Finding a balance when working from home

Whether or not to work after having children is a big question among many young mothers. Where once it was a simple decision, “yes” or “no”, there are now a variety of opportunities available and decisions to make.

This is a positive step for women with families since the concerns and needs of each woman are different. How much they want to work, how much they need to work, what they need to earn, variance in education, location, guilt involved on many levels, and many other factors go into each individual’s decision. Working from home is one of those opportunities that is becoming more available to a large number of people.

Working from home would seem like a dream to anyone who considers it, and it can be. The worry of daycare costs and the guilt involved with leaving children with a babysitter for eight hours a day is eliminated. Opportunities to work from home often offer the opportunity to work as much or as little as you want, addressing the issues “how many hours I work” and “how much do I earn.” Since many of these work-from-home opportunities are Internet- or telephone-based, location is also covered. As a bonus, you don’t have to spend money on fuel to get to and from work each day.

finding a balance when working from homeWith all that freedom come the needs of organization, responsibility, and self-discipline. With no one to introduce yourself to, it’s easy to fall asleep longer in the morning or get distracted playing with the kids. With no “office” to go to, the line between work from home and work from career becomes blurred. With children around, distractions will be frequent.

Success in working from home will vary with the different ages of the children in the home. A sleeping baby will give Mom plenty of time to work during naps, but a young child will provide many distractions. As children who are already in school grow more independent, enjoy their private time and can take care of themselves during “work hours”.

Creating an office space is essential to forming that division between work and home, and also helping to maintain order. It is also important to establish clear guidelines and work hours and follow them. Just as it is easy to get distracted by working at home, it is common to become a workaholic by working early in the morning until late at night and different times in between. Then the home begins to suffer.

Working from home offers mothers the opportunity to contribute to the finances of the family while remaining a nurturing and maternal presence in the home. It is up to her to maintain the delicate balance for it to work.

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