As mothers, we are working all the time. Whether we’re at a day job or doing things related to raising our children, these are both considered “work.” When you’re a mom and you work at home, as in you’re doing a job other than mothering, you now have two full-time jobs and they’re located in the same place: your house. Being a Work-At-Home-Mom (“WAHM”) is not easy. It’s demanding, and requires you to structure and plan your day. If you have some children who are not school age, you may need to hire a babysitter or figure out how they will stay occupied while you’re working.
When your children go to school, you’ll need to figure out who is going to pick them up when you’re working. Just because you’re “working from home,” doesn’t mean you are not working. In fact, working from your home can be even more challenging than working in an office in some ways. There are built-in distractions, such as your children if they’re there, or friends trying to schedule a time to have lunch or talk to you on the phone. Some people, no matter how hard you try to explain it to them, don’t understand what it means to be a WAHM.
People believe it’s simple and easy to work out of your house when in reality, you’ve got to make a much greater effort to stay focused than you would need to if you were working outside of the home. Another thing about working from home as a mom is that it can be lonely. When you’re in an office, there are co-workers to talk to, bounce ideas off of, and go out for coffee or lunch with. When your office is based out of your house, you don’t have a built in social system. You’ve got to make a conscious effort to see people other than your partner or your kids.
It can be comforting to be in your own space while doing what you love to do. Whether you’re a virtual assistant, a social media guru, a marketing whiz or a writer, these are all jobs that moms can do from home. However, the loneliness is something to be mindful of. If you’re finding that it’s hard for you to reach out to others and factor in time to be with friends, as a WAHM, it might be time to seek outside help.
Talk to a mental health professional about the challenges you face as a mother working at home. You might be surprised at some of the obstacles you’re facing that you didn’t realize were at the forefront of your mind. For many WAHMs, online counseling can be a great option. It’s convenient and you can speak to an online therapist in the comfort of your own bedroom if your kids ever let you shut the door that is.
Work and family life will always be a delicate balance, especially as a mother. You have the right to have a meaningful bond with your kids and a successful career, whether that’s in an outside office or in your own home.