WAHM

8 Challenges to Working From Home (With Small Children)

I love working from home.

I have the freedom to structure my day the way I want.

8 Challenges to Working From Home With Small Children

I can wear sweats all day, stay inside all day and if I want to take a day off, I can.

I also get to decide how much I get paid. Some writing projects I earn $100 per 500 words. Other projects, I earn as much as $200 per 500 words. And I have the potential to earn even more.

So, you see, if you are debating whether to ditch that 9-5 horrible job you have and live the life of a freelancer, I say go for it.

But, there will be challenges. Especially if you’re a mom with small children.

I have twin toddlers. They just turned three and are absorbing everything they see.

I’m fortunate to be able to stay home with them, raise them, cook homemade meals and play with them while still contributing to the household finances.

It’s really a win-win for me. But it’s not all that rosy. I’ve been a freelance writer for a little over a year now, and I can easily say this is a tough gig.

Here are eight challenges I’ve come across working from home with small children to take care of.

1. It’s Super Duper Stressful

sress

There I said it. Being a freelance writer and mom is totally stressful.

Deadlines, marketing, invoices, scheduling and all that comes with being a freelancer can be overwhelming.

On top of this, I am also an entrepreneur – I have a course for new freelance writers and I also coach new writers. So while I have a full list of client work, I also need to make myself available for all my course participants and coaching clients.

Oh yea, almost forgot – I also have my pet projects like my lifeststyle blog, my freelancer blog and this blog!

Trying to manage all this and not miss a deadline or not miss sending an invoice is tough when you’re a solopreneur. You make mistakes (I’ve made my share of mistakes in my freelance writing business).

Then there’s my family. I have daily chores to do, meals to cook, children to enrich. Yeah, it’s a full plate.

So, why do I put myself through this? Why do I need to manage several blogs, have a course and more than enough client work to make me stressed out?

Because it beats having a job. Before I had my children I taught in the school system. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t make nearly as much as I would’ve liked, and it wasn’t that fulfilling.

Having your own business means there’s no limit to how much you can make. And being an entrepreneur is contagious. My husband has had his own internet business for around 10 years and his outlook and excitement sure rubbed off on me during that time.

2. You Always Feel Guilty

guilt

I don’t know about you, but when I see how excited my children get when they ask if I can play with them and I say YES, I feel all guilty.

I divide my time during the day with doing chores and client work. There’s very little time for me to really sit down and play. The kids help me with my chores, my MIL comes in the afternoon and plays with them and I can get stuff done.

For the first year of freelance writing, I worked every day. And even though I still “work” every day, the weekends, at least, means more family time.

It’s a balance of course. Some weeks I work more on client work and on self projects and other weeks I spend time organizing the home, baking cookies and taking my children out to play groups. And when I do this, I still feel guilty.

3. Meal Planning Goes Out the Window

dinner

Maybe I just suck at meal planning, but ever since I started working from home, I find it incredibly hard coming up with a decent meal plan.

It could just be because my twins have a limited amount of food they like to eat. They are known to just eat bread, yogurt and fruit for every meal.

In either case, I fail at meal planning!

You might be thinking what I do end up cooking. Well my go-to meals are:

  • Spaghetti
  • Tacos
  • Butter chicken and rice (super simple to make)
  • Pork fried rice

Very international! Ha, never looked at it that way. But, that’s about it. My twins don’t like much of anything else like a simple stir fry or grilled cheese sandwich, so I rarely go out of my comfort zone when I cook.

4. Chores Never Get Done

Well, the chores do get done, just not on the same day. I may wash the laundry on Tuesday and it won’t get folded and put away until Thursday or Friday.

Dishes get done multiple times a day, but vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning up toys don’t happen every day.

I have to realize that it’s okay if the house is a bit messy. It’s not the end of the world!

But, doesn’t it suck when on the day you have a huge mess in the house – a sink full of dirty dishes, crumbs on the floor and toys everywhere – that company pops by? Happens to me ALL THE TIME.

5. Everything Stops When Someone Gets Sick

coffee

I’ve been sick lately. Now my daughter is sick.

But, she doesn’t have a head cold like me. She’s actually sick – throwing up and unable to keep food down. This is a first for me and I’m a little stressed out by it all.

I’m still battling this silly cold (nose blowing, pressure build-up, watery eyes), and of course the sky dumped about 12 inches of snow so if we do have to go to emergency, we have the added pressure of not crashing the car.

In our life, when it rains, it POURS.

And I’m pretty sure tomorrow, my son and everyone else in the family will be getting this throwing up thing. What fun…

6. Notes Get Lost All the Time

notes

I’m a note taker. I have notebooks, journals and sticky notes all over the house.

I use them to write ideas, headlines, outlines, projects, tasks to do, things to remember or sites to visit again.

But, you know what ends up happening?

My son or daughter gets a hold of these notes and I end up losing them. Sure, there’s digital note trackers like Trello (which I do have an account and do use for my projects), but for day-to-day things I find writing them down easier and better for me.

Being organized is something I’m learning on the job. When you have small children, it’s tough for them not to touch your things. I’ve gone through several laptops and keyboards because my son likes to tap tap tap HARD, which ends up breaking them.

He’s learning though (I now give him my old cell phone and he can spend a good 20 minutes fiddling with that while I type!).

7. You’re Always Hustling

hustle

If you’re new to freelance writing then the bulk of your time will be spent hustling for work.

Well, I no longer have to do that. Work finds me often and since I have a full list of clients, I can pick and choose my next projects.

But, I’m still hustling.

As an entrepreneur with a product, I have to work hard at networking, guest posting, marketing and perfecting my sales page or sales funnels on a continual basis.

