Over the last couple weeks, I discussed the two main challenges of working from home: Maintaining self-discipline and dealing with a lack of community. In the final article in this series, I’m taking a closer look at some of the other, often overlooked, challenges of working from home.
When you’re at a corporate job in an office building, working from home seems like the ultimate scenario: A flexible schedule, time with your kids, and the ability to work without someone breathing down your neck. What’s not to love? However, once you begin working from home, you quickly realize that it has some downsides of its own.
No job is without its challenges, and I would still choose working from home any day over a typical 9-to-5 career! Let’s look at some of the lesser-known challenges you may face as a work-from-home mom and how to overcome them.
Being a mom means juggling a whole host of responsibilities. From school pickups to drop-offs, grocery store runs to cleaning the house, the old saying is true: A woman’s work is never done! It’s no surprise then that when you work from home, there are many distractions that may keep you from actually working.
You may find yourself starting the laundry before you start your work, thinking, “I’ll just do this one thing real quick and knock it off my to-do list.” But before you know it, you end up cleaning the entire house and it’s time to pick up the kids—the day is gone! Does this sound all too familiar? If so, welcome to work-from-home motherhood!
To avoid being side-tracked by chores, schedule in laundry day and other chores. Be sure to order your work around your busy mom life.
You may also want to designate a working space separate from your living space, if possible, to help you stay productive and prevent you from seeing the distractions. It will also put distance between you and the refrigerator—another go-to distraction for work-from-home moms.
2. Dealing with the (Un)Reliability of Employees
If you’ve set up a business at home and hired a remote employee, you face a whole new set of problems. What if you send them a retainer and they never do the work? Or they do the work, but it’s far below expectations? You’ll either need to find a new worker or train the existing one—both of which take valuable time.
One way to combat this is to use well-known, reliable platforms when hiring freelancers. Sites like Upwork or Freelancer may offer some protection for both parties, while giving you the peace of mind that someone else is actively vetting them. You have enough on your plate without having to chase down and hound irresponsible workers!
3. Missing Out on Employee Benefits
Your corporate job may have drained the life out of you, but it had its benefits—literally.
Medical insurance and paid sick leave are just two luxurious benefits that few of us who are working from home can afford to offer ourselves. Often, if you’re just starting out working from home, time spent not working means no income—and if you can’t afford benefits, then you definitely can’t afford to have no income!
The thing is, while no one plans to fall ill, we all inevitably get sick at some point. The best thing to do is to plan and prepare financially for times when you may be sick or simply want to take a vacation. This means making saving and planning a priority, no matter how difficult it may be.
With no company to look after you, it’s all up to you—don’t let yourself down! This article offers more helpful advice and tips on saving money as a work-from-home mom.
4. The Dreaded Question: “What do you do?”
You are going to have to explain to a lot of people what you do because, most of the time, there probably won’t be one word to describe your profession. Then there’s the assumption that usually comes after your answer, as people imagine you lounging in your pajamas all day.
There will always be someone with something to say when you go against the norm. Stay confident in your choice to work from home and don’t worry about what others think. You have your reasons for choosing this lifestyle and it’s helpful to recall those reasons when you get discouraged.
Remember what you’re doing this for—time with your kids, quality of life, dream house—and keep your eyes on that prize! Don’t let anyone make you second-guess yourself.
It may also be helpful to have a concise and well-rehearsed answer ready when you’re inevitably asked this dreaded question. Your confidence will lend you credibility, and when you sound confident, people are less likely to doubt you.
Working from Home: It’s All About Willpower
As with everything in life, your willpower is what will help you overcome challenges. For some, working from home might sound like the easy way out. But, for those of us who experience the work-at-home lifestyle, we know it involves a lot of hard work and willpower.
To fully reap the rewards of a work-from-home lifestyle, you’ll have to learn—and do—what works best for you. Trust me, you’ll find your sweet spot when it comes to work-life balance eventually.
To learn more about how to find success as a work-from-home mom, contact us at www.momsmakingsixfigures.com or (858) 837-1505.