Have you been thinking of working from home so you can take better care of your family?
Or you dove in already but you’ve been facing challenges you never anticipated?
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This is a guest post from Anita of Everyday Health and she’ll be talking about the common challenges work from home moms face and what to do about them.
Work at home mums are joining the working force in droves. This is because working from home provides you with the opportunity to continue working while simultaneously taking care of your family.
But before you get excited about working from home in your pjs, taking breaks whenever you like and enjoying lunch with your kids, you need to look at the difficulties you might face.
You might not want to look at the challenges ahead but once you know what to expect, you can tackle it head-on.
Work From Home Challenges Moms Face
1. Home Invasion
When you first decided to work from home, you probably thought that you could just sit at your kitchen island with your work laptop. Within a couple of weeks, your work papers are strewn over the kitchen table and dining room and might even migrate to other rooms.
This can pose quite a challenge if you have curious little ones running around. Your kids are likely to do a little home redecoration with the markers and tape dispenser they found on your countertop!
The only way to prevent this problem is to have a designated workroom or at the very least, a workspace.
Store all your work materials in your workspace and use child-proof locks to keep them safe from your toddlers.
2. Unending Distractions
As a work-at-home mom, you are essentially combining two purposes under one room – work and home.
This means that your home life is likely to seep into your workday.
Your toddler might spill his juice or get bored playing by himself and soon you find yourself immersed in household duties and neglecting your workload.
The only way to handle this challenge is to prepare your kids for it. Have a strict “no disturbing mommy while she’s
working” policy and stick to it.
Make sure that your kids have activities that can keep them occupied while you work instead of simply telling them to go play with their toys.
At the start, you might feel a little guilty but within a couple of weeks your children will adjust to the new routine and you will be allowed to work in peace.
3. Lack of Motivation
An office environment is conducive to work so once you’re working from home, it can be a challenge to stay motivated.
Once your initial excitement dies down, it’s likely that you will start to slack off. Instead of researching work, you catch yourself watching “just one more” cute kitty video for over an hour! If you’re not careful, you’ll soon land up on the couch in front of the TV too bored to work and ignoring deadlines.
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set daily or even hourly goals.
Looking after your kids might mean that you are unable to work for long stretches. Don’t let this deter you; instead, schedule 30-min periods for work in between your other responsibilities. This will help you stay motivated and increase your productivity.
Note from Editor: When I was pregnant with my third, I would slack off a lot until I decided to work for just 10 minutes 4 times a day at least. Once I started working thinking I would be free to do whatever else I wanted in the next 10 minutes, I got carried away and made huge productive strides. Maybe try this too.
4. Time Management
Time management is not just about setting aside regular work hours, it’s about how you budget your time.
One of the benefits of working from home is that you don’t need to follow a rigid timetable.
When creating your daily schedule, maintain a certain amount of flexibility so that you can still enjoy time with your kids. Once you streamline your day, you will notice that you are able to balance your work and home life duties.
The key to managing your time is to embrace routine while still remaining creative.
5. Accountability Issues
When you were working at an office, you had specific arrival and departure times, performance reviews and meetings. This defined your responsibilities and instilled a sense of ownership and commitment to work.
However, when you’re a work-at-home mom, you won’t have the same kind of pressure and so you might find yourself slipping up and missing deadlines.
This is a serious challenge and needs to be addressed ASAP as late deliveries or inferior work can cost you clients and you can land up out of business within months.
Use project management workflows, time tracking, and success metrics to ensure that you hold yourself accountable for your work.
Some really good tools include Trello, Kanban Flow and Tick Tock App if you use Andriod.
6. Setting Social Boundaries
Whether you’re talking to your son’s teacher or other PTA moms, the moment you say that you work from home, they immediately ask if you can take on additional responsibilities.
Somehow, working from home is viewed as “less” than a job that requires you to commute to an office.
Friends are also more likely to call you up during their work breaks assuming that you are available throughout the day since you’re a work-at-home mum.
Explain to your friends and family that you take your professional obligations seriously. Tell them when you are free to answer calls and messages.
Just because you work from home, you are not obligated to take on additional responsibilities. After all, work is work!
7. Finding the Right Opportunities
Surprisingly, even in today’s world of seemingly endless opportunities, it can be tough to find the right work from home opportunities.
You might find that most potential clients are only offering a fraction of what you were expecting or you might face difficulties finding a work-at-home position for the type of work you want to do.
This can be one of the toughest challenges for new work-from-home moms and it can rob you of your enthusiasm.
The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for work-at-home moms if you just know where to look.
There’s nothing more rewarding than pursuing your career goals from the comfort of your own home!
Work from home moms who are entrepreneurs with a product will also need to take into account the amount of time they will need for networking and sales on a daily basis. On the other hand, freelance writers and bloggers will need to invest a huge chunk of their time to find new clients and projects.
But the one thing that every successful work-at-home mom has in common is that they keep trying until they succeed!
Anita Fernandes as a work from home mom has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome anxiety and depression. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.