This is a guest post by Rachael and Jaclyn. You can read about them in the bio below.
Growing up, I had always wanted to be a stay at home mom. After I graduated from college, I never seriously pursued a career. I just knew I would eventually get married and stay at home with my kids.
Knowing what I know now about infertility and the increasing marriage age, putting your career on hold for the possibility of a future family is not what I would advise, but it’s how I thought at the time. Luckily for me, I did get married soon after graduating and my house quickly filled with children. My husband has a good job, and we are able to live comfortably on his salary alone.
Yet, about a year ago, I found myself wanting more. By that time, I had 4 kids aged 6 and under. I will admit, I really had the stay at home mom life down. However, the idea of starting a blog kept kicking around in my mind.
With my family’s blessings, I started a book blog, Pingel Sisters, with my sister. Quickly, I learned the pros and cons of transitioning from a stay at home mom to a work at home mom.
In this post, I am going to share the challenges and benefits of transitioning from stay at home mom to work at home mom
Challenges of Becoming a WAHM
Let’s begin with the challenges of becoming a work at home mom. Starting any new endeavor comes with obstacles to overcome and adjustments to make, and the transition from stay at home mom to working at home mom is no exception.
Working at Home with Kids
One of the biggest challenges is working at home with kids.
Some people hire child care, but that’s not a feasible (or affordable) option for most. Other people have older kids who spend most of the day at school leaving them with enough time.
I sometimes do envy them! But, then I often remind myself that one day it will be my turn and I need to enjoy with my kids while they are young. For those of you with young children at home, managing to get anything done can feel impossible.
But I’m here to tell you it can be done.
While each family is different, my number one tip for working at home with kids is to block your time.
Set specific time periods aside to get tasks done. For example, while my children eat lunch, I sit in an adjoining room where I can keep an eye on them and go through my inbox. Yes, I get interrupted, but lunchtime is the time to stay on top of my overflowing inbox.
Which brings me to another point –
Consider what tasks you can and can’t do with children around. I can do all the technical aspects of blogging as my children play around me (which often involves running around me screaming like banshees!). On the other hand, one thing I absolutely cannot do: Write. Once I accepted this, I figured out that I can do all my writing in the evening after bedtime or during naptime.
Differentiating between types of work will allow you to plan your day efficiently while making the transition from stay at home mom to work at home mom much easier.
Related posts on work from home options
Creating a New Schedule
Unless you have available time slots in your day, you will need to create a new schedule to have a smooth transition from a stay at home mom to a work at home mom. To begin with, allocate tasks for the available time slots in a day (if you have any).
It is now time to drop some of your time-wasting habits. Yes, I’m talking about endlessly browsing Facebook or binge-watching on Netflix, among other things. Cutting down on these two habits or more can give you a few hours in a day.
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But, you will always feel a lack of time. So, you need to accept that you cannot do it all! There are not enough hours in the day to be perfect at everything you do. You will need to prioritize. When you figure out what is the most important, then you can brainstorm how to do those tasks efficiently.
For me, one of the first things I adjusted was my cleaning schedule because I am a cleanliness freak. When I started working at home, I had to restrict that obsession with cleanliness. I, now, let go dusting for another week (or three), and I vacuum half as much as I used to. I try to pick up toys once a day instead of multiple times throughout the day like I used to. This helped me unlock several hours in a day to focus on work.
Another way to get a few hours is to ask your family for help. Give easy chores to children; it’s good for them, anyway. Sit down with your husband and reallocate responsibilities. With the help of your family, you can have a successful transition from stay at home mom to work at home mom. It might take time, but eventually, you will find a new normal.
Working Mom Guilt
Am I being selfish by being a working mom? Am I neglecting children by working? Am I a bad mom/wife/sister/friend than I was before?
Realistically, one of the unavoidable obstacles you will face when you transition from stay at home mom to work at home mom is the working mom guilt. Oftentimes, I find myself plagued by these questions. Since financially I don’t need to work, that voice in the back of my head tells me that I am choosing myself over my kids.
When these thoughts come (they will eventually come), it’s okay to ponder over them for a bit. But, you absolutely cannot dwell on them.
No matter what, don’t let these feelings of doubt control you. You can be just as amazing work at home mom as you were a stay at home mom. Don’t let fear and worry steal away your joy. Just remind yourself that although the transition from a stay at home mom to a work at home mom has its challenges, it also has its benefits.
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Which gets us to the next point –
Benefits of Being a WAHM
Despite all its challenges, being a work at home mom can be a real blessing. Financially, the increased income without the additional child care cost can be a godsend. Also, many work at home moms are able to set their own hours and work around their family’s schedule.
For me, the biggest benefit of becoming a work at home mom has been my own dreams and goals. While I loved being a stay at home mom, a part of me felt like I wasn’t being challenged enough. Which is funny because raising kids is extremely challenging.
Now, I have my own business to pursue while still being there for my children. To top it off, my children see me pursuing my dreams which in turn inspires them to reach for their own goals. Win-win!
If you’ve considered transitioning from a stay at home mom to a work at home mom, either out of necessity or out of curiosity, I want you to know that you can do it. It might not always be easy, but if you work at it, it can definitely be worth it.
Do comment below and let me know what you feel? I would love to hear your story.
Rachael and her sister Jaclyn started the blog Pingel Sisters as a place to help others find their next favorite book. Along with book lists and book-related topics, they share advice about life, work and travel – all from a book lover’s point of view.
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Resources that will help you get started working from home –