So, what are some of the challenges that a work from home mom faces? There are many and sometimes they seem endless. Dads fall into this too, so lets not forget them!
- guilt – when it comes to children, this is such a large and heavy topic that it just by itself can be its own post. We homeschool, but when my daughter was little we had her in preschool so she could make friends, learn how to interact with other people, etc. I will be very honest, I don’t know how many times I would drop her off and end up crying all the way home because the guilt was overwhelming. All I could think was “I work from home, I have flexibility in my schedule, why am I leaving my baby with other people?’ I knew why, it would benefit her in the long run, but the mommy guilt is a real thing. The other guilt comes from being there, being able to be seen and touched by your kids, but not really being there. Lets just say, my daughter learned from a young age that mommy had to work, whether she liked it or not. Which brings me to…
- time management – we instituted ‘quiet time’ at a very young age with my daughter. At the time she was born I had been working from home for years, I had an established routine. The trick was fitting her into the routine and tweaking it to make everyone happy.
- juggling work and home time and…
- being able to disconnect from work – and enjoy home life – just remember it will still be there tomorrow, deal with it then.
- kids (spouses, family members, mailmen, neighbors, etc.) thinking that just because you are home, you aren’t doing anything – and its time to chat!
- leaving the house chores for ‘off’ time – I know, what parent actually has time off. (Not too many that I know of). If the kids are big enough have them help, it’s never too early to learn how to take care of a home. Yes, it may not be just how you like it, or do it, but if you want them to keep helping – Praise them and move on! As they grow they will get better.
- leaving the screaming/crying child to be cared for by your spouse/babysitter – why is the kid crying? Dad can’t find the toy they want, put in earplugs – dad will find it.
- the need for adult conversation/feeling of isolation – especially if you have small children. And I don’t mean writing emails or talking on IM, I mean talking to an actual in-person adult that can complete full sentences and you don’t have to explain what you talking about.
- transition time between work and home – my husband has always commuted at least 30 minutes between home and work. This allowed him transition time, he could leave the worries of home at home and focus on work, and vice-versa when he left work. When you work at home you don’t have that closure or decompression from one to the other. Over my time working, I have come to realize that it is really important, especially if you are going thru a stressful time in either place. Something as simple as going for a walk or taking a few minutes to breath and clear your mind between them helps, allowing you to put away worries and focus on what’s next.
- feeling unappreciated/underappreciated – everyone wants to feel valued, pulling two (or more) jobs at the same time can wear on you.
- lack of support – “you work at home, your job is easy.” working from home brings its own challenges, being a work from home mom, can be exhausting. Its even worse when people don’t understand.
And I am sure there are many, many more that I haven’t even thought of.
If you work at home, what’s your biggest challenge?