Are you a working parent dreaming of the day you can quit your job and stay home caring for your child and working on the side? If so, I completely understand where you are coming from.
Nine years ago, when my first child was born, I wanted nothing more than to work from home and care for him. However, as the sole bread winner at the time, that wasn’t possible. I had to work out of the home another five years before I’d be able to achieve my dream of quitting my job and working from home.
Now, I’ve been working from home for three years, and I love it! However, working from home does have some drawbacks that you should be aware of before you jump into it.
My income fluctuates a great deal. I’ve found that it’s best to vary my sources of revenue. Right now, I work as both a virtual assistant and a freelance writer. Some months I make a nice income, and other months, well, let’s just say I’m glad my family is no longer relying solely on my income. When you’re self-employed, you need to be able to put away the extra money you make in good months and resist the temptation to overspend because lean months could be right around the corner.
In addition, if an income stream dries up, you have to be able to hustle to find new jobs that will make up for the lost revenue stream.
I love being home with my three kids, but oddly enough, the more time I spend with them, the more time they want to spend with me. I do the bulk of my work in the evenings and weekends. During the weekends, I have to struggle with mommy guilt because I often feel bad that I’m not spending time with my kids, especially when they beg me to play a game with them.
One way I’ve overcome this is to remind myself that when I was employed outside the home, I couldn’t spend nearly as much time with my kids as I can now.
When you work from home, people often think that you’re available whenever. They may call and be upset when you can’t talk because you’re in the middle of working. They may expect you to be able to run errands or help them out because you’re home. Setting up boundaries as soon as you begin to work from home is essential.
In addition, you also need to set boundaries for yourself. More than once, I’ve been lured away from my work to do a load of laundry or do dishes. It’s hard not to ignore the things that need to be done around the house, especially when you’re in the house all day.
I love working from home and wouldn’t change it. However, for anyone preparing to make this leap, knowing that there are some drawbacks is important. Setting boundaries in the beginning, for others and yourself, can help make the transition to working from home seamless.
Do you work from home? What drawbacks have you noticed?