Hey you power moms going back to work! You may only have a 29 second commute, and happy to not drive a car, and to zip into the office and desk from almost any room in the house.
But, going into an at-home work venture without solid family support for the idea can prove to be a huge mistake. If family members do not understand that work time is important or that work calls shouldn’t be interrupted with blaring rock ‘n’ roll music from a teenager’s room, then an uphill battle will be fought.
When mom entrepreneurs choose to work out of their homes, they are not the only ones who will be impacted by the decision.
What options exist for success with working at home?
Your husband, older children and anyone else living in the home will also feel the effects. For the most part, having Mom at home is a great thing. Families, however, will need to kick in and help. If they don’t support your decision, your business venture could be dead in the water before it even gets started. You are a vital part of the family, and they need you, but boundaries must be set and understood by all.
To make sure your family is onboard, ask yourself these things:
1. Have I discussed the idea thoroughly with all family members? If you haven’t, you will want to do so. Make sure that everyone who is old enough understands that just because you are home doesn’t mean that working hours are any less important is vital for your (and your family’s) chances at success.
2. Will older family members provide backup during emergencies?
Work at home moms still need to attend meetings, meet deadlines and get out and network (tweetups, anyone?). When the need for serious focus time presents itself, it is imperative to have someone who can step in and take care of childcare and/or household duties. And, it is not all on Daddy, people!
3. Help Out Around The House
It can be very tempting for family members to leave everything for you to do just because you’re home. While they might have pitched in to cook, shop, do laundry and so on when you worked outside the house, this might stop if you don’t get proactive with establishing boundaries now. It is all too easy for spouses and older children to think that just because Mom is working at home, she’s always more available to handle other tasks. While it’s likely you’ll be able to do more if you can multitask well, you just won’t be able to do it all every day. Make sure younger kids understand that you need your physical and mental ‘space’.
4. Stay Onboard
Make sure you and your partner fully discuss the idea of working at home before you dive in. If you don’t have 100 percent support from your partner, you will find yourself up a river without a paddle, as the saying goes. Make sure to discuss the situation with an open mind. If there is resistance, share your business plan, your budgeting and other backup materials. Chances are your partner will love the idea of your child not being raised outside the home. Just do make sure your partner is onboard and will stay that way. Run through the budgets together, and make sure there is transparency about money. That is the #1 reason for divorce in this country. You don’t want that.
5. Help Out In A Pinch
Juggling home and office life is hard no matter what. If you’re running your own business, there are times when you will have to drop the proverbial ball on home duties, childcare or something. With this in mind, it can be imperative to your business and its chances for success that you have contingency plans in place for emergencies. Is your spouse willing to take a day off to watch a sick child if you have a big sale or marketing launch that needs to be made? Will older children or grandparents pick up a younger child when you just can’t be there? Make sure you have a good support system in place and half your battle will be won. If you have none or few of these options, make sure you have a budget for baby-sitters or get professional help (outsource it).
Working from home after being out in the world can be a bit of a challenge for an entire family to adjust into. If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, the challenges can be even greater. Working at home can sound glamorous and exciting. This is just not always the case, I’ve found. It can present a number of obstacles that must be overcome to ensure success. After all, everyone is used to having you there to help them. Moving into an at-home career means that even if you are there, sometimes priorities will have to shift focus. If your family is truly onboard, you will have an edge in whatever endeavor you pursue.
What do you think?
- 4 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Working from Home (famousbloggers.net)
- How to Manage Employees Who Work From Home (brighthub.com)