Working From Home: My Thoughts and Advice

There are many times when my friends on Facebook ask about my working from home. They love seeing how I get compensated to try new things, to cover events and to simply write working from home. It’s difficult for me to push working from home in any way other than simply being honest. What I do, I have been doing since 2006, granted the majority of what I do to earn income started in 2008. With that being said, this is no quick income money making business, there involves a lot of hard work, many late night hours to meet deadlines and some times it requires getting over writers block because no matter how “stuck” you are; your clients expect you to have results for them.

Working from home in the way I do, with blogging on blogs, takes practice, takes a love of writing (readers can hear the passion behind your text words & without passion many won’t read on), a dedication to working even when you see your bed there all warm and cozy, a motivation to get to your desk or laptop on couch and work even when you were up all night with the kiddos. Working from home takes a certain kind of personality type and character to really push through and succeed. On another note; success is based on individual’s definition of the word. Some may want to work from home to replace a full time income, some may be happy making a small income to assist in just paying the grocery portion of bills in the household. I feel I am successful with what I do working from home, others may not feel the same. That’s okay.

Regardless of what your own personal definition of success is; if you are truly interested in working from home in a blogging sort of way, then you need to read on and hear me out on exactly how frustrating being a blogger can be but also how rewarding it can be if you stick with it.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blogging doesn’t Earn Income Right Away

While many see what I do now and are in awe, it took me a couple of years to get to the point where people were paying me more than a few bucks here and a few bucks there. It took at least two years to be recognized in what I do as well as to have the ranking and decent social media outreach for any business to want to work with me.

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More Hours To Work, But Still Feel Rushed #wahm

In 2006 I started working from home. I am a determined person and once my mind is set on something, I always succeed. It does not matter what it is, I am stubborn, willful and always end up succeeding in whatever my mind knows I will succeed in. Maybe that has a little bit to do with how my brain works, which is very similar to the Law of Attraction with a side of new found faith. From 2006 up until just last week, I always had to work around my children’s school schedules. I started off with one boy at home while I worked direct sales, then in 2008 I welcomed a second baby boy in addition to my six year old daughter and four year old son. I had to work from a home computer in between feedings, play time and nap time as well as school pick ups and sporting events. Juggling parenting with work at home was a constant “thing” for me and I didn’t mind one bit. Sure some days it was stressful and I wondered if I would ever make enough to support the family. Finally it came, the day when I could put my virtual assistant business on the back burner and focus primarily on my one love; writing otherwise known as blogging to me these days.

Confucius says that if you choose a job you love, that you will never work a day in your life; that is very true. By blogging each day and being able to experience products before they hit shelves while offering them to my readers as a giveaway is something that I love doing. In writing each day, sharing my trials and tribulations I am able to go back and analyze how I should or should not handle situations. In writing each day, I am able to share a piece of my mind whether it be a rambling day of nothingness or a day that I share some real knowledge, I am happy. I do what I am passionate about and that is what allows me to wake up each day with a smile and a sense of gratitude for having been blessed for all I have in life.

This year is the first year, make that last week, that I was first able to put my work into a full time status. No more working around one, two or three children. I get six hours a day Monday through Friday to pursue my work from home businesses. I get to write to my hearts desire, I have more time to get to NYC to cover events or host events locally. I have so much more options open to me this school year with the free time. I am excited about that but part of me is still in that mindset I have had to be since 2006; rush rush rush. Make sure I get stuff done before a kid wakes up from nap or gets out of preschool. It’s as if my brain is a little slow to respond to such time to work. I have time for a break mid day if need be, if my kids didn’t sleep for crap all night long – I can nap. If I am behind on things, I have time to catch up while still take on new work.

There is so much more to my life now that I have more work at home time, I just wish my brain would catch up and stop getting all ADD on me so that I can relax my shoulders a bit more during working hours. Maybe that is just who I am though, a rush rush sort of person, after all I have to GO GO GO with my five year old when he’s home so it’s just something I have gotten used to. Hopefully in the next week or two my brain will stop and realize when the kids are in school I can take time, slow down and only be ADD like when the kids are home so as to keep up with them, but learn to breath more during daytime hours.

 

Next School Year Brings on Changes

Next school year my baby will be in all day Kindergarten, as I look forward to no more mid day runs back to the school after dropping my older two off, I do think of how much I will miss my little guy. K-man and I have spent the past couple years alone and I have enjoyed that very much but it’s time for him to spread his wings and fly into a state of more independence while he learns at school all day long.

NH Kids Enjoying Spring Weather

While I am sad about knowing my babies will all be gone during daytime hours at school, I am also feeling a little bit of excitement. Being that I am a work from home Mom, I have always worked around the children’s school schedules as well as their time spent with Dad. Next school year brings on five days a week of me being able to work solidly for long periods of time instead of racing to work in between drop offs and only have two full days of work time with three partial days.

