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WAHM- Set Yourself Up For Success

Choosing to work from home is a big decision and is not always the best choice for everyone. Here is the post that I wish existed 10 years ago when I started down this road of having children and still bringing in an income.

For about 7 years I counseled families that were hosting au pairs in their home. It was my job to prepare the family for success before the au pair arrived, aid them in the initial transition and stay in touch with them throughout their stay in the US. I don’t know if anyone says this anymore, but I told my families to “Set Yourself Up For SUCCESS”. There are four main parts that I included in this advice.

1. Determine Your Goals

2. Set realistic expectations

3. Determine Your Non-Negotiables

4. Have a Plan B

Setting yourself up for success is the key to being a successful Work at Home Mom.

How to set yourself up for success as a WAHM.

Set yourself up for success work at home Mom with

1. Determine Your Goals

Your goals can include items like.

  • Using previous professional experience.
  • Getting out of the house and talking to adults.
  • Earning $___ a month.
  • Not having to leave the house.
  • Flexible scheduling.

I ran the social media for events. I thought I was doing well because I only took jobs during school hours until the boys would have an event and I missed it because of work. For me that was heart wrenching.

2. Set realistic expectations

  • Think about the everyday tasks your job or business demands. Can you realistically perform them?

I was a wedding planner when my boys were 3 and 1. My job required me to be on the phone for several hours a day. Any Mom that has tried to have a phone call along with a thought                    process with two young kids in the house knows why this is so entertaining.

  • How many hours will you work?

Is that actually doable with your current lifestyle? How will you block off the time? Are you going to be able to work when you are most efficient?

  • How will you meet your commitments when life demands your attention?

This not only relates to taking care of the children, how will you handle being ill or life smacking you in the face?

3. Determine Your Non-Negotiables

  • List out what you are and are not willing to sacrifice for the job. Both little and big topics.

Are you willing to let the laundry slide, but your floors need to be clean? Are you okay with putting a movie on to take a phone call in the closet after dinner or will you have strict work                  hours?

4. Have a Plan B

  • Have a plan for everything! I like to do laundry all week, but Saturday is my “hard stop”. I get it all caught up then if it has slid off the radar.
  • What do you do if your child is sick and you have a work function?
  • Who will meet your commitments if you get sick for a week?
  • What if the job is not a good fit for your family lifestyle?

This post isn’t meant to be a downer. Hopefully, I am helping you be prepared for a successful WAHM journey.

A point that I was really struggling with was the balance of my computer time once the boys came home from school. My priority is them, but I knew I was also missing valuable work time. They didn’t need my attention every second they were home, but I wanted to be available. I didn’t want to carry my laptop around and be jumping back and forth to it while at the kitchen table for homework. I really needed my desktop, but I was too removed from them in my office. I tried not working at all from 4-8pm. That didn’t completely work either. We finally have a solution. We have placed two tables in my office for the kids to work at. One is strictly for homework and the other is set up with crafty items. The most important key to the success is that I can see them while I work at my computer.

Another major point for me to realize was that I need a minimal amount of appointments out of the house. They simply caused me too much stress, which in turn ended up not being worth it.

Take some time and really think through all of the pieces that go along with the new job or business you are considering. It may seem nit-picky at the moment, but knowing that you can push the laundry off or you have a pizza waiting in the fridge for the perfect night off from cooking, really gives you the room to give yourself some grace to get your job done when everything starts pulling you in several directions.

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