I’ve been running a business from home for over 10 years now, and will be the first to tell you there are a lot of unique challenges of working from home as a mom. Are you a new work at home mom? Read on to see what those are.
When I got pregnant with my first baby, my husband and I made the tough decision for me to leave my job and become a stay at home mom. At the time, it made a lot of sense. We were moving to a new state, away from family, and really didn’t want to put our baby in daycare with strangers. (Totally not judging those that do, but knowing no one to get recommendations from, the idea was scary).
After about a year of staying home, I was bored. I needed a project, so, I decided to open an Etsy shop. At the time, I had no idea that this was going to turn into a full-fledged business, but it did. In fact, that same business thrived for over 8 years before I got burned out and decided to take my talents in a new direction.
That was over a decade ago now, but I still think back to those challenges I experienced when I first started. The early days were rough, and I had a lot to learn. If you’re just getting started, I hope you can learn from the struggles I faced in the early days, and the lessons I learned along the way.
I’m not actually a very social person. I’m very much an introvert, and love being at home. Still, when I became a work-at-home mom, one of the many challenges I faced was that I felt lonely.
There are no co-workers to talk to, and even when you meet other moms, you kind of stick out. You don’t really relate to stay at home moms, but you also don’t relate to working moms.
Becoming a work at home mom puts you in a category all on your own, and it’s tough to find friends who relate.
If this sounds like something you’re struggling with, be sure to join some networking groups specific to being a work-at-home mom. This will help you find friends who relate to your very unique struggles.
Need a group to join? I happen to run a small group and would love to have you join us! You can join here.
The Housework is Never Done.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is that I work nearly full time hours on my business, and homeschool the kids. It’s basically two full-time jobs in one. Even if you’re not homeschooling, the not-so-simple act of raising kids and handling school functions is just as challenging. (I know. I’ve been there).
Add to that the cooking, errands, budgeting, and housework, and there are truly not enough hours in the day.
Sometimes the housework doesn’t get done. It took me a long time to get over the guilt of that, because as a stay-at-home mom, I considered housework my responsibility. Becoming a work at home mom really changed that dynamic, though. I can’t get it all done alone, and I’ve learned over the years to get the whole family to help.
It Gets Boring.
Ya’ll, can I just admit that sometimes playing kid stuff is boring?? Because it is.
I’d much rather be working on a business project than playing Barbies, if I’m totally honest. And, that makes me sound (and feel) like a terrible mom. The whole point of working from home was to spend more time with my kids, right?
I’m not a terrible mom, though. It’s just that those things don’t stimulate my brain and so I struggle to be 100% present during those times.
It was really important to me over the last few years to find things that I do enjoy doing with my kids. I’m not really the one to ask if you want to play with dolls or have a pretend tea party. But, do you know what I do enjoy doing? Painting, reading, doing puzzles, going on nature walks, and so much more.
Finding that balance in our day made a huge difference. I had to learn to say “No, mommy really doesn’t want to play Barbies right now. Why don’t you do that on your own and then we can paint together?”
My advice? Embrace the things that you love with your kids, and encourage them to do some of the other stuff on their own. It’s a good habit for everyone!
It’s Tough Finding Balance.
I’m a really passionate person, especially when it comes to my business. Some say that I have a bit of tunnel vision, and I can certainly see that.
When I get excited about an idea, I get really excited. It’s easy for me to get in the zone and forget about everything else (including things like sleep).
Finding balance between my business and my family has been one of the biggest challenges of working from home for me.
So, I’ve had to learn over the years to set boundaries. I have set times that are protected as family time and times that are set aside for work and I stick to those.
If you also struggle with finding that balance, my biggest advice in the beginning is to try time blocking to organize your day. This system will help you set up specific times for work, family, errands, and everything else you’re juggling.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Self Care.
Don’t think I’m talking about mani’s, pedi’s, or a spa day here. What I’m really talking about is actually taking care of yourself. Possibly one of the biggest challenges of working from home for me is the lack of time for this. I found myself waking up early to take care of the kids, working until late at night, and running myself ragged through the day.
I was wearing myself out and had no time or energy left to take care of myself at the end of the day.
At one point, I actually got sick. Nothing too serious. I think maybe it was the flu. But, whatever it was, it knocked me out for a solid 2 weeks. I was weak, couldn’t concentrate, and slept all day.
My business at the time wasn’t set up to generate passive income, so my entire income was based on me actively working. Those two weeks were a wake-up call for me. They made me realize that self care is so important.
Be sure to prioritize things like sleep, eating well, exercising, and taking a day off now and then. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Have you experienced any of these? You’re not alone!
There are some things only work-at-home moms will understand and appreciate. I feel like most of us can relate to these challenges of working at home more than anyone else. Find a group of like-minded mamas, give yourself grace, and focus on finding the balance in your life. Working from home has been incredibly rewarding, and I’m so glad I fought through these challenges and found ways to make it work for my family!
Like this post? Find more work at home mom tips and advice below!
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- 10 Tips to Help You Avoid Business Burnout