Becoming a work at home mom is a difficult decision for any woman. The idea of trying to balance working and caring for children for a stay at home mom, or leaving the work place to work at home for a career mother, can be daunting to say the least. There are many wonderful reasons to do it, but there are also drawbacks to consider. In the end it is a very personal choice as every woman’s situation is different. Just to help get you started though, here are some reasons working from home can be great.
1. More time with your children. Undoubtedly one of the main reasons a woman will consider working from home. As a work from home mom, you will have the chance to be part of your child’s daily routine. Sitting down for lunch with your toddler, welcoming your child home from school and hearing about their day, helping with homework. It gives you even more time to watch and enjoy as your child learns and grows before your eyes. After all, they only grow up once, right?
2. Earning money. Most likely the other main reason most look at becoming a work at home mother. By working from home you will be bringing in income. In today’s economy every penny counts and most families are feeling that. More and more mothers are turning to working from home as a way to keep their family financial in order.
3. You will save money. While most business ventures will have costs of their own, by working at home you save money in a lot of areas. No more daily commute to work means less gas will be needed. Daily child care is no longer needed if the mother will be working with the children at home. Most work at home mothers also find that spend less money on clothes, opting for more casual attire at home and saving traditional work clothing for special occasions such as meetings with potential clients or employers.
4. Gain a sense of control. Many mothers say they tend to feel a loss of control in their household. As a working mother many feel like they lose a lot of control by not being home during the day and not being with their children as much. Stay at home mothers that do not work on the other hand tend to feel like they have no control over the financial situation of the family. Either can be very stressful. By working from home you are free from both of these.
5. Flexible hours. Although the self-employed work at home mom will have more flexible hours than the telecommuting mother, either normally presents more flexible hours than the traditional job. This allows you to choose when you will work, wherever you want to work while your child is at work, before they wake up, or after they fall asleep, or you would rather work in shorter bursts during naps and play dates.
6. Escape the workplace dynamic. While many women love the social aspect of working in an office, many also will enjoy the freedom of not being distracted by unnecessary meetings, social gathers, and colleague chats that distract from work and lower productivity. By being able to focus on your work and get it done without those distractions you will be allowed even more time with your family.
Now that we have explored the benefits, it is also important to look at the drawbacks. Obviously working from home is not going to be perfect either. Here are six disadvantages of working at home.
1. Blending work and home. Many women have trouble mixing their work and home environment. Not everyone is able to easily balance the needs of work and children. If one has trouble saying no to either you could end up with too much on your plate, and falling behind with either your work or family can be a huge issue.
2. Negative effect on career advancement. Telecommuters are quite often passed up for promotions. By being outside of the office they tend to be “out of sight and out of mind”. Because of this you can expect to have a much harder time being noticed for a promotion. Many employers also tend to be unsupportive of telecommuters, seeing it as a sign of lack of commitment.
3. Isolation. Many new work at home mothers are very used to the social interaction working in an office. This can give many women a feeling of isolation being at home all day with their children and often alone for most of the day if their children are school age. It is important to try to keep some kind of adult social interaction.
4. Distractions. Working at home brings a whole new slew of distractions. Even with in-home child care, you will hear a child crying through a closed office door. It is easy to get distracted from work with so many things going on in your home. It is important to have the ability to concentrate on the task at hand.
5. Bad eating habits. With a refrigerator just on the other side of the house and kids that will normally eat all through the day, it is extremely easy to pick up those eating habits and snack all through the day. This can lead to eating more than you would normally eat, having a less balanced diet, and can result in less structured meals for the family. It can take a lot of effort to maintain proper eating habits.
6. Quantity vs Quality of family time. Just because you are home all day does not mean you will be able to have all the quality time you could want. This one is especially difficult for the stay at home mom starting to work. You and your child are probably used to spending a lot of quality time together. It will be a hard adjustment to be able to dismiss your child while working so you can concentrate. Sure you can share in your child’s enthusiasm, but that does not mean you will always be able to give them the attention that either you or they want you to.
Once again, the decision to become a work at home mom is a very difficult and personal choice. Before deciding it is important to look closely at your situation and personality to decide if it is the right fix for you.
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