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I am a mother, I work from home and it is awesome

Why being a work-at-home mother can be great, by Noemi Ripert
Cliquer ici pour la version française

I did it!

I decided last year to set up my own business. This decision was influenced by a wish I had, to find the right balance between being a mother and a professional. Therefore, to be able to combine both working and being a mother, I work from home.

working-at-home-is-goodImagine yourself waking up without the stressful noise of your alarm clock every morning at 6 o’clock. Isn’t that nice? Before becoming self-employed, I used to work for a consultancy and training company. Every day I had to travel one hour to get to the office, leaving the house at seven in the morning to avoid the rush hour, and more than often over an hour in the evenings, hitting the heavy traffic most of the time on the journey home. You get very tired of this very quickly!

Now imagine yourself waking up knowing you don’t need to commute to get to your work place. Isn’t that far better? And if you factor in the money you save on petrol, you will like it even more.
I basically have a few meters to do either from my bedroom or my bathroom to my office. No chance of being late for work there. And definitely no valid excuses!

You decide how you want to work. You decide how much time you want to spend sitting at your desk typing away. You are your own boss. Gone are the days when you had your manager breathing down your neck telling you what to do, when and how. Of course if you want to succeed you’d better have a work routine and stick to it. But if you are organised, you can do it.

I plan my days and I always try to reach the goal or goals I have set myself for the day or for the week. If you manage to plan your days, you then know what time you have for yourself and in my case, for my daughter.

The other little perks you can enjoy working from home, from a woman’s point of view, are that you don’t need to dress smartly every morning, worrying about the dress code, wearing uncomfortable shoes and suits, trying to look your professional best, or spending precious time in front of the mirror thinking what to wear. Still I would advise not staying in your pyjamas all day, I personally think you still have to plan a healthy “waking up routine as if you are going to work…”

You can manage how many breaks you take and you don’t waste your time standing at the coffee machine any more chatting for far too long with your colleagues. And if you need to take a rest, recharge your batteries, clear your head for a few minutes, get a bit of fresh air before getting back to work, this you can do, without asking, without anybody thinking you are slacking or skiving. I also find that my concentration level is higher compared to when I used to work in an office, where I was often interrupted by the phone ringing, having to respond to urgent requests, or exchanging with my colleagues.

And if you are anyone like me, who still needs to have a professional activity, who feels the need for earning to support my family and provide for the future, without leaving the entire burden to my partner, I personally think it is a good way of combining both sides of the coin and to share responsibilities.

As a working mother from home, I can tend to my daughter when needed. I am there for her and I am part of her daily development. Of course I would need to maybe catch up the time I have spent with my daughter instead of being at my desk, but this is the beauty of being self- employed and working from home. You decide how you manage and use your time.

There are some circumstances when you realise even more that you are lucky to be able to manage your time and you realise then the freedom you have to do so. This you realise when, for instance, your child is sick or you have an emergency. In those moments you make one decision which is yours to make without the need of asking permission to your employer or having to take a day off. You just do it because you are the master of your time.

In the same since, even if you are working from home, you get the chance to spend more time with your child in those early and precious years of his or her life. A time which is hard to make up for when you work in an office nine to five and your child is going to nursery every day, and the only time left you get to spend together is in the evening or at the weekends.
I am thankful I have that luxury: Time

Work at home mothers strive to achieve a harmonious work and family balance.
If this is also an ambition of yours, to raise your own child, you will most probably share my views. It is something possible if you are cut out for it. There are difficulties, but in my opinion it is worth your efforts, and it is worth the time you spend with your child.

OK, this all sounds nice and easy and I have to admit I didn’t write all the truth in this article. In the next one, I will tackle the dark side, the difficulties we may encounter being a work-at-home mother.

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