WAHM tips… I wish I could give you more of these, but I started working full-time last February. I miss being a work-at-home-Mom. I enjoyed the flexibility of time and spending a lot of time with my son. I was a work-at-home-Mom (WAHM) for 2 years. It was one of the most challenging times in my life but definitely one of the sweetest. Getting to be there during my son’s toddler years was a big blessing.
It wasn’t always perfect, but enjoyable nonetheless. Still I’d change a couple of things about how I WAHM-ed it. Hindsight is always 20/20 right? Without further ado, here are…
What are these 5 things?
WAHM Tips: 5 Things I’d Do Differently If I Were a WAHM again
- Get serious about my workspace.
- A foldable table was my office for those 2 years. My workspace was hardly pinnable. It was very functional. It was set up in the bedroom, right beside our bed, so that I could work while my son took his naps. In the evenings, I’d transfer to the dining area and work there. I was quite the transient as I didn’t have a workspace to serve as my anchor.
- That’s what I’d change — create a workspace that would anchor my WAHM lifestyle. My husband and I recently bought a white desk (pictured above) and it’s a great workspace! I use it when I work virtually or when I’m blogging at home.
- Checking e-mail was done regularly. Too regularly, in my case. I carry my iPhone with me everywhere I go. When I’d get an e-mail from co-workers, no matter what time of the day it was, I couldn’t resist answering. Yes, even if it was 3 am. Yes, even if it was 10 am while I was playing with my son. My workaholic streak didn’t stop even when I had a more relaxed working atmosphere at home. I think it even intensified.
- While choosing your own time is a big plus of being a WAHM, I learned that you also have to schedule your personal time. The lines get blurred when you work from home.
- No matter how much of a homebody you are (like I am), you can get a little cabin fever if you work from home all days of the week. Working away from home is another way to recharge yourself.
- I had meetings with my team every two weeks back then. I looked forward to those team check-ins as I enjoyed discussing work face-to-face, bonding with them and of course, taking a break from the homebound routine. I wish I had made it a weekly habit, meetings or no meetings.
- Projects are blessings, but there comes a time when the number of projects can be a little toxic. I had to take on a lot of projects because it was an opportunity cost to say no. But thinking back, I would have traded in a day’s worth of sleep (a.k.a. a day of good health) for some projects.
- When I became a WAHM, I felt I had to prove to myself more that I wouldn’t be laid back on the job. The relaxed environment at home can be very tempting to just kick back and chill. The workaholic in me doubled when I began working from home. I didn’t want to be seduced by afternoon naps or random trips to the store.
- Here’s what I’d tell my old WAHM self: “Chill! Finish your work for the day and relax. Quit competing with yourself so much. It’s okay to want to work hard but don’t overdo it!”
Maybe my WAHM lifestyle would’ve been different. Hey, perhaps someday I’ll be able to apply these WAHM tips again. For all we know, being a WAHM could still be in my horizon.
ChamAugust 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm (10 years ago)
Thanks for sharing! Can never get enough of these tips from WAHMs who were REALLY able to make it work…
ToniAugust 10, 2013 at 11:52 pm (10 years ago)
Thanks for commenting, Cham! I miss the WAHM life. Maybe someday I’ll do that again!
Rina ZamoraAugust 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm (10 years ago)
Agree! Some thing being a WHAM is easier because you get to “chill” at home. But in fact the work is the same, in fact its more challenging because you have distractions. Im still a WHAM so thanks for these tips!:-)
ToniAugust 10, 2013 at 11:51 pm (10 years ago)
You’re welcome, Rina! And thanks for sharing. You’re right, there were a lot of distractions! So plenty! At least in the office you could just focus on the job since everyone else was doing theirs. At home there’s TV, food, our kids, the bed… that was the ultimate test in patience and willpower!
MaggieAugust 10, 2013 at 9:12 pm (10 years ago)
I want to be a WAHM. There I said it. But I do not know how. But I am seriously thinking of being one soon. I’ll keep these tips in mind for sure.
ToniAugust 10, 2013 at 11:50 pm (10 years ago)
It was a difficult transition for me, especially the financial side. But I got the hang of it eventually. By the time I was getting used to it though, I had to return to corporate na. Haha! Maybe in a few years I can do the WAHM thing again. Perhaps we’ll be WAHMing together by then, for all we know! 😉
IdyAugust 11, 2013 at 12:11 am (10 years ago)
Thank you for the tips. Will definitely apply these now that I’m a Work at home mom.
ToniAugust 11, 2013 at 12:25 am (10 years ago)
Enjoy the WAHM life, Idy!
BadetAugust 11, 2013 at 12:16 am (10 years ago)
I tried to be a WAHM during my maternity leave, just to test the waters, if I can be successful. Unfortunately, playing and taking care with my daughter sounds exciting than sitting in front of my laptop. Too many distractions at home I salute all the successful WAHMs who made it work.
