Working from Home as a Working Mom

Working from Home as a Working Mom

wahm = work at home mom

wahm = work at home mom

As someone who has worked from home for years, I am often asked about this subject.

One misconception that many have when working at home for Corporate America is that you will be able to have your kids at home all the time. This is not an absolute statement. In the years that I worked at home, my kids were in child care so that I could get my work done.  The exception were the few days a year that either the daycare was closed or if a child was sick. Which if I was working in the office, I would of had to take a day off from my job.

What working from home DID provide me was an extra few hours with my kids each day. Even though they were in child care, I didn’t have to spend an hour getting myself ready to go into the office – allowing me to spend time with my kids. The commute was so much shorter to the daycare than my office and then daycare. Being able to throw dinner in the crock pot at lunch, saved me an hour of prep time. These hours add up. And those hours were what kept me in peace with family life work balance.

If you are looking for a job in Corporate America working from home – good news! The stats are in your favor as far as companies being open to this option.

Work at Home Stats

work from home stats

These stats are from a survey of senior leaders and hiring managers of Fortune 500 companies with at least 5,000 employees.

56% Believe virtual work will steadily or greatly increase at their company.

61% Believe their companies will let more people telecommute over the next three years.

60% of office-based employees use virtual teaming technologies daily.

53% of CFOs in the USA plan to increase telecommuting and teleconferencing at their companies.

76% of CFOs in Asia  plan to increase telecommuting and teleconferencing at their companies.

56% of decision makers believe that working remotely makes employees more productive.

75% of decision makers believe working remotely is now more widely accepted.

68% of end users believe working remotely is now more widely accepted.

57% of businesses reported allowing employees to keep flexible hours.

62% of businesses reported to having employees who work remotely either full-time or part-time.

26.2 Million teleworkers in the United States in 2010.

Stats and info graphic provided by getworksimple.com

Do You Work From Home?

Not Traveling = Connecting With My Family

Not Traveling = Connecting With My Family

Not Traveling means more connecting time with my family

Not Traveling = Connecting With My Family

Work Life

This work life balance thing with a family is NOT easy. One thing with my job is that I am often required to travel. I THOUGHT I had the traveling working mom bit down, even though I have 3 smallish children at home.  Having a few months home without the hustle and bustle of the friendly skies – I am starting to realize that maybe I didn’t have it down as well as I thought.

Finding That Work Life Zen

After returning from maternity leave with my 3rd child last June, my season of travel for work picked back up. It was back to business as usual, making sure that my kids and husband knew I loved them – all while traveling back and forth to various places – exhausted. I found that I could shorten my work trips by taking the first flight out and the last flight home. Or if that wasn’t an option, I could take the first flight home in the morning, but all of those options left me as one VERY tired mom who wanted to be “on” for her kids and family – but ended up being asleep as soon as possible.

It’s been 3 months since I’ve been on a business trip. I haven’t had this much time at home in years and honestly can say I needed this. My 3rd trimester is right around the corner, and our event season at work doesn’t go into full swing until August. I am embracing this season of not traveling and connecting with my family in ways that I didn’t know I missed.

Finding the work life family balance is critical. Before my last business trip, I was tired and missing my family terribly. I am so glad we were able to work out the last business trip where the family could go with me. I attended SXSW in Austin and having family that had recently moved there the kids and husband were able to join me. Having my kids there after the long days meant the world to me. My son’s 1st birthday landed during the trip, I didn’t have to miss it. The kids were home for Spring Break so after each day at the conference we could go do something Austin and enjoy family time in our favorite city. I realized then that the quiet, empty hotel room with room service that I was loved, was actually overrated.

What I Have Noticed While NOT Traveling

My husband and I are in sync. Not that we’re not when I’m on the road, but I feel like I have time at home to be his wife and support system and am not always asking for help with this or that. As much as I prepare the kids for me traveling as possible, trying to make it as easy as possible for my husband – it just isn’t easy.

Being home more with my kids is great. Helping with homework that we can’t do over Skype, or even going thru their binders at night is something I never thought I would appreciate.

But of all things that I had no idea that was missing was the connection between my youngest and myself. While I’ve loved this little boy before he was even born, we had a rough start with many sleepless nights and a really bad bout of colic. Then throwing myself back into work, I feel like I missed a bonding time that we’ve now been able to establish. Each Thursday night, for the most part it is just me and Iza’s time. We get to hang out, connect and laugh. He had grown so close to my husband, I didn’t even realize why. Well, his mom wasn’t his primary care taker.

While I’m someone who tries to live with no regrets, I do believe in lessons learned. I need to make an effort to better balance my work travel with my family. There I said it!

Seasons

It’s been a sweet season. I’m happy to be home, not racking up miles and enjoying the family and growing this baby. But when my travel season returns, I’m going to make sure to recognize all the needs that my family needs from a mom and address those with each booked trip. As a wise person once told me, it’s a marathon not a race to the finish. You have to pace yourself or else you will wear yourself out.