Having the kids inĀ  school full time brings more financial freedom for me, in that I can take on more clients with my virtual assistant business doing more blogger outreach for brands, I will be able to write more often content that comes from my passion in parenting and life. I will also be able to focus more on fixing up my sites to appeal in a better way for both mobile and web viewing. This upcoming school year for 2013 – 2014 shall bring on tears at first for sure, but it is going to open up a door to a whole new world, one in which I am ready to take by the horns.

It is How it Is, Just Deal With It

Three kids in the woodsI can be what some call a pushover mom or a softy with some things that have to do with parenting my children, or being in charge of any children for that matter. I firmly feel that there is a different between choosing when you can be somewhat “soft” and when you have to be firm with a child. The theme that comes to mine is “pick your battles”, obviously if you have said no and the child continues to ask why or debate the topic with you then you stand firm. With that being said if you chose not to quite give a solid yes or no to a question, bad idea by the way, then you can be soft on the topic if it’s not some major thing.

There is a few areas where I am firm and simply tell my kid that this is how it is. There is no negotiating. There is no changing my mind. My decision has been made. That is when it comes to meals, I work from home. I don’t make that much money each year when you consider the size of my family. If I were not a Mom and simply just a woman working from home, well I would be made financially probably. That is not the case. I am a Mom of three. My money is hard earned and I buy food to keep the kids healthy and nourished but cannot afford to have many extras all of the time.

With breakfast and lunch there are usually choices. Basically for breakfast I let the kids order from me as if we are in some restaurant because I enjoy cooking a nice breakfast for the kids. With lunch there are usually two options laid out because it’s just not as important of a family meal to me as dinner time. Speaking of dinner, that is the one meal where I cook what I cook and you just accept that. There is no ordering as if we are in a restaurant. Deal with it.

Thankfully my kids have grown up knowing that I am this way, that they have some negotiating room for lunch as well as breakfast but dinner is set in stone. The way I deal with dinner is that I do take into consideration what each child likes to eat combine that with maybe a new food option here & there, this enables them to have something they like while also requiring that they at least try something new.

Christmas Tree Cut DownEach child must try a new food before attempting to plead they do not like it. If they do not try the food, they go without. I stick firm by this. There are many a nights where my youngest went to bed that night without dinner. Being that my youngest is super stubborn there were weeks where he would go 4-5 nights without dinner because he would flat out refuse to try anything new. Then finally once I stood my ground forever, he finally started to try new things, just to determine that he truly doesn’t like anything.

It is difficult to find any meal that my youngest actually likes because every sort of meal option I serve for dinner, he has tried without successfully liking it. My oldest and middle child usually like whatever they try, even my six year old will admit “well I don’t really like this a lot but it’s okay” and he will eat it.

I love that I have taught my kids that in some areas of life I stand firm and they accept that without question. There isn’t a fight about it, there isn’t this big issue over the food, nothing. They simply accept the rules and are just fine after trying the meal.

Trying to Get Back on Schedule

I have to laugh at myself because I am often saying how I am not routine driven, that I am a free spirit and not a planner but then things happen to mess up my normal schedule or routine that set me off for a loop, taking me a long time to get back on track. It even goes so far as to make me tense, the shoulders get hard as boulders and my mind is completely frazzled. But I am not routine driven like my middle child, nope nope nope!

I lied. I am.Totally. 100% routine driven.

So when the school had a water pipe burst sending water through my sons school and they had no school for a week? I was home with my sons for a week, full time, trying to figure out how in the heck to work around two boys who were with me 24/7 that week, minus their few hour break with Dad a couple mornings.

Next there was Nemo who dumped us with snow. No school happened one day because of that.

Then there has been a change of schedule for the boys Dad, he is training on days for a couple or few weeks. This means the boys no longer are gone for 1-2 full days a week, but rather 1-2 evenings for just a few short hours a week. This is nuts.

I work days. I used to work nights, but I just can not seem to have the focus and drive I used to at evening hours. That is why I switched up my routine and work from home schedule to be morning hours! Now, here I am trying to figure out how to juggle my schedule around since school is back in session but the visits with their Dad has changed …

It’s always something around here, but I know I will get through this. I have been working in between the times the kids are in school, in between activity drop offs, in between sleep hours, in between visits. This all adds up to an hour here and an hour there, but at least it’s more than not working at all.

I can not wait for school to be steady again, but voila there is end of February one week long vacation from school coming up, just when the ex gets his second shift schedule back, my kids will be on vacation.

Every day I’m shuffling…

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