Working from home Mum – pros, cons, and tips here for you!
I am a “Working from home Mum”, a title I love and appreciate a lot. I have worked hard to make it possible and I wake up every day being grateful about it. Especially now, as it is school holiday time.
I love it, but I am not gonna lie, it is not always easy and it definitely has it’s downsides as well
I’ve been working from home for about 7 years, and my kids are 15, 13 and 9 now. This means I have done it with young children at home and also now with older children at school, which obviously is slightly different. And I can objectively say that I find a lot of the pros are actually cons as well, and vice versa… does it makes sense? Yes? No? Either way, stick with me!
There’s no special order for my points, it’s just the way my weird brain comes up with ideas!
– More freedom! No boss, no one to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing!
Pros! I am a free spirit and I have also always been very independent. So I really love this. I can decide on what I want to focus my energy on, I can decide when and from where I want to work. I can work in my bed (like I do right now writing this post) or from a cafe, the beach, my office, where ever and whenever I want and it does suit my family. It’s awesome!
I can take days off if I need to, most of the time in regards to kids activities with school or sport.
Cons! because that does also mean that I have to come up on my own with a plan on how to reach my goals. Since I do not have anyone to deliver results to besides myself, I also need a really good dose of self-discipline.
Also, days I feel down and “do not feel like it” are tough love. Because I could just not since I have no one that makes me to. But that would be bad for my business, right? I could but I shouldn’t…
Tips: It took me time to realize this but I definitely work better with a coach. Firstly, I am getting pushed out of my comfort zone a lot more. And secondly, I have accountability partners and I am just generally more focused and result driven this way. It must be my ego. I want to show that I can if that makes sense…
Don’t be scared of having a coach,
Take the example of athletes. Can you list me high performing athletes who haven’t got a coach? It’s not a boss and it does not require you to spend a fortune either to get started with one. To give you an idea, my coach and accountability group cost me about $55 AUD per month at the present. I’ve had more expensive experiences in the past, but for now, this works great for me.
Be organized and have clear schedules! In the beginning, I was all over the place, my organization was pretty bad until I started planning and mapping my time out, setting aside time for each daily, weekly, monthly activities of my business.
I use Google Calendar and divide my days into blocks.
I have blocks for everything, not just business, but also private, kids, household chores, sport, downtime…as well. This is the only way for me to not start doing 7 things at once, with nothing done right. Now saying that those blocks help me stay on track of my day, actually get things done, but I do not want them to be too strict either, I can play the flexibility card as well if needed.
– More time with the kids!
Pros! That’s fantastic, especially during the school holiday now that my kids are all school aged. I can spend quality time with them, doing an activity we love, traveling, discovering things or just enjoy each other’s company.
I do not have to ask a boss to take days off or arrange school holiday care and miss out on time spent with them. It is bliss and we certainly love the school hols. But the same goes to before and after school care. I can drop my kids at the bus stop or school every day, I can get them from school, attend their activities and be a lot more present in their world, which I love so much. They grow up far too quickly and I enjoy spending time with them.
Cons! Even tho we are having fun during the school holiday, I still have work that needs to be done. I still have a business to look after and let’s be honest, it’s not easy to juggle it all when the kids are around. Mum with younger kids understand this even stronger.
Tips: I have two words here that are paramount for me, planning and discipline!
I wake up between 4.30 – 5am and GET THINGS DONE for about 2-3 hours, depending on what I have on that day. I have a clear goal of what I need to be achieved in that time, for example writing a blog post, writing a week worth of content, shooting a video, … Pure and intentional work, no distraction!
If you are more of an evening person, set this time aside in the evening when the house is back to calm and you can focus on your work.
1 power hour of downtime
We went to the beach in the morning and just had lunch, mum loves you but now is downtime kids! Take a book, watch a movie (not unsense TV zapping), have a nap or just get bored on your bed (yes, it is actually a good thing too, favorises creativity and meditation), you get the idea. Something they will not need me to help them with! My kids know I need to catch up on a few business things and they will let me do so because I have explained to them the importance of the power hour for mum and what we will be doing together afterward.