My goal is to grow my email lists. I have several lists – on my ElnaCain site, FreelancerFAQs site and my Writeto1k site.

I’m planning on starting a list for this blog too. I currently have over 1,000 subscribers total. I want to grow my list since the more people you have on your list, the higher conversions you can have with products your selling.

And I’m doing more than just a course for freelance writers, so I want a good number of subscribers – leads – when I unveil my new projects.

Needless to say, I’m hustling hard!

8. There’s Never Enough Time

not-enough-time

Some days, I can’t believe it’s 6pm and I’ve barely wrote a post or outline and dinner is not on the table.

Every day I’m playing catch up. Monday is the busiest day of the week, both in my business and at home, and by the end of the week, I’m amazing I got anything done.

It’s a challenge fitting in all my writing pieces or getting the house cleaned and organized and having proper meals on the table.

I mean, my glasses are STILL broken – from Christmas! Luckily I managed to find time to cut my hair and see the doctor.

There’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done.

It’s a Challenge But So Worth It

If you ask 10 people who work from home if they love what they’re doing, all of them will say yes – including me.

I wouldn’t change this for anything.

Over to you – if you recently started working from home, what do you find to be the most challenging thing about it?

I'm Elna, wife to my college sweetheart and mother to my school-aged twins. Together we are the parent entrepreneurs. I'm also a professional blogger and freelance writer. I help mom bloggers make money blogging so they can stay home with their little ones too! Come join me in the Mom to Mompreneur Facebook group!

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14 Comments

I know this is an older post, but I feel this way exactly! I’ve been trying to start my blog for years now! I never seem to find the time to write. I’ve got 7 kids and have a home daycare (only watching 1 child now). I just don’t know how bloggers wit’s kids get anything done. I guess I’ve just got to lower my standards, lol.Reply to Eliza
Hi Eliza! Yes! Lower your standards and give up trying to clean EVERYTHING!!! Really…if the kids are happy, fed and taken care of, that’s all that counts!Reply to Elna
Oh my gosh… One word, well two-way crock pot! Seriously, that is the only way we eat. Most days I also use my stove top steamer to make a veggie side. This is literally the only way we eat now that I started a blog. Nap time used to be dinner prep and house cleaning… Not anymore. I’m busy all the time now… I don’t know how you do it!Reply to Caroleann
Hi Caroleann, That sounds awesome. I’ve never heard of a two-way crockpot! Will go investigate now 🙂Reply to Elna
These are all challenges I’m facing and I only have one blog! Lol- Kudos to you!Reply to Sarah
Hey Sarah! Yeah! It’s hella hard I know. My twins turned four years old yesterday and it’s a bit easier. They aren’t in school or any day program or day care. They are with me every day all day and they no longer have day naps. So, I have to type super fast and take a lot of notes during the day and so far, it’s working!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I found myself in all that you said. No time, feeling guilty, endless lists. It is hard to be an entrepreneur, writer, blogger whatever and the mother. But If I wouldn’t do it I wouldn’t be happy. Happy mother = happy child, isn’t? That is how it goes! Almost forget – happy mother, happy husband as well. Ha-ha! RahelaReply to Rahela
Hi Rahela, Thanks! Working from home with little ones is a big challenge for sure. Happy to hear that you wouldn’t change your situation for anything! I know I enjoy being a freelance writer and blogger and I know in the end, my children will benefit from all my hard work!Reply to Elna
This is awesome! Love the new blog — thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m expecting my first in June and have switched to freelancing in anticipation of having a little one around. The in-laws sound great in terms of coming by and helping out; that’s really wonderful, and such a great chance for your kids to bond. Looking forward to reading this blog with my baby on the way and reading more about how you balance it all.Reply to Alison
Hi Alison, Thanks so much. I plan on having a newsletter for this blog, but have to first create the awesome lead magnet to attract subscribers. Thanks so much and congrats on the baby! I know some other freelance writers who just had a baby and for me, they are supermoms! It’s tough taking care of any child and trying to run a business. I hope this blog can help people like you and us work together and become mamapreneurs! Yes I am grateful for the in-laws, but as I mentioned, it can get stressful at times because the kids don’t really listen to us when they are around. I’ll be sure to write more about balancing it all. I’ve talked to other mommy bloggers and they want to know how I manage to do this with twins! So, be on the lookout for those types of posts. Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
This is close to my life, but I don’t have twins! 🙂 I have the upmost respect for how much you’re able to accomplish considering everything you have going on! One of the most helpful things for me is that my husband likes to cook. He’ll cook several nights a week. When he doesn’t cook I make paninis or quesadillas in the panini-maker and microwave frozen veggies. I also love my crock-pot!Reply to Emily
Hi Emily! Thanks so much. It is challenging for sure. I have in-laws that come by everyday and although it can be a little chaotic with the kids, they are a big help. I wish my kids liked cheese. They don’t like cheese at all 🙁Reply to Elna
I LOVE your new blog, Elna! This is a great post. Even though my youngest is a teenager, I still face some of the same obstacles as moms with younger kids, especially since he doesn’t drive yet and I feel like a full time taxi driver most days! But I agree 100% that this freelancing thing is totally worth the trade-off! Looking forward to the day when it’s my full time gig!Reply to Cheri
Hey Cheri, Thanks for stopping by! I’m still recovering from my sickness and haven’t done much client work (I know I’ll be cramming in a day or two!). I hope I can grow this blog and meet some other awesome mommypreneurs! It will be different once my children are in school, that’s for sure. I’m sure I’ll get more uninterrupted time, but there will definitely be more obligations as well. Enjoy your weekend!Reply to Elna