Working from home might seem like the perfect way to create balance in your life if you are a busy mom who also needs to earn a paycheck. If you are able to earn money from your home it would be much easier to tend to your responsibilities at home, right? In general, the answer is “yes.” However, too many families look at this solution as the easy way out. Once they have a work from home mom in their midst, they realize the situation is not exactly what they anticipated it to be. Can it work? Absolutely. Can a mom take on a work from home job and still manage her household, still having time to relax and bond with her family? Sure. Is it easy? Not at first, but eventually it will seem like it. The trick is getting through that difficult part and building a business with the support of your family. Before you move forward with your plans to take on a home job for mom, you must consider – can your family handle a work at home mom?
Moms who work from home work just as hard, if not harder, than moms who work outside of the house. The difference is they have more flexibility. They control their schedules, so if they need to be there for their families they are able to do so. Unfortunately, this does not mean their work is easy. Balancing a home job for mom and a family, especially when your family expects more from you and your business requires more from you is difficult. If you think working from home might be right for you, but you are concerned about your family responsibilities, consider the following:
Is your husband willing to help and support your business obligations? If you are living in a single parent household or your husband does not support your decision to work from home, you are likely to struggle with balancing home and family. Before moving forward with your home job for mom, speak candidly with your spouse about what you will need. Acknowledge you might not even know what you need going into the situation. Assess the pros and cons of working from home together and determine if it seems like a good idea for your family. If your spouse is less than enthusiastic or expresses outright distaste for the idea, you might want to postpone your decision to work from home.
Do you have other friends or family members willing to pitch in? If others offer to help, accept what they offer! This is a tough thing for some moms to do because they feel as if they need to handle it all on their own. Unfortunately, that could get you into hot water if you are trying to juggle a business and a family. If you have relatives or friends willing to offer support graciously accept what is offered. You might even want to talk to younger members of your family about pitching in. You can compensate teenage children or nieces and nephews if they help out with the business or family obligations.
Are your children old enough to fend for themselves to some extent? Starting a home job for mom might be tough if you have children who are infants or toddlers. Once kids hit school age they are able to handle some things on their own, so you will need to spend less time supervising. If you already have a business when a child is born, it will take a little finagling to work out a system that keeps everyone safe and satisfied. It is possible to work from home when you have a baby or toddler, but it takes a little extra planning.
Does anyone in your family have special needs? All of the general advice given to work from home moms is based on the standard family. If you have anyone in your home with special needs, it will take some extra work creating a system for your business and your caretaking responsibilities. You will want to do what you can to get extra help if possible. Again, like with a baby or toddler, it is possible to operate a business when you are caring for a special needs child, but it will take more support and planning than the average family requires.
Are your goals for your business practical? Unfortunately, your family might create a few limits for your business. In most cases, these limits are time related, so all is not lost. For instance, it might take you a few extra years to grow your business to the point you envision when you first start out. You might need to hold off on investing money in your business until that last college tuition check is paid. If your children are young, you might need to wait until they start school full-time to put in 60 hour work weeks. Everyone’s situation is different, so you need to be sure your business goals are realistic based on your family. The sky is still the limit. It might just take a few extra years to reach it.
Will you have other stressors, such as finances or family drama? Evaluate your overall situation before moving forward with your business. Are things in your family in order? Do you have a parent or sibling constantly asking you to drop everything to tend to his or her needs? Are you and your spouse struggling to make ends meet based on your current income? All of these things need to be addressed as you launch your business. If you decide nothing is going to hold you back, you need a plan in place before disaster strikes. Know how you will handle the challenges before they affect your business.