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Are you trying to decide if being a work from home mom is right for you? Worried that you might go stir crazy being at home? In this post, you will learn about some pros and cons to working from home, different work from home opportunities, and tips for keeping your sanity while being a work from home mom.
Stepping out of the classroom three years ago was super scary. I didn’t know what to expect or if I would be able to mentally handle being alone every day. The key to making the right decision is to be informed.
What are the benefits of being a work from home mom?
Full transparency here, I gave up a pretty set number of hours as a teacher to work from home. I often joke that I traded a 40 hour week for an 80 hour one. It’s not quite that much but does feel like it. The thing is that I pretty much get to decide when I work those hours. I am not confined to someone else’s schedule. Because I am a mom of a preschooler, many days are spent shuffling her back and forth to preschool. The days she is not in school are days her, and I get to spend more fun times together. When she needs my attention, I can put work aside until later. Having this flexibility has been great for our whole family.
Living in the suburbs of Houston, TX I know a thing or two about traffic. Anything an hour or less of a drive is a quick trip for us. Heck, it takes me about five minutes to just get out of the neighborhood. At one point in my teaching career, I was commuting 45 minutes a day to and from work. Often times, if we had an event at the school in the evening I wouldn’t be able to leave because I would just have to turn around and come right back.
Not having to commute saves a lot of time. Think about what you could do with an extra two hours a day from not commuting.
When we decided that I would work from home, we had to factor in the lost income. The truth is my earning potential went down in the beginning, and we had to budget for that. It was really helpful to see the number with the money we would be saving.
Working from home can save you money on gas, lunches, tolls, and work clothes. For us, we were also able to save money on childcare costs too. Because of the flexibility of my jobs we didn’t need to pay for childcare. This was a huge factor for me as we would not have been able to continue to pay for childcare and have me work from home. Some mamas decide to keep some type of childcare so they have more time to devote to their business and that is great. It just wasn’t an option for us, and from what I hear from other work from home moms it isn’t an option for them.
Saving money was an essential element in the decision for me to work from home.
Travel More or At least When We Want
Traveling can get expensive, and if you have cut your income in half when you decided to stay home, traveling might not always be an option. What I love about being home is that we can travel when it is convenient for us. Now that I am home we can plan that trip the theme parks during non-peak times instead of in the summer when everyone is going to be there. Traveling during non-peak times can save money. More money means more travel.
More Time with Kids
Being able to see my daughter more is one of the best things about working from home. Sure she has the innate ability to make me lose my marbles more than half the time I feel incredibly blessed to be able to watch her grow throughout the day. I have been able to walk beside her through the challenges of learning to be a human. As stressful as they are I am so glad that I was the one there with her.
No Employment Gap
One factor that every working Mama has to consider when weighing the pros and cons of working from home is whether a gap in employment history is going to affect future career opportunities. Working from home helps close this gap in your employment history. It also highlights a ton of skills employers are looking for like the ability to multitask and working independently, drive, and initiative.
Potential Tax Benefit
I am not a tax professional by any means but I do know there are some potential tax benefits that come with working from home. Things like your home office, mileage, and other work-related expenses may all be a write off for you come tax time. Please be sure to consult a tax professional before claiming any deductions.
What are the challenges of working from home?
Great things often come with great challenges. And being a work from home mom is not in short supply of them. Often times your only companion for most of the day can’t string three words together. God love these littles we have in our lives but they don’t make great conversationalist. If you are working from home AND you have young children in the house getting any decent amount of work done can seem impossible. If you are a super organized person you will probably fair better than someone is who is not. There are a lot of tips out there for prioritizing your day but the reality is you usually have to choose. Do I get this work done or do I play with my kids? I will tell you there is no right or wrong in this situation. Some days you have to spend more time on work and others you can devote more time to your family. It’s a matter of finding a good balance.
What are some work from home jobs for moms?
Some mamas are fortunate enough to work for companies that allow them to work from home or on a part-time basis. I applaud you mamas and the companies you work for. If this is not an option for you but you still want to stay home and work you may need to look into some alternative jobs. While these options may sound easy I assure you that they also come with their individual challenges.
If you have a bachelor’s degree and have experience working with kids in any capacity (church. Tutoring, homeschool, etc…) teaching online might be a great fit for you. Many of the online ESL companies require early morning hours. This has been a great option for me because I get to teach before my daughter wakes up and then have the rest of the day to do all the other things I need to get done. I have worked for several online ESL companies and my favorite is VIPKid. You can check out the reasons why here.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Before I started writing Behind the Mom Bun I didn’t even know that virtual assistants were a thing. Well, they are and they are in hot demand. All types of business owners hire virtual assistants for all sorts of tasks. These jobs usually pay pretty decently but you’ll have to market yourself in order to gain a client.
Open an In-home Daycare
If you love kids and have space, operating an in-home daycare is a great way to earn money from home. You will need to check with your state on licensing requirements and familiarize yourself with child care laws in your state.
Start a Blog
Just start a blog. It is so easy said no blogger ever. Blogging can be very rewarding both emotionally, creatively, and financially. But y’all, let me tell you it is HARD work. Unlike the other options, you will not see a return on your investment for quite some time. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
How to stay sane as a work from home mom?
Now that you have read all about being a work from home mom and have decided to give it a go you will want to make sure that your self-care is on point. It is super important to take care of your physical and mental health as a work from home mom. These are some tips for staying sane that I wish I would have known from the very beginning. What all of these tips have in common is that they get you out of the house.
Plan Date Nights with Your Friends
Staying connected with your spouse and friends is essential. After I left the classroom I lost touch with almost everyone. It is sad but it happens and life goes on. Try to schedule regular date nights or coffee meetups with your friends to stay connected.
Early on in my work from home career, I knew I needed adult interaction. I decided to join a volunteer group called The Junior League. Before scenes from The Help go scrolling through your mind check out this awesome article from a former Junior League cynic. Though this organization I am able to give back to my community, stay connected to the corporate world, and hang out with some pretty cool like minded ladies.
Go on Play Dates
I am not a playdate person at all so going on playdates really pushes me out of my comfort zone. Playdates are great for getting you out of the house and meeting other mamas. Plus they are super helpful for helping to teach young children how to play with well with others.
You Got This!
Being a work from home mom can be a very rewarding career choice. From the flexible hours to being able to spend more time with your kids it really is the best of both worlds. While it doesn’t come without its challenges you can accomplish your goals but utilizing the practical tips in this article.
Do you have any tips for not losing your sanity as a work from home mom? Leave them in the comments below.