I’ve been working from home for a little over a year. Often when I tell people that I’m a SAHWM (stay at home working mom), I get comments and questions ranging from jealousy to confusion. These are common assumptions that are made about people who have the “luxury” of working from home. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being able to make an income from the comfort of my own couch (bed most of the time). Honestly, I think it would feel weird going back into an office. But working from home is not always rainbows & butterflies and it’s certainly NOT for everyone. Before you consider working remotely, you may want to weight out these pros & cons.
This is possibly one of my favorite things about working from home. If you live in or near a big city then you probably know how awful traffic can be. A drive that would normally take you 20 minutes can take you 5x longer (and I’m not exaggerating – if you’ve ever been to Atlanta, you know this)! It’s freaking insane. I love the fact that I don’t have to waste hours sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and flicking off inconsiderate drivers.
No cold offices. No getting up early to do my hair and put on makeup. And no getting dressed up just to sit at a desk all day. I can cuddle up next to my fireplace, with my dark under eye circles, hair in a bun, in my comfy sweats while I work (this can also be a con too, but I’ll talk about that later).
As a mother, this is huge for me. Working from home has allowed me so much more flexibility in my schedule, especially when it comes to the kids. I can attend school functions, go to doctor’s appointments, or run a quick errand if I really need to. Even better, when the kids are out of school for holiday breaks or if they happen to get sick – I don’t have to stress about finding a sitter or taking off work!
When I worked in the office, I used to go out to eat during my lunch break almost every day. Sometimes even breakfast too! $20 per day = $100 per week = $400 per month = $20,800 A YEAR. Makes me sick just thinking about it! Not only that, but I don’t have to purchase work clothes and I’m saving a ton of money on gas. My bank account is thanking me!
No Corporate Interruptions
Thank God that I have finally seen the end of the unnecessary meetings, noisy colleagues, corporate gossip, and the smell of my co-worker’s smelly lunch (the entire office does not want to smell boiled eggs). Now that I work remotely there are so much fewer interruptions from others that take me away from my work.
You Get Lonely
If you’re a social butterfly who loves interacting with others, working from home probably isn’t for you. Working from home means working alone. I have a few co-workers that I talk to regularly, but talking through technology is completely different than getting that face to face interaction I would have if I worked in an office. When I worked in an actual building, going to work was really the only time I got to mingle with people other than my kids. This has probably been the hardest thing for me to adjust to because I am such a people person.
You Forget To Eat
I know this sounds totally crazy, but it’s so true! I even talked to some other work from homers to confirm I’m not the only person who does this. You would think that because I work from home I get to spoil myself with gourmet breakfast and lunch. Nope. The reality is sometimes I get so engrossed in my work that I forget to eat all together. Or if I do remember to eat, it’s most likely a few snacks here and there that I grabbed while I was warming up my coffee.
People Assume Your Free ALL The Time
Believe it or not, working from home actually requires … WORK. I know, shocking right?! If I don’t do work, I don’t get paid! Just because I don’t go into an office doesn’t mean that I can clean the house, do laundry or any other housework. And I don’t have the time to babysit other people’s kids (you’ll be surprised at how many people truly ask me to do this) or run other people’s personal errands. Although a work from home schedule does include more flexibility than someone who has to go into an office; I’m working, just like everyone else. I still have to clock in and out. I still have emails to respond to, calls to make, and deadlines to meet.
Work Life & Personal Life Imbalance
Since I’ve started working from home, one thing I’ve really struggled with is setting boundaries between my work life and my personal life. Especially, because my work is literally at home with me! Even when I’m off the clock I feel inclined to do work because it’s so easily accessible. This is something I’m definitely working hard at managing – but it’s not easy!
Remember earlier when I mentioned comfort as being one of the benefits of working from home. Sometimes, working from home can be a little TOO comfortable? Sitting next to the fireplace in your warm pj’s can easily make you drowsy and I won’t lie, I’ve even dozed off a few times. Not only that but staying in my pj’s or sweats 5 days a week makes me feel pretty lousy. Sometimes I miss getting dressed (not every day) and making myself look presentable. How you dress definitely affects how you feel!
Working remotely isn’t as easy as people think. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and really training your mind to think & work differently. I have the utmost respect for mommas (or anyone for that matter) who work from home. It’s not an easy job and not everyone can do it. Just like everything else in life, working from home comes with the good, the bad, and the ugly (and believe me most days I look pretty ugly – I’m pretty sure I’ve been wearing the same t-shirt for 3 days). But if you’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do it, it can be the most rewarding decision you’ve ever made.