Working from home was always a dream of mine. I loved the idea of flexibility, the lack of commute, and the thought of answering to only clients that I wanted to work with. When I got pregnant, my husband and I quickly realized that that dream would have to become our reality, as full-time childcare is too expensive and I still needed to (and wanted to) keep working.
Being a work from home mom is way different than just working from home. And it’s also incredibly different that I don’t sell physical products – a lot of work from home moms I see are Beach Body coaches or selling Essential oils. I provide services and run my own company, not a division of someone else’s company like MLM consultants, so I’m trading hours for dollars and doing everything from scratch.
It has been all kinds of rewarding but it has also been all kinds of difficult. If you’re thinking about becoming a work-from-home mom, here are all the things that people often leave out when romanticizing what it’s like.
They said: It will be so nice to create your own schedule and live by your own rules without having to answer to someone!
They forgot to say: You might not have a “boss”, but you definitely have a boss. And that would be the baby. She runs the schedule, she is the one in charge, and you’re a fool if you think otherwise.
I always thought one of the fun perks of being a work-from-home mom is that you no longer have to ask for vacation time or work a specific lunch hour. Being a work-from-home Mom means there will pretty much never be a vacation or sick days, and there is no lunch hour since you need the baby’s nap time to be the time you get work done. I have been eating lunch with one hand since becoming a mom!
They said: It’s great to be the kind of mom who gets to be at home with her babies but still be a financial contributor to the home.
They forgot to say: You’ll feel like a mean mom if you’re working and not paying attention to your baby, so you might not get as much done as you initially planned.
Being a financial contributor is important to me, and we do need it in order to make ends meet. But it isn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be because when I’m hustling to make deadlines I feel like the meanest mom for not playing with my baby. I do my best to schedule out play time so my working hours don’t interfere with motherhood, but it’s hard work and takes a lot of planning. And sometimes the plan goes out the window when you had a long night or a teething baby who just needs to be held!
And another thing: if you do all the work when the baby is sleeping that doesn’t leave a lot of intentional time together as a couple. Being a good mom, a good wife, and a financial contributor to the household is REALLY. FREAKING. HARD!
They said: Make sure you get up, make the bed, and put on real clothes like you’re going to a real office even though you aren’t.
They forgot to say: You’ll probably get spit up on, so maybe just change from pajamas to other pajamas.
I will say that this is definitely a helpful step in the work-from-home process: to make like you’re going to an office by putting on real clothes. But it is not so easy when you’ve got an infant. I sometimes change 3 times a day based on all the baby’s bodily functions, so sometimes it’s easier to just put on another set of clean pajamas instead of an actual outift.
Being totally honest, I don’t even bother putting on makeup until my husband texts me that he is on his way home. I don’t have time in the morning to get ready the way I used to! I seriously put on eyeliner and a little cover up just for my husband to try and keep the appearance that I’m still a good looking wife, lol! I know he doesn’t care, but it’s the least I can do since he is so supportive.
They said: You’ll save so much money not commuting, and not having to buy lunch every day!
They forgot to say: Sometimes you’ll be so busy with work and the baby that delivery is the easiest and best option.
Seriously, I did not think I would order in for lunch as much as I do. But in all honesty, when I have 5 blog posts due and another client call that will definitely go over its time limit the last thing I want to do is whip up something in the kitchen. Being a work from home mom is not the same as a stay at home mom – some domestic things just aren’t a priority!
They said: You’ll have so much more time to get things done at your own pace! Time with baby, time with husband, time with clients, and time with the house.
They forgot to say: LOL NOT.
It is impossible to do everything, and no matter how predictable your baby’s schedule is there are days when things just do not get done. I honestly thought I would have more time – how hard can a baby be? LOL. I was wrong.
Every day is a balancing act: happy baby, clean apartment, happy clients, happy husband, rinse and repeat. I’m juggling everything all at once to the point where nothing is truly complete. Something usually has to give, and for me, it’s usually housework.
Giving up housework has been a slow process for me – something that feels so wrong about letting my husband come home to a dirty home when I’ve literally been here all day. I try to make it a point to do at least one load of laundry or run the dishwasher at least once a day so the whole place doesn’t totally explode – but I try to remind myself that if I were working in an office I wouldn’t be stopping to deep clean the refrigerator, so I need to make sure to put my energy where it is needed!
I am always on deadline, I am always mad the apartment isn’t clean, but I’m also always with my daughter. I get to see her big smiles, I’m still able to exclusively breastfeed, and I get to just be with her. I know things will change and it will only get harder, but I am cherishing every moment while still getting work done. That is important to me.
If you’re considering being a work from home mom, just know that it is not for the faint of heart. It’s important to know that it isn’t easy, that some things are going to have to get pushed back, and that every second is going to count! It’s also so important to have a strong support system – my husband is incredibly forgiving that I don’t always get a nice dinner on the table.
It’s hard to do it all. In fact, one of the hardest things I’ve had to cope with as a new mother is acknowledging I can’t do everything. But I’ll be damned if I don’t try! #greedy