Mum of younger children, I have been in your shoes as well. My power hour of downtime was NAP time! Or when they became a little older and stopped napping, we had what we called “quiet room time” where they would go each in their room after lunch a play for themselves allowing me an hour of work. You better be organized and have your work ready to get the most out of the hour!
Using those methods help me to actually be more in the moment with my kids or hubby, without having to worry about when will I be able to do my business work.
– No commuting time!
Pros: no time lost in commuting, no expenses for petrol, parking or public transport. I love it. It takes me 30 seconds to reach my office in peak traffic time (when the cat is using my office chair as it’s own and the dog sleeping in front of my desk) I don’t like to commute, it stresses me.
Cons: to this day I haven’t found one! Or maybe just the fact that I could be using the commuting time for personal development, like listening to a podcast, training or reading a book on the train. However, keep reading, I’ve found another slot in my day for that!
– The casual feeling of working from my cocoon
Pros: no need to get all dressed up, fancy and corporate. Saves heaps of money and laundry in that domain. I love the feeling of working in very comfy clothes too I must admit. Although, I am making an effort of “getting ready” to crush it most days. It just puts me in the mood of achieving.
Cons: relationships I would say. It can feel lonely to work from home at times. No working colleagues or just “virtual contacts” with them.
Tips: Build your network and go out regularly to physically network with people in your domain of activity. At least once a month, I would recommend. Find a local business group, Attend events, it will give you the opportunity to not only meet up with people but also to get dressed up and feel the vibe and positive energy that are so unique to events.
– It is YOUR time organization, that suits YOU
Pros: get organized the way it suits YOU and your beautiful family. Work when the time is best for you. Your son has soccer training on Monday afternoons and your daughter’s got music on Thursday mornings before school? Well cool, you can make it! Just get organized for it.
Cons: A big one is distractions. For me, everyday life distractions like getting food ready to feed my troops or household chores are essentials I need to block time for, in order to avoid getting distracted during my work. But there is also social media. I work on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, and need to always make sure I am working with intention and not getting lost in wasting precious time on socials with no results.
Tips: Always work with intention. Set your alarm on your phone and within the allocated time frame, achieve what you were supposed to
– And some more…
Pros: I find it super rewarding to see what I can achieve. How far I have come and where my “inspirational juice” is taking me. I love my mission; helping other women and mums to create more health for their family and create the life they are dreaming about and deserve, sharing my love of healthy and clean and toxic-free living.
This next point, of course, depends on what you are doing at home but is definitely applicable to me. I love the example I am giving to my kids, that “the study hard, to get a good job” method our society is conditionate to, actually is not the only option in life. You can totally live a happy and successful life living your passion and helping others. Being an entrepreneur has changed me immensely, for the best. My mindset has grown in so many ways I am grateful for.
I love my lifestyle
I adore the freedom it gives me. We can travel as a family, I am free and I have considerably improved my healthy habits like exercising daily, meditating or spend time on personal development.
Cons: I sometimes find it hard to finish my day at the office as I can still physically see it. In an optimal setup, my office space would be totally separate from the rest of the house, but it isn’t. Working for myself from home is amazing and gives me a great deal of freedom but the amount of discipline, commitment, and organization necessary can feel tiring at times. It definitely has more to it than rock up at work, do it and leave.
– My biggest tip
Always work intentionally! Know what you want to get done, and do it! No messing around, your time with your family is far too precious to be wasted keeping you busy but not productive. Be intentional and focused (this helps, naturally of course!) on your road to success!
About the Author:
Natascha is firstly a wife and mum of 3, originally Swiss and a French native speaker, she lives in Queensland Australia. She also is a passionate online entrepreneur and author.
Natascha’s passion is to share the message of Living a Life of Purpose.
Her mission is to help other mums create more freedom to live their dream life while becoming healthier and happier!