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Avoiding The Work At Home Mom Blues

Jul 18, 2008
The fax machine's shrill tone broke into the still silent room. I leaped to grab the receiver and terminate the transmission; having just managed to put my fussy teething baby down for his nap, I was determined that nothing would disturb his rest. Unfortunately, that fax had been from my client. Now I'd have to call him back and ask him to re-send after I'd turned the ringer off. That would entail some over-the-phone \"face time\", where he'd pick my brain for several minutes, or just shoot the breeze while I itched to get some work done while the baby slept.

Being a full-time mother and working from home has many challenges. Originally, it seemed like the best idea ever. I could still be brining in money while at the same time being able to attend "Mommy and Me" groups. I am a dedicated worker, and I knew the baby had to sleep sometime. It sounded like a great idea, but there were two major problems. My new baby was really fussy, and I had to hold him for a long time for him to get to sleep. Besides that, my best customer required even more coddling than the baby, and I had to talk to him on the phone for long periods of time.

What are the pitfalls of working at home and being a mother? Not knowing who to put first, the client or the baby. The final straw came when he called me right after an extended conversation. I really had thought he was done and attended to my baby, who seemed to be feverish. Right in the middle of taking my baby's rectal temperature I heard the phone ring and the answering machine click on it was The Client, calling out, \"Hello? Are you there? We just spoke... did you go out? Hello?\" That's when I got tough.

It was my own fault that the client was taking up my time. I had to train myself to be an efficient consultant or else the same pattern would repeat with every client. My life grew much simpler when I informed my clients that I would only be working for them after 10:00 p.m. I'd be happy to take their faxes and e-mails during the day, but actual work would not begin before ten o'clock. That way my baby was down for the night (or with my husband) and I could focus on my work. This also eliminated lengthy \"while we're on the phone...\" type conversations with lonely clients.

Another area in which being a mom who works from home can be difficult is knowing how to properly manage your time. I had to set up a specific time of day that I would contact each client. That schedule also helped my clients to manage their time better, which made all of our lives easier and more focused. Since I wasn't being interrupted as often, the quality of my work increased, which in turn ended up saving the client money.

The clients settled into the new routine. I became more efficient at creating quality work in small amounts of time, and the house actually began to look (and smell) cleaner due to my increased productivity. Then my baby turned into a toddler. He quit napping in the morning altogether, opting for an extended afternoon nap. However, his activity all morning left me wiped out and unfit for anything during his nap time.

What are the pitfalls of working from home and being a mother? Trying to do everything the same way all the time. I had to train myself to mother more effectively. Outdoor play became the best option as my little one could run around in our fenced garden and blow off all the steam he wanted. This kept me from having to run behind him (as I had done in the house) picking up toys, wiping up spills, and just generally keeping him out of trouble.

I have two boys now who are teenagers. I've been working at home for 15 years, but now I mainly write and edit for a few clients. With the newer technology, I even work for people I've never met, which tends to save me a lot of money on gas. While my teenagers are much more self-sufficient, I still tend to work after they go to bed. After all, they still like to have their mother's attention, even if they are a lot bigger now
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 home based jobs for mothers .
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