Day 2, Guest Post 2 out of 5 of Author Katie Femia Week. Author of Peacock Swamp The Nine Book 1, Katie is a freelance writer and is currently working on Book 2 of Peacock Swamp. If you enjoy this post, find the full series under “Author Katie Femia” category!
How to Become a Work at Home Mom
Being able to earn a living while taking care of your family at home is the dream of many women. Like other moms, I often felt the sting of sadness as I left my children for the day, in the care of others while I went off to work. After many years of this routine, I started researching ways on how to become a work at home mom.
When I was working outside of the house, I wrestled with taking sick days to care for them when they were ill, hurried them out of the house early in the morning and brought them home late at night. It was a constant game of being on the go, hoping they were being well cared for while I punched the time clock. When I decided to start working from home, I have to say my life changed. My days are just as busy, and often just as tiring and intense, but now it is for a whole different reason. When I learned how to become a work at home mom, I found through embracing my love of writing I could easily work from home, make a great income, and care for my family at the same time.
While it wasn’t always easy, it has worked, and the benefits have been amazing. Here are some steps I took when I went on the mission to become a work at home mom. For me, these steps were essential in making this dream happen and be successfully pulled off.
Step 1. I got the family on board
This was not a step I could take alone. I spoke with my husband and children about this transition, why I wanted to do it, and how it would affect them. I focused on the positive, and told them how I could use their help. This allowed everyone to feel in control of this change and get just as excited about it. While my husband was always supportive, I still wanted him to feel confident about this transition and not worry. I created a spreadsheet of bills I would still be responsible for, my methods of income, ways I would cut back, and how I would still contribute to the household. I also made sure to point out the money that we would be saving on things like gas, daycare, and other expenses we once had to dish out when I was working outside of the home.
Step 2. I created a plan
I created an outline that showed how I would earn a living over the next 6 months as my plans fell into place. I found a blogger online that was accepting content pieces for cash, and also took on a small space to sell my handmade furniture and vintage items in a local shop. These odds and ends would be my income until I could get my freelance writing career and novel off the ground. If you are considering working from home, look at your skills and see how you can utilize them right from your own house. Tutoring, art and music lessons, crafting, computer work, the list goes on. You have many options
Step 3. I cut back…way back!
Because our income was shaky those first few months, I had to make cuts to my spending. Gone were luxuries I often enjoyed like carry out, sushi, and movie theatre trips. I went on a serious cutting spree when it came to my spending, eliminating anything that wasn’t necessary so I could focus on building this new career. By making these cuts, I could save money while I hashed out the details of this transition.
Step 4. I created a safety net
6 months before I took my last teaching paycheck, I started doing some serious saving. I saved every penny I could. I used coupons, I cut back my spending, I packed my lunches and really scoured thrift stores. I put as much cash in the bank as I could. By creating this financial safety net, I was able to really focus on establishing some solid lines of work from home and less about where the next dollar would come from.
Step 5. I stayed realistic
Being a work at home mom is not about sipping Starbucks and fun play dates. It is a lot of work. I stayed realistic about what this job would look like. I knew I would be busy, carry extra responsibility, and in a way would never leave my “office.” I tried not to be too hard on myself, and I still try. Everything won’t always be perfect, people won’t always get what I do, and there will be days I want to run away screaming from my kids. I am realistic about this, and that helps.
My biggest setback to deal with to date? Well let me tell you. I think it is the fact that it still isn’t quite clear to people what I do for work, or that I work at all. After three years of freelancing, after over 1,000 content pieces I’ve written and sold circling the internet, after ghost writing numerous articles in national magazines, and a novel under my belt, I still run into people who think I don’t work. After three years at the grind I purchased a “new to me” car and took my family on vacation (we hadn’t taken one as a family in five years) I was told how lucky I was that my husband’s job must be going so well. My husband has a great sense of humor though, and isn’t hesitant to say, “You must not know my wife, she’s a hustler!” People will never quite understand what I do for a living, but I realize those feelings of frustration are something I need to let go. I know how hard I work, and so do the people who love me. I have to learn that’s enough.
So there you have it! These are the steps that worked for me when I decided I want to start working from home. While each case is different, these will hopefully inspire you to start exploring your own skills and how to use them to earn an income without having to leave your home, or your family.