Getting Started as a Work at Home Mom

Working from home is an exciting opportunity for moms but comes with a myriad of challenges that must be overcome. Work-at-home opportunities vary in the hours that are required and the responsibilities.  For many getting started as a work-at-home mom can be so frustrating that they give up on their dreams. However, with some pre-planning, this does not have to be the case.  Here are some tips for getting started as a work-at-home mom.

Decide on a business model

For some work-at-home moms, certain business models lend themselves better to their individual circumstance.  A work-at-home mom who has toddlers will require more flexibility than one with teenagers.  For a work-at-home mom there are jobs that are more suited to integrating with toddlers (such as a day care provider) while others (such as a telephone representative) that are not as viable. Deciding what business works best for individual circumstances is the first step in being able to be a work-at-home mom.

Separation of home and business

The next step for the work-at-home mom is to separate their home and business arrangements. The Internal Revenue Service will only allow for a work-at-home deduction if the space that is used for business is dedicated to the business. Partial use for business is not acceptable. For those who want the tax deduction, this often means setting up an entire room for business purposes.

Work-at-home moms should have a business line whether it is done through their local telephone company or through Skype.  This telephone number should only be given out for business reasons and should have voice mail installed.  Home telephone lines should have an answering machine that allows for screening of calls in the event of a family emergency.

Working hours

Work-at-home moms have other obligations to their family that must be met after work hours.  Therefore, it is imperative that a work-at-home mom create a schedule that works best for her needs and the needs of her family.  Friends and family members should be notified of  working hours to avoid unneeded interruptions during the work day.  Some flexibility is preferred (and often needed) especially for moms with children in school.  Lunch breaks may be scheduled around the after school bustle that often accompanies the arrival of the children.

Work life balance

Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages for a work-at-home mom is they may find it harder to develop a work-life balance because they elect to work from home.  This can be overcome fairly easily if the home office is away from regular “living” space.  Once the work day is over the work-at-home mom should avoid going back to the work area until the next work day. This can help avoid burnout as well.

Summary

There are some practicalities that make freelancing and telecommuting beneficial for a work-at-home mom. Those who take the time to take the needed steps for getting started as a work-at-home mom will find that with the right planning, their lives will be enriched.  Work-at-home moms who find a business venture that works well with individual family circumstances and take the needed steps in planning can find long-lasting work-at-home success.