ToniAugust 11, 2013 at 12:25 am (10 years ago)
Blessie AdlaonAugust 11, 2013 at 1:43 am (10 years ago)
Hi, Badet! In my experience, the two months after childbirth are the hardest times to be a WAHM. Before I gave birth, I could write three articles in one day. In the two months after childbirth, thanks to the endless diaper-changing, breastfeeding, and of course, just staring at the wonderful miracle that was my baby, I could write only one article in three days.
My baby’s 11 months old now, and I have just started to get back to my old work speed — not fully there yet, but slowly getting back on track.
Why am I sharing this? I think you can still be successful at being a WAHM; you just decided to test the waters at a less-than-ideal time. Maybe when your baby has learned to walk, or starts going to school, you could test the waters again
ToniAugust 11, 2013 at 1:50 am (10 years ago)
That’s a very valid point, Blessie! I tried the WAHM life when my son was a toddler. He was 1 1/2 when I became a WAHM so I guess that’s relatively easier than being a WAHM while having an infant. So I definitely toast to all WAHMs who continue to work while they have newborns! Galing, galing. But of course, every WAHM has her own challenge so here’s another toast to all WAHMs no matter how old their kids are! 😀
PattyAugust 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm (10 years ago)
These are great tips, Toni, and I am definitely gonna apply all of them to my WAHM-ing self. Especially the workspace one. I am now also working on a folding table, right next to our bed to save space (so that I don’t need a chair). Not ideal, for sure. Time to make some adjustments. Thanks for sharing!!! 😀
ToniAugust 12, 2013 at 12:31 am (10 years ago)
We’re so alike talaga! Yes, do make time to replace that folding table! I guess if the table is firmly planted then it can help inspire you to be even more rooted in your work, right? Wish I had that back then. I worked pretty well with the folding table, but I feel it would’ve been different if I had my own space. (The folding table would also double as a dining table when I’d have a late snack!)
RenzAugust 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm (10 years ago)
Great tips Toni! I do every single one of them and more. Being a WAHM for 6 years, I learned a lot of ways to make it work. ‘Twas not easy but it happened and it worked.
ToniAugust 12, 2013 at 12:31 am (10 years ago)
Thanks Renz! Sarap naman, 6 years! Good going!
MichelleAugust 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm (10 years ago)
Wonderful post, Toni. When I started being a WAHM 3 years ago, my youngest was then already 2 years and 10 months but then weeks after, I got pregnant, haha. I worked like crazy when I was pregnant, “infanticipating” that I’d be slowed down the moment baby comes. I was right. When baby did come, breastfeeding on demand and diapering and laundry had to take center stage and my work became no more than a 5-to-7-hour-a-week output. But that’s okay. I’m slowly picking up speed, though. But always, I take not just a day off but two, every week. Sunday for church (my hubby’s a pastor, that’s why, ) and Monday for cleaning and recreation. I really hope I could have a home office, but for now, working on a table just an arm’s reach from the bed where my 2-year-old (yes, 2 years old na s’ya) sleeps seems to me to be the best arrangement. Someday, when all my 3 kids are in school, perhaps I’d have one of those dream home offices I keep seeing on pinterest. : )
ToniAugust 12, 2013 at 12:32 am (10 years ago)
I share in your dreams! Perhaps someday I’ll have my own home office too. And by that I mean a dedicated room at home for work! 😉
CarinaAugust 13, 2013 at 6:10 pm (10 years ago)
Nice tips! I’m employed full time but I always work from home, thankfully. I do have a dedicated home office, and my kid’s in school na most of the day, so I really do get a lot done when he’s out. Including doing worksheets for him (not an easy task, I tell yah). Although, I’m guilty of checking emails constantly coz I feel like I need to over communicate. Damn these blackberry! LOL
Well, hope you get back to WAHMing too
ToniAugust 14, 2013 at 10:02 am (10 years ago)
Good going, Carina! Damn this iPhone too. 😛 Thanks for wishing me the WAHM life back! Someday, someday. 😉
Julia Jasmine Sta RomanaAugust 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm (10 years ago)
My friend shared your post after I had a “why do I even bother?” moment. Your post helped me put my WAHM life into perspective. I was feeling a little frustrated because I felt like I wasn’t working enough. Your post made me realize I was working enough and I shouldn’t feel guilty if I wanted to parent more =)
ToniAugust 14, 2013 at 10:03 am (10 years ago)
Thanks for dropping by, Julia. Sometimes we feel like we’re not trying hard enough when we already are giving our all! We Moms need to take a breather once in awhile. It also helps we have friends to remind us to slow down and give us a pat on the back that we are doing fine, just fine.
CherylSeptember 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm (10 years ago)
I love your tips, Toni!!!
(especially #1 and #3)
ToniSeptember 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm (10 years ago)
Thank you Cheryl!! Hi to the Balsam folks!