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Sticky Fingers And Wet Kisses: The Pitfalls Of Work At Home Moms

Jul 16, 2008
It sounds like the best of both worlds for moms: earning money while you stay at home with your children. You envision working away on your computer, while your toddler plays happily at your feet, or taking conference calls with corporate bigwigs while you ice your child's birthday cake. So perfect, so easy, so doable.

The reality is something quite different. You sit down at the computer to work on that project, you child chooses that moment to spit up. Two minutes into that conference call, the children start fighting and the screams can be heard all the way to Tokyo.

But despite the pitfalls, more and more women are finding ways to successfully work from home. How do they balance their job and their role as mother when it all happens under the same roof? What are the pitfalls? And how to you overcome them?

First, you need time to get the work done. In order to do this, you may want to consider hiring a babysitter or nanny to watch after your little ones while you work. The babysitter or nanny can keep your kids entertained and safe. However, this is an extra cost that can severely reduce your earnings. If you have an older child, you may be able to enlist him or her to watch the younger ones. This isn't a perfect solution. You will still be frequently called upon to break up arguments and soothe hurt feelings whenever the siblings don't agree.

Children aren't the only ones who will interrupt your work. If you have pets at home, you'll often be pulled away from your desk to tend to their needs as well. One mom who runs a lucrative business with on-line auctions quickly learned that her dog would go crazy whenever the delivery van would come to the house. She would have to settle down her dog down, who was barking loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss, while also having to deal with the delivery man and keep her children happy. But what can she do? Her children love that dog. And so does she.

One way to find some uninterrupted work time is to work at night when the children are all tucked into their beds. Some moms find jobs that give them the flexibility to do this such as bookkeeping or taking customer service calls at night. This is not a cure all, however. You need to take care of yourself and get the sleep your body needs. Otherwise, you'll be facing the next day cranky and drowsy. If you do decide to work at night, don't forget that afternoon naps can be just as refreshing for adults as it is for your kids.

Sometimes it is the job itself that can cause pitfalls when working from home. Employers often undervalue the work work-at-home moms do. And some even claim poor quality and reject the work just to get out of paying for the work at all. Not only that, only rarely will you find a position that offers healthcare benefits, other insurance benefits, and retirement plans. It is up to you to budget and plan for your elder years.

Finally, the worst pitfall of working from home and being a mother is the lack of adult contact. There is no water cooler chatter of coffee break gossip; mom?s day is full of sticky fingers, ?look what I found under the leaves,? and candy coated wet kisses. The pitfall most moms would choose any day.
About the Author
If you are looking to make extra money from home, then make sure you check out Jessica's free movie about jobs for stay at home moms, and work for stay home moms .
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