I cannot tell you how many people have called me, written to me and stopped me in social situations to ask about finding work as a home-based working mom. Easy as pie?
“This is the hardest job in the world” I often reply, “but, well worth every minute of it!”
I had a discussion with a single mother recently, and she informed me that she had felt guilty for nearly 10 years while she worked outside of the home and left her daughter in daycare. After having a second child and going through a divorce, she said the past two years have truly opened her eyes to the realization that she is now (and always has been) doing what is best for herself and her children by working and following a career path.
This discussion made me really think about my home-based expectations and the reality of my decisions.
Six years ago I was pregnant with my first child. I quit working a couple of months before she was due to take some time for myself. Without a thought or a plan, I became a home-based working mom in a matter of weeks when my previous employer asked for my assistance. Since then, business has boomed and I have made a transformation from a mom who took on odd word processing jobs to a thriving business owner. I never had any expectations of this home-based lifestyle. I never looked at the reality of my decision because I was having too much fun!
Is this the same for other moms?
Many women struggle with the kids verses career aspects of motherhood and find that a home-based lifestyle would solve many work-related problems. When a work from home goal is set and put into action, the expectations verses the reality may surprise you:
“I expected to learn a little bit.” Says Janet Drez, author of Putting the Pieces Together. “Reality is that I have grown and been stretched in more ways than I could ever have imagined. I am not the same person I was when I started. I’m a much more confident and outgoing woman, my faith has grown, I’ve become a better time manager, more flexible, and more spontaneous than I ever would have been.” Additionally, Janet says “Sometimes the expectation versus reality isn’t always negative!”
What about the freedom that accompanies working from home? Joyce Scott, CEO of SuperbSpeakers.com states “The great thing is that I love to have meetings over a meal I made at home (and) take walks in nearby parks while discussing business with clients and suppliers.” She also takes the time to share her business with her children, “…and I enjoy the fact that my sons visit me and learn more about my business so they (can) help me.”
The final consideration is the financial aspects of quitting a job in lieu of working from home. “Many outsiders may assume that those of us who work from home are probably giving up a lot, particularly in the earnings department, and this couldn’t be farther from the truth! I make an excellent living as a freelance writer from home and I have the job flexibility to be available for my three-year-old son.” States writer Amy Bowles.
Is it really possible that so many women have conquered the kids vs. career questions and the reality of this decision has exceeded their expectations?
I believe we can conclude that the answer to that question is a definite YES. It is never as easy as pie to quit a job and open your own business. The struggles along the way can make or break you. But, as moms, we have a quest to give the very best that we can to our children. I believe we also have the same desire to nurture our businesses in the same manner. Being home-based is the best lifestyle for me and my children and for scores of other moms. Facing the reality of our home-based expectations, and finding success as a sometimes-surprising result makes a home-based decision the ice cream on the pie!
Tammy Harrison is a successful home-based working mom for over five years. She holds a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. Her business focuses on Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses as well as numerous other small businesses.