what its really like to be a work at home mom - momalot

I didn’t necessarily choose to be a work at home mom. Life kind of handed the decision to me. Here’s how it all went down. I put in my two weeks notice at my corporate job because I was going to take the freelance graphic design I was doing and make it my full-time thing. Just seven days later we discovered I was pregnant with our first child. BOOM — instant work at home mom. Yikes! Exciting and scary all at the same time.

I had to learn this work at home mom thing as I went along. It was definitely trial by fire.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it, yes it has been challenging being a work at home mom. I write about those challenges in my blog post What It’s Really Like to Be a Work at Home Mom. But I will say it’s not impossible and it really does have it’s advantages.

At the time of writing this post, I’ve now been working from home creating a full-time income for ten years. You can find more about my journey on my LinkedIn profile.

Working from home brings it’s own unique set of challenges but also it’s own set of perks. Here are the top reasons I ultimately chose to be a work at home mom.

Yes some days are harder than others but in the end being work at home mom is worth it and here's why I chose to be a work at home mom.
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1. Time for family

Like I said earlier in this post, when I first decided to work from home I was pregnant with our first child. It wasn’t until after he was born that I realized how much I loved this work at home gig. (Trust me, yes there were moments when I didn’t enjoy it — like when he was throwing a raging fit, or when I just wanted to pee alone once in a day). But all in all I truly relished it.

I was there for every rocking at nap time, every first, and all those quirky moments of growing from baby to toddler to boy. I’ll always cherish those moments I had with each of my sons. My work at home schedule allowed me to make my own hours which meant I could work any time my babies slept, or I could take a nap if I needed one too. 

It didn’t happen over night but eventually I learned How to Work From Home Without Completely Neglecting My Kids.

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2. Make More Money

A wise mentor once told me “Jamie, to really grow big income, you need to scale.” At the time I was a 20-something freelance designer with no kids, not even a husband on the horizon. So I really couldn’t appreciate his words then. Scaling,.. what are you talking about? I’ll just work more!

But as time passed and I met my husband, and we had our first child, I suddenly realized what my mentor meant. I only had so much time and if time equaled money, (in other words if I was trading time for dollars) then there was only so much money I could bring in. The amount of income I could earn was locked in and based on how much (or little) time I actually had available to work.

But by working at home, I had a greater opportunity to actually scale my income more than I ever could working for a company. What I mean is stop trading dollars for hours. For me, scaling meant finding passive income. And since then, I’ve become a huge fan of passive income. Read my Beginner’s Guide to Working from Home to find out more about the different types of income and ways to work from home. 

3. Save Money

Yep! Saving money is a big reason I chose to keep working at home even after our kids were born. Have you seen the price of daycare?! Of course you have and it’s outrageous!!

It turned out to be significantly cheaper for me to stay home with the kids. I also save money on gas because I don’t commute. The family van that I drive (shout out to my Toyota Sienna peeps) requires less maintenance since I drive so very little. My clothing budget is significantly smaller now that I literally live in yoga pants and sweatshirts.  And I eat at home way more now than I ever did when working in an office and that saves money too!

4. Make My Own Hours

This is perhaps one of my favorite perks of working at home and it was especially useful when my kids were smaller and took naps or slept irregular hours. I get to work when I want and as much or little as I want.

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Most of the time I got to bed when the kids go to bed or shortly after because that’s just how I roll. But that means I’m up by 3:30 (that’s when my husband also gets up for work) so we chat and then I work until 8 when my kids get up. It’s not for everyone but it works for me! I’m done with my work day by 8am and I love it. Occasionally I’ll check in on messages in the afternoon but I never feel like I HAVE to do it. 

I know plenty of other moms who work when their kids go to bed, or they work over naptime. It’s just a matter of finding out what works for you.

5. Flexibility for What Life Brings

That means, if the kids get sick, I can be there for them. If I happen to get sick, I can take a day off and make up for it the next day. If I want to take a day off and run errands, or see a movie, or take a nap, then I can do that (within reason). By choosing to work at home I ultimately control when the work gets done and as long as it gets done, I have a great deal of control over when and how.

6. Total Control

When I worked in an office I felt like I was stuck there for 9-10 hours a day. Working at home is different because even when I’m working – I’m home. I’m not stuck some place else. That means I get to light scented candles if I want to when I work. I can work from my desk, or my couch, or my favorite comfy chair. If I want to pad around in my slippers then that is my choice. My home is cozy and I love working from it.

In my humble opinion there are many benefits to being a work at home mom.

If you’re thinking about becoming a work at home mom too then start by considering what’s important to you in life and then consider if working outside the home or inside the home is the best way to achieve those life goals.