The Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom
Are you considering to transition to become a work-at-home mom? Are you tired of travelling every day to work and losing time in traffic instead of spending it with your family? Or are you a mom who wants to earn a living from the comfort of your own home (or anywhere in the world while travelling with your family)?
Raise your hand if you answered yes to all of those questions!
I did five years ago. And I must say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, so far.
The thought of being a work-at-home mom didn’t really cross my mind many years back. I was working as a copywriter in a local cable network, was able to travel and had good pay. Then when I got married in 2011, my husband and I agreed that if we’re going to have kids, I was going to stop working and be a full-time mom. But just a few months after we got married, I discovered the idea of remote working.
My officemate was the one who introduced me to it. Before getting on board our company, she used to write articles and research papers for her clients abroad through the remote working platform, ODesk (now UpWork). I immediately jumped into and tried my hands at working online. I got a few jobs here and there but balancing my day job while having online work was quite challenging. But it was a side hustle that I was enjoying.
Then fast forward to 2013, I got pregnant with our first born son. I knew then that my last days at an office job was fast approaching. I was actually excited about it! Being able to stay at home to take care of a baby and be a full-time housewife seemed like a domestic dream come true for me. So five months into my pregnancy, I tendered my resignation.
I must say that it was actually one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life. With a baby on the way, I wasn’t sure if side hustling through my online work will be enough to help my husband with our expenses. I knew that I will miss working my profession and earning from it. But then it hit me. I can actually still work! And I can continue earning without the need to commute to an office because I can work from home.
Since then, I’ve been working from home. I spend a maximum of four hours a day (some days around six hours) dedicated to my professional work – which is writing, editing and being a virtual assistant. The rest of my time is spent as a mom and housewife. Through my local freelance work and online remote work, I’m still able to practice my profession and also earn from it right at the comfort of my home (and sometimes from a cafe, or a hotel…or anywhere around the world!).
What is Your Story?
I know a lot of moms who sometimes feel the mom guilt for not being able to personally take care of their little ones because they have to work. If this is you, you’re still doing great momma! The sacrifice you do for your family is never wasted.
But if you seriously want to make the shift from working in an office to being able to manage your time on your own and building a business as a work-at-home mom, then read on! I believe that our time and technology today allows us to be the best moms we can be by being able to stay with our family while working and earning at the same time.
What really is a Work-At-Home Mom?
Simply put, a work-at-home mom is a mom who works and manages her business from home. Whether you’re offering physical products or services, its utilizing technology (the internet) so you can work from your home without the need to commute everyday. There would be times when you would need to travel, depending on the kind of work you have, but it won’t be as frequent as having a regular office job.
Here are some common careers or jobs that you can do as a work-at-home mom:
- Virtual Assisting
- Online Selling
- Content Creating
- Graphic Design
- Video Editing
- Presentation Designer
- Being an Inluencer
- Customer Service
- Personal Training
- Teaching or Tutoring
- Article/ Journal Writing
- Web Design
- App Development
But before you decide to jump in, let me clarify some common misconceptions about working from home.
- “You can work anytime you want.” – This depends on what kind of business you’re running as a work-at-home mom. If you are a virtual assistant, you may need to report for a certain block of time. But what’s good about being able to work from home is that you can decide the number of hours you want to allot for work beforehand and filter your job search or client search based on that.
- “You work only at home.” – Working from home doesn’t necessarily mean you only work from the comfort of your own home. You can actually work from anywhere with an internet connection. But depending on your work demands, this could be limited to specific locations (like if you have a voice-based work that requires you to have sound-proof or quiet surroundings). Also, if you’re running a local business, you may have to go outside of your home to attend meetings.
- “You can wear your PJs all day.” – Although it is tempting to do this, working in your PJs may not be the best idea as it can make you feel sluggard. Dressing up is not really required if you work from home but putting a little effort into what you wear everyday will definitely help put you in the mood for working.
How to Get Started Working From Home
So, do you get started working from home? Here are some simple (but crucial) steps to follow:
Know Your Why
It is important to know your WHY when it comes to deciding to work from home. This will help you see things in perspective and purpose. List down your priorities and see if this aligns with your current work arrangement. Do you want to spend more time with your children? How much of your time is consumed with travelling or commuting to work? Do you want to pursue a business you’ve been dreaming about?
Consider all these questions and make sure to pray about it first. Carefully consider all factors that may get affected by your decision to work from home. Also, make sure to talk to your husband about this work arrangement. If you’re a single mom, ask your immediate family about it.
“She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”Proverbs 31: 16
Turn your current job into a telecommuting position.
