It’s only recently that I’ve officially been a stay at home mom- 3 months to be exact. Before then I worked from home full time for 10 years.
My being able to work from home was a godsend. Only 8 short months of working in the office and I was quickly transitioned to working from home. I jumped when the opportunity presented itself because of one very specific reason. Family.
At the age of 28, I knew that I wanted to someday start a family. But, what always concerned my husband and I was, how? We didn’t have the option to rely on family and we couldn’t afford daycare. Besides, we weren’t comfortable with letting someone else essentially raising our kids for 10 hours each day. Working from home was a win-win! I’d be able to continue to contribue to our household income while at the same time be home to care for the kids. It seemed like the perfect solution.
Or so we thought….
The first 3 years were wonderful. But things quickly changed once we started a family. Being a full-time mom already has its challenges. Add to that a demanding full-time job and what started out as wonderful quickly became chaotic.
This was how I survived those first few months. It was the only way I could get work done.
Perhaps if my work schedule was flexible it wouldn’t have been as stressful. But I worked a traditional work shift with scheduled breaks and lunches that had to be adhered to. There really was no flexibility. I was working from home but still very much working as though I was in the office.
The thing I never expected to experience while being a work at home mom was all the STRESS!!!
What was I stressed about? It was SO hard being at home with my kids but not being present with them. I was there physically but my attention was on work and trying to meet deadlines. I’d have things prepared for them the day before to keep them occupied during my work hours. But, kids want and crave interaction with their parents. I tried to balance things as much as I could but it just wasn’t working. I hated having to tell my kids to wait while I sat in front of the computer trying my best to be a good productive employee. Oftentimes I felt as though I was choosing my job over my kids and that wasn’t a good feeling. At the end of my 10 hour shift, I was exahausted and felt emotionally drained. But that was just the first half of my day. Now the 2nd shift would begin and my kids would have their much deserved mommy time.
I’m not saying that being a work at home mom can’t work. Of course it can! There are millions of women around the world that manage their work from home successfully. But there are definitely some factors involved in keeping your sanity and work/life balance.
1. Time Flexibility. If I was able to make my own hours this would’ve helped tremendously!
2. Age Of The Kids. The younger they are, the more attention and direction they need.
3. Lastly- Where Are The Kids? Are they away during the day at school so you can focus on work? Or are they home with you? Obviously, the latter gives more challenges.
My kids are now 5 & 7 years old and growing fast! I’m so thankful for the journey I’ve been on from being a work at home mom to a stay at home mom. As stressful as the last 7 years have been, it’s given me my 2 beautiful babies. And I’m so grateful for the past 3 months. It’s been a blessing. And I’m super thankful for my supportive husband. None of this would’ve been possiblewithout him!