I have spent the month of October writing about life as a work from home mom. I hope it has been helpful because I do think working from home is such a win win situation for everyone. My decision to leave corporate 8 years ago was motivated by my older two kids needing me a whole lot more when they started primary school. It was the best decision I have made. It was (and is) also the most stressful decision I have made but starting a business always is I think.
There is an assumption that babies need their mothers the most when they are babies, in my experience as a mom of 4, this is not the case. Yes, if you are breastfeeding, your baby physically needs you to be there and of course bonding is important so I am not suggesting babies don’t need their mothers. What I am saying is, they need you more when they get older.
Primary school comes with school sport events, homework, events and so much more. It felt like I was constantly asking my manager for time off to watch my kids compete or attend a school event. I was spent more time in the Spar at 7h00 in the morning getting cupcakes than is reasonable. It just constantly felt like I was trying to catch up and I was fortunate enough to have my mom helping out a lot when Cameron was in Grade 1. It was important to the kids that I be there for their events and I wanted to be there. I definitely did not want to miss it due to work commitments in a job I did not enjoy.
Working from home allows me to have the best of both worlds. I can contribute to the home financially and still be there for the kids.
When you have more than one child, after school care and transport can become really expensive, especially if you have a child who is active and does a lot of extra-murual activities. When you have 4 children, this cost is crippling, so having a flexible work schedule means I save on these costs.
One of the most stressful things about working a set 9-5 job is dealing with sick kids. We all know that kids get sick at the most inconvenient time and getting the time off can add a lot of pressure to work situations. Having a sick child is distracting, even when you work from home but the advantage is you don’t have to try find someone to fetch them from school or take time off to look after them.
It is not always easy. Some days I work too much and others I don’t work enough. Some days I take client calls after 18h00 and am up early on the weekend getting work done. Money is always tight. I don’t always get it right and drop balls and miss stuff.
Despite all of that, working from home works the best for our family and has allowed me the opportunity to home school the kids from next year.
It is not going to work for everyone but it works for us and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am keen to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you are work from home mom.
This post forms part of my 31 days to achieve work life balance as a work from home mom.