Things have been pretty hectic around my home lately. Finding time to work has been challenging, to put it mildly. Birthday parties, toddler with pneumonia (she’s fine now, thanks), life in general have combined to put a real dent into my working hours. It’s with a bit of determination that I’m writing this now, because I can’t leave my work undone for too long.
Whenever my life gets crazy, I try to remember how luck I am to be a mom working from home. Lots of moms want this but can’t get it. Sure it’s exhausting at times, frustrating many times, and not many people realize just how much work it all is unless they’ve done it themselves.
So I like to say moms who work from home are amazing for many good reasons.
1. They take chances.
Finding a legitimate way to earn money from home is a risk, whether it’s through finding a work at home job or starting a business. Telecommuting from a job you had before is a risk, as you’re less visible than if you worked in the office. You don’t know how things are going to go or if working at home will really work out for you on a personal level. It’s a huge change from working outside the home.
2. They combine child care with earning a living.
All moms work hard on raising their families, but working at home means you’re working where you live, and the kids are often right there. Not always, certainly, as they may go to school or you may even have them in daycare some of the time so you can be productive.
Many work at home moms have the children home with them all day, yet still manage to hold down their job or run their business. It’s adding your work hours onto the more than full time work of being a stay at home mom, and it’s challenging. It means a lot of late nights or early mornings to get something done while everyone else is sleeping. It’s figuring out how to distract the kids so you can work a while and making the most of nap time when they’re young enough for that.
But it’s also showing your children that you can be home with your kids and earn a living, or try to. It’s coping with the difficult times when the work just isn’t there or business has gone down, and showing your kids that you don’t give up.
Most of us don’t pretend that it’s easy every day because even when we enjoy the time with our families and enjoy the work, sometimes it all piles up and there’s no time for the fun stuff. Yet it’s still not worth trading for an outside the home job.
3. They’re showing working at home is real work.
For a long time, many people have considered working at home to be less than professional. It was something you did when the kids didn’t need you, more of a hobby than anything serious. Now moms such as Heather Armstrong from Dooce and Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, have shown that a serious, respectable business can be run from home. Less visible but frankly more important are the many moms running other kinds of businesses from home successfully and professionally.
Even more open minded managers are recognizing that moms can work from home, often more productively than at the office. It doesn’t work for all jobs, and many can only be partial telecommute, but it has been shown that telecommuting can be a valuable way to keep employees happy and productive.
There’s still a ways to go in many areas, as many people don’t realize how professional a home based mother can be, but the situation has improved from what it was in years past.