So I realized the other day, it’s been exactly three years since I made the freakin scariest decision ever to leave my “stable” full-time job in digital marketing. I say “stable” – because shortly after I left the magazine I worked for, it was sold and several of my friends and colleagues were blind-sided by a slew of lay-offs. But as life would have it, we’ve all since gone on to pursue careers that fulfilled us in ways we never would have imagined possible had we stayed in our comfort zones. For me personally, it meant fully transitioning to working from home primarily on my blog, as well as getting my first real taste of the freelance world. I learned very quickly that trying to juggle a career from home, while being a mom to two little ones, and keeping up with my first house after living in a 1 bedroom – was challenging to say the least. Any preconceived notion I had about the work-at-home mom life went completely out the window and into the gutter.
First lesson learned: Getting work done while a baby naps is a farce. Especially when said baby exclusively breastfeeds and only takes naps in the comforts of mama’s arms…for 6 months. Not to mention, ohhh the 6 loads of laundry to start and forget to finish, the dishes to pre-wash and half-way load, and the disgusting floor that easily has a three layer mixture of – goldfish, hair, and cookie crumbs that makes you wonder why you bothered to refinish those old wood floors in the first place. So I did what any self-loathing mom would do – I called in reinforcements. My mom, my husband’s mom, the mom across the street, the pool lady – ok that last one I made up, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t slightly assessed her childcare capabilities in a moment of desperation. Because I had a hunch there were a lot of other mamas out there with some pretty strong opinions and experiences in the matter – I asked 10 fellow WAHMs and boss babes to weigh in on the biggest myths they were told about working from home. Read on and prepare to be both enlightened and entertained – cuz we know you know it’s true ?
Top 10 Work-at-home mom myths busted
“Hire the help. I put it off for a while thinking I could get work done during nap times and in the evening. That quickly burned me out. I now hired childcare and dedicate 3 days a week for my work. It makes me happier and I know my family and home is still being taken care of.” – Kelsey Kosztowny, Motherhood in May
“It’s definitely more work than you expect 24/7 ? and you are always tired. There’s also the anxiety of having to finish your work but also needing to give your kids the attention they need” – Victoria Omoto, Victoria Ashley Photography
“Most people think that being a sahwm (stay at home working mama) is the easy way out. Not only do you have to tend to your kids needs 24/7, you’re playing the wife role as well. Somewhere in there you’re trying to balance your side hustle and give that the time and effort it needs to be able to continue to stay home. It’s a daily battle to set the time aside not only for yourself but your husband as well. I give so many props to all mamas out there!” – Kailyn Hochstetler, @kailyn_daneal
“Sleep when the baby sleeps. They don’t tell you that’s actually not possible unless you only have one kid ?. Things they didn’t tell me: My electric bill would go through the roof bc of how often I would have to heat up my coffee in the microwave ?♀️. Work from home moms don’t get a lunch break. Or a bathroom break. Or a 15 min break. Or a 15 second break or a quiet drive to work like dads do ?.” – Lauren McDonald, @lauren_mcmama
“One myth is that you get to make your own schedule. WRONG. My toddler naps vary from 45 mins to 2 hours. (Usually 45 mins). Another myth: I will wake up before everyone else to get that ‘me’ time. WRONG. My toddler wakes at 5am. And I’m just not cut out to wake up at 4 ?.” – Emily McAllister, Chasing Mcallisters
“Probably the biggest myth I’ve experienced is that it’s “easier” than going into an office every day……which could NOT be further from the truth. I DREAM of zoning out at an office desk for 8 hours of silence sometimes….” – Lauren Olson, Sleep and the City
“That I won’t need childcare. I’ve been working from home for a few months and can’t get anything done with 2 toddlers always wanting to touch or cuddle mommy if she’s not making them something to eat! Right now I am on the hunt for a babysitter to come over for a few hours a week so I can focus.” – Onyi Azih, Sincerely Onyi
“Staying at home with kids must be great…I am sure you get to sit around and eat bon bons all day. Having the chance to do whatever you want to since you aren’t at a 8-5 job’ : Yea right…the closest I come to bon bons are those look-alike objects found in my 2 year old’s panties when she decides to not use the potty. Not fun having to take care of that while you are in the middle of typing up a sponsored post due by lunch. Oh, and I wish I could sit around…chasing a toddler around gives very little time of sitting or even sending out an email without having to edit 5-7 times due to my attention span being very limited. Although it is difficult to find the balance as a WAHM, the benefits do out weigh the chaos (and lack of bon bon eating). Being home when my kids need me to be has been an amazing opportunity ?.” – Clair Cook, The Sprouting Minds
“I don’t know if anyone told me or I just made it up in my head, but I always thought WAHM would be easier to “balance”. Turns out, if you don’t block out specific time, you’ll end up working all the time and you and your kids will go crazy. My advice is I don’t have any advice but to set your expectations low, until you get in a groove…and even then only raise them a little bit. Make work time and off time, just like you would if you were leaving the home.” – Aryn Hinton, Musings on Motherhood
“The biggest struggle I have with working at home is finding balance between working, being a mom, a wife and keeping up with the household duties. There is so much that I want to get done in a day but I have to prioritize my to-do list and work really hard when my son is sleeping so that I can give him my attention when he’s awake. Aside from working there are a million other things to do around the house — laundry, dishes, cleaning, groceries, make dinner etc. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay if those things are put on the back burner for a little bit. It’s okay if you can’t do it all.” – Jessica deGroot, Rose Colored Glasses
I hope we gave you some insight into what it’s really like to work from home, along with some helpful tips from mom’s who’ve totally been there. I’d love to hear what y’all think – did we bust all the myths, or do you have some you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!