WAHM's--How Do You Make It Work?

Updated on June 12, 2008
A.N. asks from Green Lane, PA
9 answers

Hello Ladies,

I am currently a SAHM of a 3.5 year old and an almost 2 year old. I have been presented with a great opportunity to work part time from home. I am curious how other WAHM's make it work. I worked at home for two years prior to staying home for the past year. I ended up completely burned out. I was working whenever my husband was home (evenings and weekends), so we had little family time or together time. I felt like I never had a break. It took a toll on our family and my sanity. I am finally feeling like I have my life, home, and family under control again, and we are enjoying life. Now, this great opportunity comes up, and I am torn! To make things more confusing, we had just started talking about having another baby. In addition, we are new to this area and have no family or friends nearby to help out.

How do you work at home and manage to make time for your family and yourself and keep up with your home (I am a clean freak!)? Any personal experiences or advice would be very much appreciated as I make this big decision.

Thanks in advance!

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K.J.

answers from Columbus on

Hi A.!
I work my MelaBiz around my family. So, when my son sleeps I do what needs to be done. Our team is amazing ( all moms ) so we have a system set up that is really easy to use even when the kiddos are awake. Setting business hours is a must. The more you stick to those the better your family will adjust. My son is now 18mths and we are very blessed to be where we are.
Take that opportunity and make your life better for your family. Always put your family first- as they need you the most! Good Luck!

K.

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A.O.

answers from Indianapolis on

I also work from home. I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. I think the easiest way is to schedule work time around your family. I take advantage of nap times, and after the kids go to bed. I think you just have to figure out a schedule. The whole point of working from home is so that you can enjoy your family more, not take away from them.
Good Luck

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H.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi, A. -

I work from home as a web application programmer, and it's been a real blessing. My husband and I have been running our own small consulting business for the past 6 years, and business is booming. However, it does take a huge toll. My "office" is the living room couch, so it's often difficult for those around me to remember that I'm working. Thankfully, I'm very good at tuning things out, so that enables me to still be nearby my people while working vs. isolating myself in an office.

My husband and I essentially trade off on caring for our daughter and have a couple of hours where we are both "off the clock" - dinnner time to our daughter's bed time, usually. Thereafter, we both go back to work, from home.

As for our house - we have 5 cats and 2 dogs, plus our 3 year old. Decently organized it IS, and decently tidy, too. CLEAN it is not. I am the cleaner of the family, and working full time plus parenting plus animal care and volunteering and all the other stuff we do leaves little time to keep things spick and span. I'd LOVE a continuously tidy house, but, to me, it's not of primary significance, in the grand scheme. There's nothing that I would want to give up just to provide more time to do the same cleaning task day after day.

What I'd advise for you is this: Give the opportunity a try, but keep your priorities in line. If this job is cutting into your time and your balance without the requisite benefit to your LIFE, then you should quit it. One thing that I'd suggest is to set your employer's expectations at a manageable level - say you're available 20 hours a week, not 30 or 40. That will mean 4 5-hour days or 5 4-hour days, leaving your weekends free. You HAVE to have time for JUST yourself and your family without work intruding, and if you are working so much that you can't keep your home up to your desired standard, then that is going to start festering.

Also, if you are a person who needs a separate space in the home to focus yourself, then that would be a good thing to prepare before the pressures start building... and having a good number of webcams or baby monitors set up, for those times when you won't have the benefit of a husband's help or other care providers, can make for some decent auditory supervision of your kids, in a pinch. You might also consider working in the later afternoons, when the older kids in your neighborhood are off of school so that they could serve as babysitters/playmates a couple times a week.

It's definitely a difficult balance, and I am almost always overly tired. I comfort myself and feel inspired by the thought that I am still able to be with my daughter, stay at home, AND provide an income for us to bank for her future. Being self-employed is always tenuous, so I feel that this is "making hay while the sun shines," especially important in this weird economy.

I hope these suggestions help!
H.

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J.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

One of my tenants works from home and has 4 girls! Get this, TWO of them have special needs, one with down syndrome, and one with seizures! She's an AMAZING lady! She has so many errands to run the girls back and forth to school since they can't ride the bus, and also take care of the other two and run to physical therapy appts, and I won't even tell you how much more! BUT, I have asked her how she does it, and I'll tell you what she told me. She said that on days when all her girls are in school, she takes them and then comes home and works until noon when she has to go pick the first one up. On days where she has kids at home, she wakes up at 5, and works until the first child wakes up. Then, she works some on Saturdays to get caught up during weeks where she hasn't had much time to work throughout the week days. It definitely can be done, it just takes dedication and time management.

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J.G.

answers from Columbus on

Okay, so you wanna know how to be Super Woman? Well, you better grap a cape...ha!

Working from home is very challenging - but your solutions would all depend on the job requirements. I have worked full time from home since my son was born (2 years). I am a Realtor & my job can be very flexible but also very time consuming & spontaneous.

Here are some ideas that might help:

1) Figure out which job tasks you can do while your children are awake. Maybe a couple 1/2 hour slots while they watch a special program or eat their meals with you nearby.

2) Keep a priority list at all times - sometimes I have to use Max's naptime for a nap myself. Sometimes I have to get the house clean or prep dinner - and sometimes I have to work.

3) Ask for help from anyone who will give it. Spread out the wealth of work & don't micro manage every task. Be glad it's done!

4) Get Daddy to pitch in to free you up to work...maybe bath & books every evening to gain you another 30 minutes...or a park outing every Saturday morning...

Basically you just have to get creative. Accept that you cannot do it all & know that you will continue to feel overwhelmed at times whether you work or don't work. So, do what feels best for you and then use those "freak" skills to get it all in order.

Good luck!

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M.W.

answers from Dayton on

I work from home but I work when and where I want to. I bring home about $200 a night when I work. No, I am not a pole dancer-ha but I do love what I do! I am an Independant Spa Consultant with Beauticontrol! We share the Dayspa experience with other woman and they love it! I have no problems getting bookings because woman love to be pampered!

If you would like to know more look at my webpage or email me at

[email protected]____.com

www.beautipage.com/michelewells

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A.K.

answers from Cleveland on

.I am an Avon representative and I am also a Unit Leader, I am looking for all SAHM's or WAHM's that want a new and exciting career with AVON. I would LOVE to have you on my team. It only cost $10.00 to join and you can make wonderful new friends that will last a lifetime and make some extra money to boot! email me with questions at [email protected]____.com or go to:

http://www.start.youravon.com

enter my passcode: akrutko

I can't wait to hear from you!

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J.M.

answers from Cleveland on

A., WHAT TYPE OF HOME JOB OR BUSINESS DO YOU DO?
i can help you gain financial sucerity for the rest oif your life. go to my web site www.SafeMomJackie.com and fill out all the4 ino click on MORE INFO. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON

J.

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C.M.

answers from Bloomington on

I went back to work part-time after working full-time and then taking a break. I tried to write at home (I'm working on a fiction), but it didn't work well. Now I'm working for the university press and although I enjoy it (and need it--I get really grumpy if I'm with kids all day), my boss is extremely understanding and would have to be to have it work out. I still have to work around doctor's appts, sick time, etc., though, and it is really tough. I miss taking the kids to the park in the afternoon.

My suggestion is that if you enjoy being with your kids, spend the time with them now. Other job opportunities will present themselves and it's silly for you to drive yourself to your grave.

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