One annoyance many work at home moms have to deal with is that many people simply don’t take them seriously. It can be frustrating when people assume what you do is nothing more than a hobby.

Of course, much of why there is this stereotype is simply because some work at home moms don’t take their job or business seriously. They don’t take the time to balance their work commitments with their parenting duties. While this is, indeed, quite the challenge, it is a very important balance to keep.

I think a part of why work at home jobs are so hard to find is that companies are justifiably concerned that work at home employees may not take the job as seriously as they would if they had to go in to an office. It takes a special person to cope with the many distractions at home and still do a professional job. Quite simply, not every mom is up to it.

Similarly, it’s very easy for new home business owners to excuse their behavior by saying it’s “just” a home business. They’ll use family as an excuse for why they can’t meet commitments or don’t take proper care of their customers.

Now, I’ve made mistakes as a work at home mom myself. When I did medical transcription, I found keeping up with my work commitments extremely challenging. That’s a very difficult job to do with young children. Similarly, in my business I’ve sometimes had trouble keeping up with emails.

However, over time I’ve found ways to cope better. It is very much a matter of getting a professional attitude and figuring out a schedule that works.

Time management is one of the keys. I have two children – a 4 year old and an 18 month old. All you moms out there know how busy those ages can be. My 18 month old son is finally learning to entertain himself, but my daughter is going through a phase where she wants more of my time.

When you run a home business or work at home, there are some things you need to remember to keep things professional:

• Figure out a workable schedule. Maybe you have to get up early or maybe you have to stay up late, but figure out a way to make things work.
• Decide if you need some form of daycare. Yes, I know, you work at home to have more time with your kids, but if you can’t be professional maybe it’s time to get a little help until you have things more under control.
• Act professional. Don’t badmouth the competition or difficult customers. Have times that people know you can be contacted by phone if that’s a part of your business. Pay your bills promptly. Fulfill orders promptly. Work extra hours if necessary to get things done.
• Keep learning. Keep up on current events in your industry. Learn new marketing techniques. Pay attention to the wants and needs of your target market.
• Keep your home and work life separate. You may work at home, but you should avoid appearing to work at home. Keep the background noise to a minimum when you’re on the phone.
• Don’t expect people to go easy on you or give you a break because you’re a work at home mom. That should have nothing to do with what people expect of you.
• Expect great things for yourself and of yourself. Don’t think of yourself as “just a work at home mom.” Even when you’re struggling to make ends meet you’re accomplishing great things just by being there for your family while maintaining a job or business.

The chance to work at home is something many women would give a lot for. If this is something you’ve achieved, be proud! Be an example of what a work at home mom should be. Not a harried mommy with too little time on her hands, but a professional woman who manages to juggle an incredibly difficult schedule with the demands of raising a family.

[tags]work at home mom,WAHM,professional behavior,work at home job[/tags]