More people choose to become working from home moms for different reasons including wanting to spend more time with their children, see them hit milestones, see how they feed, napping routines etc. Others become work from home moms or dads to cut back on household expenses like childcare and transportation.
Working from home may sound intimidating and scary, but with some planning and dedication, you too can do it. This post, is an inspiring story about how Audrey Marshall transitioned to a full-time work from home mom with two toddlers.
What motivated you to be a working from home mom?
I wanted to start working from home so that I could be at home with my kids. I have two toddlers, and I hated leaving them every day. When my second child was nine months old, I decided I wouldn’t be going back and I put everything into growing a business.
My husband wanted the same thing, and I was able to bring him home to work with me about six months ago. We now both work from home for ourselves.
How is it working with your spouse as a business partner?
We had a lot of difficulty at first because he was brand new to working online, whereas I had been doing it for a year.
That meant that I had to teach him how to do everything – and we both struggled with how to appropriately communicate with each other. It turns out I am not the best teacher, and he was not the best at asking for help when necessary.
There was a lot of little arguments and breakdown in communication, and there was a point where I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to continue doing it, but we kept moving forward.
Eventually he surpassed my skill in one of our online endeavors, and I really struggled with this and learning how to let go of my pride. Working with your partner is hard, but if you have a healthy relationship remember that you can get through it.
No one should love, respect, or root for you more than your partner, and I trust my husband more than anyone to handle the business the way I want it to be handled.
Remember that even the best of communicators will struggle for a while when they start working with a partner because it changes your whole relationship dynamic. With that being said, I can say it’s been totally worth it for us, and I’m grateful we decided to take the leap.
What kind of work do you do? How do you find work?
Are you very productive now that you are a work from home mom?
I have set days and hours of the week that I work, and outside those hours I try to stay unplugged. This was very difficult at first and achieving a work/life balance was really hard, but figuring that out was lifechanging.
How do you deal with taxes, saving for retirement, health insurance etc? – This is a major concern for many people who would like to work from home.
We recently hired a Chief Finance Officer (CFO) to handle our finances, as it’s not something we’re very interested in doing on our own. The first year we were in business, we stressed about taxes a LOT, but it turns out you won’t make much money your first year, and you aren’t going to get in trouble with the IRS if your business was not profitable.
My best advice is to keep track of everything you spend and make and create a separate bank account for this. Hire a tax professional at the end of the year to look things over, and invest in someone more experienced once you’re making a little money.
For health insurance, it’s only recently become a problem. We have a health insurance agent that we trust. There are plans available in the United States for subsidized health care, and if you can get a GOOD insurance agent and you make under a certain amount, health insurance is very cheap.
For us, we needed to make under $100k a year (after expenses) to get low deductible (fantastic) health insurance that cost us less than 200 dollars a month for four people.
Those plans are out there – you just need to find someone who knows what they’re doing. We have no problem hiring experts to help deal with the things that we don’t enjoy doing.
For retirement, we’re in the process of setting up a few boring investment accounts, but we haven’t yet. I think it’s a good idea to read a few money books and talk to a financial planner to hash out what you’ll do regarding things like retirement.
Just know that the money side IS manageable (coming from someone who hates the topic of money) and this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams.
What challenges do you face working from home? Does it get lonely?
The challenges I face working from home are mostly related to a work/life balance. The entire reason I’ve pursued working from home is so that I can be there more often with my kids, but it’s actually much harder to be present with them – especially because my whole life is online.
To combat that, I’ve taken social media off of my cell phone and I have a specific time of day that I spend away from my cell phone.
When your working for yourself, it’s up to you to prioritize your tasks, and this is hard to do because there are many things that feel important, and being busy is not the same as being productive.I sit in a coffee shop and work. When I try and work from home, I get easily distracted and/or sleepy – it’s no good.
Do you and your family travel more now that you can work from anywhere?
We don’t travel right now because my kids are still really small, but when they get older (and can remember going on vacation) we will travel more.
We’ve talked about renting in different areas of the world for a few months at a time, but I have cats and dogs I couldn’t bear to leave behind – so I don’t think that’ll happen.
Any advice you any future working from home moms?
My advice is to learn as much as you can and don’t give up because it’s hard. It’s overwhelming at first – and it eventually gets easier, but the online space is constantly changing so you have to learn to be able to adapt to change. Remember YOUR reason for doing this, and don’t accept failure.
You only fail in the online space if you give up – and I truly believe that. Would you like to be one of the moms making money from home? Be genuine, spend time networking online.