Traffic in Manila is simply terrible. And more and more people and companies are actually considering telecommuting (just a fancy term for working from home). Check to see if your company is willing to give this a try. Do your research, talk with your team and see how telecommuting can help you perform your tasks even if you’re not physically there in the office.
There might be days when you would still need to report to your office but it won’t be as frequent as before. This is a great option especially for moms who have established work tenure and benefits.
Find an online job.
It’s so easy to find online jobs nowadays. Here’s a list of common places where you can find online jobs:
- Remote Working Platforms/Marketplaces
- Facebook Groups
- Referrals – See if you have friends who are already working from home. Maybe they have openings that you can apply to.
Browse through the jobs available and see which ones you think is a fit for your current skills. Once you have an overview or feel of the kind of jobs that you can apply to, prepare your CV. But don’t make it too comprehensive. Make it clear and brief. Highlight your top skills and attach sample work, if possible. You can do a simple document, a professionally designed PDF or even a video.
Most remote working platforms would just ask you to input your details and work experience into your profile. But make sure to beef it up by including relevant work experience and top skills. Also, add a professional looking photo to your profile. This can also help verify your account, most especially for UpWork, so keep that in mind as well.
Just a word of caution, be careful and vigilant when applying online. Make sure you do your homework and research if the companies you’re applying to are the real deal. Another great way to protect yourself from these scammers is to join Facebook groups like the one I mentioned above.
Start your own business.
There are so many businesses nowadays that you can do from the comforts of your own home – from selling physical products to offering your services. You can even create online content (blogging, making youtube videos, podcasts, etc) about the things you’re interested in or passionate about and earn money from it! If you’re going this route, make sure you write down your business plan. Determine and set the following details before you set out:
- Your product/services/content you want to share.
- Your ideal target market.
- Marketing plans.
- How much capital you want to invest.
- How much you need to allot for your running costs.
- Your income goals.
Tips for Success in Working From Home
Just like working in an office, working from home also has its own fair share of challenges. And in order to be successful at it, you need to have systems and strategies in place. Here are some tips for success when working from home.
- Have a dedicated workspace in your home.
My husband, who also works from home, used to work in our kitchen table. But there came a time when he was still in the heat of work and I had to set the table for lunch. I felt that he got a bit frustrated because his momentum was interrupted. But this made us realise that even though we’re working from home, it is still important to have a dedicated space for work. Aside from avoiding interruptions, as mentioned above, this will also help you physically separate your work from home matters. If your family members see you sitting in your workspace, this will send them a visual signal that you’re on work-from-home mode. If space is an issue, a small corner in your home with a working table is fine.
- Set a time for work.
While you can work anytime you want, it’s still important to set a time for you to work. Save yourself the stress of constantly going to and fro your household chores, taking care of the kids and feeding your dog while working. Learn to balance your work and home tasks by scheduling your day in blocks of time so you can organize what you need to do.
- Outsource other tasks at home when possible.
Cleaning the house, doing the laundry, or cooking are chores that you can outsource. You can hire a stay-in or stay-out helper, or get a professional company do it for you. If you have bigger kids, allow them to lend a helping hand at home. If you can’t, make sure to schedule these tasks into your calendar so you know how much time you need to finish them so you can allot time for work. Believe me, it’s possible.
- Invest in a good and stable internet connection.
Working at home requires you to have a good and stable internet connection. It’s like the “lifeline” of your business so make sure to invest in a service provider that can provide you with at least 5 to 10Mbps speed for your internet connection.
- Always have a backup.
In case service interruptions happen, make sure you have backup internet service available. Also, make sure you also have enough funds to buy a new laptop or computer in case the one you’re currently using breaks down.
- Upgrade your skills.
The beauty of being able to work-from-home is that it allows us to control our time in order to make room for things, people, and events important to us. And that includes learning, too. Upgrade your skills by learning – enroll in courses, attend seminars, read books.
- When things go crazy take time to step back, recalibrate and remind yourself of your WHY.
I’ve been working from home for almost six years now. As my life seasons continue to shift and change, the challenges that I face as a work-at-home mom also changes. I must admit that there are days when I would feel drained and tired. When this happens, I step back and remind myself of my big WHY. This helps me see things in better perspective.
Also, it’s important to have frequent evaluations of your family’s current needs and situations. Adjust and prioritize what’s really important. This will save you a lot of tears instead of worrying on the tiny tasks that you were not able to check off on your list.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom
Whether you are working at home or at an office, it’s important to know that choosing either would have their own set of challenges. But if you want to become a work-at-home mom, know that it is possible.
Designing your life around your home and earning a living while doing it is possible. Thanks to technology, we can personally take care of our family while working on what we are passionate about.
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