The life and trials of a WAHM

Does working from home sound like a dream to you? Many moms find something they’re passionate about and then turn it into a home-based business in order to be at home with the kids.

In fact, that’s how Beanie Designs’ baby hats started out.

Beanie Designs is made up of some fantastic WAHMs, led by Yacine Diop, who is a work-at-home mom herself. Our talented knitters and crocheters are also SAHMs, with also a few SAHDs pitching in.

While there are many wonderful businesses created and run by WAHMs every year, it’s not always the perfectly blissful blend of duties that others might imagine, however…

Speaking from my experience, working from home brings a totally unique set of challenges apart from non-working stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) and moms who work outside the home (WOHMs).

I haven’t always been the blogger for Beanie Designs. In my career as a WAHM, I’ve held a full-time regular job as marketing director for an Internet marketing company and I’ve also worked as a freelance writer, both from the comfort of my own home.

Being a WAHM has given me a lot of flexibility to take care of my family. In essence, I get to play mom all day while keeping a foothold in the working world.

But many WAHMS find that working from home often means spending much less time with the kids than originally envisioned. In fact, many WAHMs need to find some sort of care for their children while they’re working.

If you are telecommuting, you’ve got to be available to your employer and co-workers. If you’re running a home-based business, you need to be available to your customers, suppliers and employees, and then put in the long hours involved in marketing and maintaining your business.

At first, I tried hiring a nanny to care for my toddler as his naps shortened and his mobility increased. We went through a few nannies and eventually gave up on that route, though this is a very viable option for many SAHMs.

If you choose to keep your kids with you during the working day, fitting in work during naps and at night, you can find yourself stressed out and run ragged.

Phone calls were a nightmare for me when I was working full time. I can recall being on the phone with a subcontractor while holding my screaming toddler in my arms.

I lived in fear of the early nap wakeup. Every minute my child was sleeping had to be used for work. I found myself pulled in two directions all the time, giving neither work nor my family the attention I really wanted to.

To make matters worse, if you work from home, people often figure you’re not really working. You have to master saying no to people, which is tough for most moms as it is.

Nowadays I’ve found a better balance as I’ve scaled back my work responsibilities to what I feel I can comfortably and reliably achieve, while still focusing mainly on my kids.

Yes, with two kids now, I’m probably more of a SAHM than a WAHM.

But this year my oldest will start preschool. And in three years, his brother will also, so my SAHM/WAHM situation with be evolving as we go.

What about you?

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