Are you wondering if you should be a work from home mom? Then you are going to love this fantastic perspective from my friend, Miki. She has real experience testing out being work at home mom, and a stay at home mom, and a working mom, and is sharing the pros and cons, and what works best for her. I hope you are inspired!
Should I be a work from home mom…
Hey fellow moms and aspiring entrepreneurs! If you’re torn between embracing the beautiful chaos of motherhood and pursuing your dreams of being a work from home mom, you’re in the right place. As a work from home mom, my journey over the past four years has been an incredible rollercoaster ride. Balancing my blossoming business, Miles of Rosies Flowers, with a part-time job at a local nonprofit organization, all while raising my little ones, has been both challenging and rewarding. But trust me, it’s been a journey filled with invaluable lessons and heartwarming moments that are still shaping who I am today, beyond just a wife and mom.
After welcoming my little boy into the world, I found myself grappling with the unexpected – postpartum anxiety. It hit me like a whirlwind…the rolling panic attacks, heart palpitations, and the constant feeling of impending doom drained me both mentally and physically. Throw in a global pandemic, and it’s the perfect concoction for a spiral. It took me eight months to realize I was suffering, and my two-year-old daughter (at the time) added to the mix of challenges.
As a stay-at-home mom, I yearned for something more, but my anxieties and failed routines seemed to define my days, and honestly, me. With the weight of motherhood and the demands of being a wife, I realized I needed something more – an outlet to express my creativity and passion. This is where the journey of my business began.
1. Find Your “Why”: Fuel Your Passion
Event décor and flower designs have always had a special place in my heart, and there’s nothing quite like the joy of turning someone’s vision into a breathtaking reality. For years, I had been offering my services for free to friends and family, recalling the freedom of expression it brought me. One day, I sat down with my husband, and together, we prayed about the possibility of starting my own event planning and decorating business. The thought of this new venture filled me with excitement and hope for what the future could hold. So we started an event decorating business in 2020 before we knew Covid was looming around the corner.
After two years of running the business, we reached a point where we had to make a tough decision. After much thought and more prayer, we ultimately made the difficult choice to close down the business. We realized that striking the right balance between the demands of the event planning industry and ensuring our family’s well-being was becoming increasingly challenging. We needed to find a better work-life balance.
But, let’s be real here. Even at the beginning of my first business, I needed to gauge my capacity to work from home honestly. So I am asking you the same questions I had to (and still) wrestle with:
- What are you willing to give up to make room for this new venture?
- Do you need to wake up earlier? Sleep later? Create your own schedule with new routines (we’ll cover this more later)?
- Do you need to find people in your circle that can support you with supplemental child care?
Let’s talk about this first.
2. Take Inventory: Create a Support System
When it comes to diving into the world of being a work from home mom, it’s essential to peek into your village and see who’s there to lend a helping hand with the little ones. Trust me, you WILL need a breather from the kiddos now and then. But let me tell you, finding reliable people to watch our kids was no easy feat. My parents are full-time international missionaries and my husband’s parents live in another state, so we had to get creative.
I do believe that it absolutely takes a village to raise kids and not having one contributed greatly to my postpartum anxiety, so I knew I had to create one for myself to be able to effectively work from home. Here is how I did that:
- I became friends with my neighbor who has kids the same age as ours, and we set up play dates. Every so often, I’ll take 5-15 minutes to make a phone call, respond to an email, or research something while the kids play. There have been times when I’ve asked her if my kids could hang out with them for 30 minutes to an hour, and she’s asked me to watch her kiddos too. Please hear me when I say, TRUST is a HUGE FACTOR. And truly, I need those adult conversations with someone who could relate!
- I looked at my community, specifically my church, and found an amazing, homeschooled high schooler who hangs out with our kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I can have dedicated “office hours”.
If you’ve been blessed with grandparents that live close, talk to them about coming alongside you to help with some child care. If not, take inventory of your resources. Exchange childcare with a neighbor who you trust, look at your local church or high schools with childcare programs. Interview, interview, interview and let your boundaries and expectations be known!
3. Managing Expectations: Balancing Dreams and Reality
Building a business/working from home while taking care of your little ones is no small feat, so remember to be kind to yourself along the way. Embrace the unpredictability and know that some days will be a wild ride, but that’s all part of the adventure. Stay flexible, set realistic goals, and celebrate every little win.
You may not be Christian or read the Bible, but one of the verses that helped get me through a lot of seasons as a work-from-home mom is Zechariah 4:10 which says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”. Here is why this verse is so impactful to me. Too many times, especially as moms, we set impossible standards for ourselves, lists as long as our bodies, and daily goals that are unattainable in one day.
Create a shift in your mindset that allows you to celebrate the small wins! There will be days that will be better than others. Some days, you will feel like Rocky, jumping on top of the steps at the end of his famous climb, and some days, you may feel like the steps are on top of you. Regardless, every day, find one thing to throw a party for!
It may take a long while for your reality to match your dreams, but never forget why your dreams exist. It will be the fuel for those not-so-glorious moments. For example, I dream of a $10,000 salary month in my business, but I am a long way from that. Every time, I’ve thought about giving up, I remind myself that I am doing this because my husband and I have a future for our family that is worth striving for. Remember, motherhood and working is a grand adventure, and every twist is part of the beautiful story!
4. Navigating Time: Ditch the Clock, Embrace the Blocks
If you are ANYTHING like me, schedules give you anxiety. I would sit down to build out a beautiful color-coded schedule that would work for one day, only to leave me feeling like an ultimate failure by day two when I realized we were 5-6 items behind! That is exactly what led me to the Modern Work From Home blog that you are reading this post on!
I will not re-create the wheel by telling you what I read, but I HIGHLY recommend you read this blog post on creating a more efficient, non-anxiety-inducing, flexible schedule system called Time Blocking.
This will help you create a great balance between caring for your children and doing what you need to satisfy your business/job goals for the day. And remember, show yourself lots of grace, and even reward yourself to help create some positive reinforcement for a job well done.
There you have it, fellow moms and aspiring entrepreneurs! The journey of being a work-from-home mom is filled with ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve learned to embrace the chaos and celebrate the wins, big and small. As you embark on your own work-from-home adventure, remember to find your “why” and fuel your passion.
Build a support system, lean on your village, and trust those who lend a helping hand with your little ones. Managing expectations is key, so be kind to yourself and celebrate every milestone along the way. And when it comes to time management, ditch the clock and embrace the blocks! Time blocking has been a game-changer for me, and I’m sure it’ll be for you too.
And if you know anyone who is getting married or planning a celebration, send them over to Miles of Rosies for eco-friendly, beautiful real-touch flowers that will elevate their event without the price tag!
To all the moms at the crossroads – trust your heart, take the leap, and let your dreams bloom… You never know what will grow when you plant the seeds of your dreams!