Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work from home? Or why you would even want to? Here’s why (and a little bit of how) I work from home.
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It’s been my experience to work from home for over ten years now. I was really surprised when I realized that it had been so long. In fact, that officially means that I’ve worked from home longer than I’ve done anything else.
I was an official stay-at-home mom (working, for sure, but without the pay) for 9 years. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it.
But, if I’m totally honest, it was a little scary money wise. I never worried about “losing myself” or not having time for myself. I worried about the bills being paid. Or being criticized for having so many kids without a second income.
It didn’t bother me if people thought I was “wasting my graduate degree”. My husband and I were good with my caring for kids, teaching our homeschool, and taking care of the house stuff. I didn’t find it degrading or a waste, but working, albeit from home, sort of evolved.
Here I am, more than ten years later. It’s taken some adjustments, mainly in my heart and my head, but here we are. And here’s why:
Why I Work From Home
1. It helps our budget.
When I first started working over ten years ago, I did it to have a little fun money. My husband was self-employed, and we didn’t really know how to budget on an irregular income, let alone pay off debt.
Once we woke up and smelled the debt, all my writing money as well as any extra from my husband’s income went to pay down our debt. For a time later, writing money paid for that money pit of a rental house that we couldn’t unload.
Today my husband has a good job with paid vacations and good benefits, and we can live pretty well on that one income. However, we also have a large family and live in a state where rent/mortgages are very expensive. Writing income allows for savings and retirement, things we probably couldn’t work into the budget otherwise.
It also pays for date nights at real restaurants, let’s be honest. And it’s helped fund our family’s trips to Europe.
2. I like it.
I love writing and recipe development. I always have loved writing. I’ve always loved cooking.
I don’t know that I could be completely content if I wasn’t writing or cooking something. Even before I started writing for pay, I worked on little projects: a fundraising cookbook for a local crisis-pregnancy center or a family scrapbook of recipes.
I write. I cook. I write about cooking. I write. I parent. I write about parenting. This is kinda what I do, whether someone outside our family benefits from it or not.
So, why not earn some money at something I like and would do anyway?!
3. It works for our family.
I never signed up to be a work-at-home mom, let along a working mom. That wasn’t the plan. Once I did start doing the work of a full-time job at home, I wrestled with a lot of guilt over it. A lot.
In fact, I didn’t make the transition well. There was a time when the girls were still babies when I had a really hard time adjusting to it. I let a lot of things on the home front slide; I put my marriage and our family off while I worked; I messed up a lot of things.
Over time, however, I’ve gotten my priorities more where they should be. We’ve all readjusted our expectations of me, and the rest of the family has picked up the slack where I can’t do all the things. No, the house is not spotless, but it never was anyway. Let’s be real.
There have been kinks to work out, for sure, but for the most part, we’ve all found a way for “Mom’s working from home” to work for us. I’ve not “worked outside the home” since having kids, so I can’t compare, but I know that I love the flexibility of having a video interview one minute and going back to teaching 4th grade math the next. The experiment is working. So far.
Help for when you work from home
I like learning and I like improving my craft. I do not make six figures but I also don’t have the time to make this my full-time job, either. That said, you can pay some bills with a successful blog — and I think this is a valuable resource to help you do that.
Originally published April 27, 2016. Updated October 1, 2017.