Taking care of your baby and balancing a professional life at the same time can seem like an impossible mission. Doing both of these things from the comfort of your own home would be like a dream come true, right? There are some advantages to a work-at-home mom arrangement, but there are some things you need to watch out for as well.
Work-at-home parents get to enjoy a couple of attractive financial benefits. For one, you don’t have to spend a single dime on commuter costs. This also gives you a lot more time to be productive, as opposed to spending an hour or two on a train or bus.
While you’re working from home, childcare costs are significantly reduced or removed outright. Most remote jobs won’t require your full attention at all times, which means you can take care of your baby as you please. However, you need to take productivity into account. If your productivity is being affected by childcare, you might want to consider outside help after all.
Impacts on lifestyle
It’s hard to stress how much time is lost when you have to go out to work. Not only are you sacrificing time just to get properly dressed and ready for work, but you’re also losing a lot of potential time to take care of yourself.
When you’re taking a break at work, you don’t get to choose how to spend that time. A cup of coffee or a quick chat at the water cooler is the best you can hope for. At home, you can do just about anything you want. Working out just half an hour per day would have an enormously positive effect on your health and body. You could even take up another hobby like knitting to pass the time while you regain your focus.
Being alone can lead to some detrimental effects down the road. People tend to neglect themselves when they don’t have to be presentable for work or school. Unhealthy habits can form and you need to be wary of this.
Geography is a big factor when searching for a job. A lot of people live in areas that don’t offer as many interesting or lucrative business opportunities. Small towns can seem like career dead ends for someone that has to stay in one place and take care of their child.
Because of this, telecommuting can seem like the ideal solution. You get to work remotely and it doesn’t matter where you live. You could work from the top of a mountain if you could find a good WIFI signal, as long as you get the job done.
However, professional advancement might not be possible from a remote work position. Any type of management position usually requires a hands-on approach. Advancing your career can be pretty difficult if you work from home. Networking becomes more of a chore than a natural part of working. You have to make sure that you stay in touch with your coworkers, even when they’re hundreds of miles away.
Fewer work-related distractions
When you’re working from home, you don’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle of an office environment. Nobody is going to pester you to attend unnecessary meetings or team building exercises. You decide what you do with your own time and when you want to focus on work.
On the other hand, your home responsibilities will creep into your work time significantly. Taking care of your child is always going to be a priority, which means it’s going to interrupt your work every once in a while. To minimize this kind of effect, you should keep all the bare essentials in a practical nappy bag close to you. This way, you don’t have to worry about wasting time looking for things when your baby needs you.
Time spent with your baby
One of the more noticeable advantages of working from home as a mother is that you can spend a lot more time with your little bundle of joy. You get to see every important moment from your child’s development and you can guide them through it. A couple of years before your child starts going to school make up a period that you will treasure for the rest of your life, which is why you want to spend as much of it as possible close to your baby.
Despite what you may feel, you probably shouldn’t overdo it. You’re going to be tempted to continuously play with your child even when you’re busy with work and this can lead to issues. You don’t want to burn out while taking care of your kid. Keep the playtime and attention moderate so you can spend time on work-related activities as well.
Working from home has its pros and cons. It’s important that mothers weigh their options before deciding how to advance with their careers. If you opt to work from home, make sure you take the necessary steps to make the job easier on yourself.
A millenial mom (of two boys) who has passion in makeup and motherhood in between.