Do You Travel For Work? What Is The Hardest Part For You?

Work Life Balance: Enjoying Each Child

Work Life Balance: Enjoying Each Child

work life balance

Family Work Life Balance

Work life balance – HA!Life gets busy. Juggling 3 kids, 1 thing my husband and I are making an effort to do, is to find time to spend with each child individually. Each child has their own love language. Identifying that love language and showing them the love they need is critical in establishing a good base relationship with each.

Making Time with Each Child

With our 8 year old girl, I make it a point to take her out once a week to do some shopping. Sometimes it’s just an errand or sometimes it’s groceries. We get to talk, catch up and really get to know her as a person. Even though she is only 8, I am baffled at how complex and dynamic of a person she is. Life tends to suck out the realization that your kids are people too. This is something I don’t want to let happen.

Once a month, behavior permitting – I take her to get her toes painted (ps. if you get them painted and not pedicured, you are saving at least $10!). She loves the attention, and gives me an excuse to have cute toes as well. It’s our time and using this as a reward for good behavior gives her another incentive to help around the house.

With our 5 year old son, he loves affection. Sitting and reading with him in my lap means the world to him.

Our baby is 1. While his love language is yet to be identified -being a working mom I want to make sure he isn’t being raised by his sitter. We make it a point to take him to school last. We make sure that eats breakfast at home while we talk and play with him. While we cook dinner, he’s right next to us, playing and laughing. While it’s not a substitute for being with him every minute – we’ve established a bond that means the world to us.

Adding Another Kid

As we add in another child, I know enjoying each child individually will only become more difficult. We’re enjoying the now and preparing our kids for the future. We’ll adapt and do what we need to in order to make sure that each knows they are loved and that the bond is still in tact.

Working and creating this time IS HARD, but is even more reason to make the time. To me, part of finding that family, work life balance is knowing that each child is loved on and their needs as a child is met. The kids were put here by us, and it’s our job to love them and when life and work gets in the way – it’s time to re-establish priorities and make sure the kids are near the top.

Work Life Balance – How Do You Create Time for Each of Your Children?

Family Life Work Balance: Trying to Make Everyone Happy? Stop!

Family Life Work Balance: Trying to Make Everyone Happy? Stop!

work life balance

Tips and Tricks for Managing Work, Life and Family – STOP trying to make people happy!

Work Life

One of the biggest no-no’s as you try to find your groove with balancing work and life – is trying to make everyone happy!

If you have ANY people pleasing traits, this will be difficult, but I’m here to hold you hand thru it, as a previous people pleaser!

When juggling work assignments that require dedication and attention to detail, with a child who requires your love, affection and care life can get hairy, to say the least. So how do you say yes to this and no to that?

Identify Your Priorities

Identifying your priorities when it comes to work and family is key. While this is much easier said that done (isn’t all of parenting like that?), you have to do this and you must have plan B. As a working mom, one of the greatest skills that I have learned is open-minded thinking. While a situation may not be ideal – does it work? Does it get the job done?

Creating your priority list will help keep you focused. This is both for personal life and for your work life.

Priorities at Work:

My priorities at work are all written down next to my computer screen. These work priorities, I go over weekly with my boss. While my goal is to get these done, it never fails that the list grows with my inbox. Each week, I go over the list with her and re-organize as to what is important. Those that fall out of my scope and that can be delegated appropriately, are done so.  This helps keep my head in the game as to what MUST be done before I can call it a day.

Priorities at Home:

At home, I’m not a list person. I’m sure that would make my husband’s life way too happy if I was to do this. But the most essential thing to keeping things in check on the home front, is communication with my husband. We’re in this thing together. Each of our 3 children have specific NEEDS.  I personally have needs, and so does this baby I am growing in my belly. My husband above all else has needs. We align where we can, who can do what when and make it happen. Does everything always get done? Nope. But the kids are fed, happy, healthy and make it to school on time – and some days, that’s what we can do and that will have to be enough.

Just Say No – But Offer a Solution When Possible

So, your priorities are identified for both work and home. Now when something comes up that just is NOT in the game plan – you have to be prepared to say no. This is hard. But remember your focus, those priorities.

This past weekend, we had to say “no” to 2 birthday parties. Both of my older children had birthday parties, invited to separately – at 2 locations – at 2 different times – it just wasn’t going to happen if we wanted to spend ANY time together as a family. We did offer a solution. The kids were able to attend yet ANOTHER birthday, that they were BOTH invited to the following day.  It was hard saying, “NO! I’m sorry you can’t go bowling with your friend” but by saying “no” our family had a way less hectic day and were able to focus on those priorities, which that day was quality time together.

Do You Have a Hard Time Saying NO?