It’s been over a year since I’ve fully transitioned into being a work-at-home mom, a.k.a. WAHM. Prior to that I was a stay-at-home/homeschool mom, and perfectly happy to be so. Due to massive weirdness at hubby’s job, along with rising costs associated with the kids’ sports, I needed to step into a different role.
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To say the transition to being a work-at-home moms was easy-peasy would be a big fat lie. Luckily for you, I learned a thing or two (or seven) that can help you manage the transition into being a bona-fide WAHM.
But first, let me dispel something that might be niggling the back of your mind, as it was in mine:
Myth: If you’re not making the equivalent of at least a PT job, you’re not a WAHM
That’s just nuts. Technically, if you’re working and you’re at home—and you’re a mom—you’re a work-at-home mom. If you’re just starting your WAHM journey, you might not have a lot of incoming cash. Worse, you might be sinking a bit further into the hole as you launch a business. As I mentioned in this post, it takes money to make money. Not only that, it takes time.
How to Manage the Transition Into Work-at-Home Mom:
You need to have several discussions, both with your family and with your closest buds. Why? Because your time and priorities are about to change. Obviously your family will outrank your work, but your work will start to outrank your free time, and probably your time to volunteer and generally hang out and sip mai-tais. (Not that that’s what I’ve been doing all along, a-hem.)
Make sure your family is truly okay with your decision to start working. Their lives will really change, depending on how much time you’re going to put into your business or venture. If not discussed, resentment can build, especially in younger children. Make sure everyone knows how the change will personally benefit them.
(For example, if you want to keep traveling to soccer tournaments, it’s a good time to cheer me on!)
Because you won’t have time to clean every stain and wipe everyone’s noses, it’s important to adjust everyone’s expectations. Examples:
- How much you’ll be available for household tasks
- Hours you’ll be working
- Time you have for fun stuff
- What the home will look like (cleaning, cooking, etc.)
- Everyone needs to know exactly what’s changing and when.
As I mentioned in this post, delegate is not a 4-letter word. Everyone will need to put on their big-boy/big-girl pants and fill in the gaps now that you’ll be otherwise occupied. You MUST take this step. You CANNOT be expected to do the same level of upkeep at home while also working. It wouldn’t be healthy for anyone. Examples:
- Grocery shopping
Adjust Household Budget
While it sounds grand to have mom working and bringing in extra money, that might not be the case starting out. Your budget may need to include extra household help and easy meals. I know it sounds a little backwards, after all, if there was money for extra fluff-n-stuff, you wouldn’t need to work.
But realize ahead of time that launching a business from home—or any kind of work-at-home venture—is going to take an all-out effort, and likely take more time than you think. That leaves a greater need for time savers, which often cost money.
Another thing to consider is establishing a budget for your business. It’s important to set limits. (Ask me how I know!)
If you’re committed to working at home, here are more resources for you to investigate:
Mogul Mom – How to Quit Your Job,The Work At Home Mom: How to makeA Work at Home Mom’s Ultimate Guide toStay at Home Jobs for Moms: An EssentialWork From Home Jobs: 101+ Real Companies ThatHow To Work at Home With a Toddler
If you’re used to running everyone thither and yon for activities or school, or dropping off lunch at hubby’s work, or volunteering, guess what? That’s going to have to change. In an ideal world you’ll still be able to juggle your work with everyone’s schedules, but depending on how much time you’ve decided to put into your business, there’s going to be some adjustments.
Consider adding a household scheduler somewhere that all family members can see and take note. Your brain can no longer be mission control.
Partition a Work Area
Depending on the size and configuration of your home, this may or may not work. The point is, try. If you can, set a room aside that’s just for work, or at least a room where you can close the door. Otherwise, get creative!
Stick your work space in a hidden nook or corner, or hang a partition. Do SOMETHING to segregate the place you work from the place you play and interact with your family. Not only does it give you a place to leave behind when you’re finished working, but it lets people know that when you’re in this space, KEEP OUT.
Unless there’s blood. Even I can make an exception every now and then.
Set Office Hours.
Again, depending on your situation and the ages of your kids, setting office hours may be a challenge. This is an area where you need to do your best, both for your mental health and for the stability of the family. You have to be able to step away from your work and not let it consume you.
These are my best tips for transitioning into the work-at-home life. Honestly? I’m loving it.
To be a successful WAHM, learn to change your thinking—but keep your priorities. Best wishes on your journey!
Do you have tips for transitioning into being a work-at-home mom?