How I became and balance being a Working From Home Mom
I transitioned from a stay at home to a working from home recently and I’d be lying if I said it was the most seamless experience ever. For me I had two choices, I either went back to a traditional 9-5 or I took a chance and used my creative skills to my advantage. I obviously chose the latter and I’m very thankful that I did because I’m able to care for my daughter every single day while providing for my family at the same time. Is this easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I’m just very happy that we live in a time were this is even possible for mothers!
How did I do it?
So if you’ve been following my blog for awhile you know that I’ve been doing this for AWHILE! I’ve always had dreams of being my own boss and I thought influencing would potentially be an avenue to get there, but this is something that takes A LOT of time and dedication. The bar has been raised so high lately and if you don’t have insta-husband or a lot of money for photography fees, it’s not easy. However, at the end of the day I’ve always looked at my blog as my creative resume and I knew I could use it to my advantage when the time came. This blog houses years of writing examples, social media managing skills, graphic design abilities, photography skills, prop styling, and creative direction skills. In my heart I knew this little slice of the internet would bring me to my dream career, I just had to be patient about it.
I started teaching myself photography and editing a few years ago and always did it as a hobby. My husband CONSTANTLY told me I should become a photographer and I just never had the confidence to do it. My super talented brother Darren and friend Lauren handled 95% of my blog photography for a long time but that changed once I had Amira. It was SO HARD to balance a newborn schedule and a shooting schedule so I started taking my blog photos when it was convenient for me.
I was getting a lot of advice to become a wedding photographer or a family photographer but it just didn’t click with me. At the end of the day, I loved creating content and I wanted to find a way to be in social media and also do photography. So I spent HOURS on freelancing websites and job sites just looking for something in content creation that I can do from home. I really prayed hard about it because I didn’t want to leave Amira yet but something had to give. After literally two months of looking, I stumbled upon a job listing for a Social Media Content Creator and it was the break into this industry that I was looking for! I’ve been freelancing for this client and helping them strategize, capture, and manage on their social content ever since. I’ve also started adding more clients and I’ve never been happier!
How do I balance it?
Working from home doesn’t make my job any easier. Sure I don’t have to see my clients each day but there are still deadlines, meetings, and calls that need to be taken care of. I thrive on structure when it comes to work so I make sure that I schedule my day appropriately and create a to-do list each day so I stay on task. I primarily work in the early mornings, during Amira’s naps, as soon as she goes to bed, and weekends. There are days that I want to literally pass out as soon as she goes to sleep. However, I remind myself that there are working moms (and dads) out there that want to pass out on their desk when they walk into work in the morning. My point being is that we both have to get our jobs done no matter what.
When you work from home distractions are EVERYWHERE. If it’s not the TV, it’s the laundry, or the dishes in the sink, it’s your phone, or the toys needing to be picked up, or just something that is begging you to take care of it instead of working. However, I really make it a point to sit at my desk when its time to work and ignore it all. You can not be wonder woman and get everything accomplished at once.
This is very hard to do but it’s important. When I’m with Amira, I’m with my daughter and when I’m working, I’m working. I really make it a point to not work around her. It’s not easy to do but It’s important to me that I’m not constantly on my computer or on my phone working in front of her. Sure there are times where I have to take a call or send an email but I make it a priority to stick to my set boundaries. It helps that Amira has her own schedule filled with gymnastics classes or play groups that allows me to leave work home and give her my full attention.
Asking for help
I’ve always had a tough time asking for help in general. As my job has started to become increasingly demanding, I’ve had to lean into my tribe A LOT. My MIL is amazing and takes Amira once a week so I can get work done. My husband works from home once a week so I schedule a lot of my calls then. He is also great about spending quality alone time with Amira during the weekends while I work. My mom works full-time but uses vacation days when I need her to watch Amira while I go to an in person meeting or shoot. It’s nice to know that I have a support group around me to help out when I really need them!
Give myself grace
There are always moments of mom-guilt but I really try to give myself grace. It’s not seamless and it can be really challenging to balance it all. Since I’m constantly switching gears throughout the day it sometimes feels like I’m not giving everything my 100% (even though I definitely am). I always just remind myself that I’m doing the best that I can and as long as my family is proud of me then I’m GOOD!