy moms. Most of the tasks required don’t require long times on the phone, a must for a mom with busy toddlers!
5 Setting Aside Workspace
You will stay better organized and be less distracted if you set aside a part of your home for use as your personal workspace. This can be an actual office, or a desk in another room. Some mothers have their workspace right in the family room, so that they are available at all times.
You will want to set aside space near by for your little ones to play in safety while you work. Baby proof your workspace as much as is possible so that you don’t have to worry about safety while you work on other tasks. Some WAHMs have a room that is half play room, half office so that they can keep their children occupied and close by with little effort.
Use a baby swing, Jumperoo, or Pack n Play to give your littlest ones a safe place to play that is stationary and safe.
4 Get Organized
To be a successful WAHM, you need to be organized if you want to succeed. Being a WAHM requires you to be a multitasking ninja. Not only are you required to keep clients satisfied, you have to run a home and care for your children while doing it. That just won’t happen without a doable plan in place.
Once you have set your working hours you will be able to fill in the blanks with things such as meal prep, household duties, and your children’s activities. Having a basic routine that you follow from day to day gives everyone the security of knowing what happens next. It also ensures that your house stays reasonably in order while you work!
Scheduling time with your kiddos may sound odd, but it will begin to be something that everyone looks forward to. Just a few minutes out of your day can make a big difference.
Don’t forget to schedule time for yourself! Even if you can only squeeze in fifteen minutes, it will give you the boost that you need to make it through the day.
Keeping nutritious meals on the table is one of the hardest things WAHMs face. Combining work, childcare and household duties all at the same time makes a trip through the drive thru, or ordering a pizza pretty tempting.
One way to cut down on those expensive meals is to plan your meals and write a grocery list. Not only will this save time, but it also saves you from paying for a cart full of groceries and not being able to make meals from random ingredients.
It also saves you the stress of last minute trips to the store, which are a waste of fuel and your precious time.
Use your slow cooker to cook a nutritious meal when you are short on time. Pinterest has thousands of recipes that are bound to be fast family favorites!
3 Know When to Ask for Help
The hard thing about being a WAHM is that you never leave work, so the lines between home and work are blurred. It’s impossible to ask yourself to keep a spotless home, care for the kiddos, and work, sometimes simultaneously.
You’re going to need some help if you are going to be a WAHM. Have a family meeting to see which tasks someone else is willing to take, and keep a chart listing what each family member’s responsibilities are.
Divide childcare duties with your spouse, for instance someone can be bathing kids while the other cleans up after the evening meal.
Sometimes, hiring outside help is the best option for everyone. Some WAHMs hire a nanny to come in during work hours to care for their children. Other moms have a cleaning service come out to tackle the house. Don’t feel guilty for taking advantage of these services if you can afford it!
Hiring someone to help you doesn’t have to be expensive, check with your friends for recommendations. You could also consider hiring a college student or a mature high schooler to help you out, often for less than you would pay a professional service company.
Another option is to trade childcare with another busy mom, or even a group of moms.
If you have relatives nearby, ask them for help. Your family would probably be more than happy to help out on occasion. Grandparents love to spend time with their grandbabies, and so do aunts and uncles!
2 Take Time for Yourself
Working at home offers countless benefits, but it also has one major drawback, you never get to leave your workplace. It’s hard to compartmentalize the different aspects of your life when work and home are combined.
WAHMs often work more hours than mothers who work outside of the home, and this can be stressful. To avoid burnout, you are going to have to make some time for self care.
Here are a few easy ways that you can take a time out and indulge in some self care:
- Take a bubble bath while your spouse watches the kiddos.
- Go for a walk.
- Get creative! Paint, draw, or craft
- Go to lunch with a friend.
- Pamper yourself with a mani/pedi or a massage.
- Read a book.
- Take a class.
Self care isn’t an option, it’s necessary for your overall wellness. You can’t do all of the things you are expected to do as a WAHM unless you take some time out to care for yourself.
1 Nurture Your Relationship With Your Spouse
When you are making out your weekly schedule, don’t forget to schedule in some time for you to connect with your spouse. Nurturing your marriage can take some effort when you’re both busy with work and children, but it is absolutely essential for keeping your marriage healthy.
As WAHMs we’re so focused on getting it all done that the relationship with our spouse can be ignored. Take some time out of your day to connect with your spouse. Schedule a regular date night. Look for little ways to nurture your marriage throughout the day.
Your marriage is the foundation for your family, make an investment in keeping it strong.
Don’t Compare Yourself With Other WAHMs
All you have to do is surf the internet and you’ll find those WAHMs who seem to have it all together. This can be intimidating, especially to a newbie.
The truth is, it’s taken most of those mommas years to get where they are. They’ve had to put in the same blood, sweat, and tears as you have. They have been where you are, and, to be honest, most of them won’t hesitate to tell you that they often feel the same way you do.
Comparing your journey with someone else’s is a recipe for disaster, and can paralyze you mentally. You have a unique set of giftings, a unique purpose that no one else in this world can fulfill.
Stay the course, your hard work will pay off!