How I make working from home as a single mom work
So, confession time. Being a single mom is hard…like, super hard. I guess that isn’t really much of a confession, is it? I’m sure you yourself know quite well how hard it is. But, for me, it’s harder than I ever anticipated. When I was faced with the reality of raising my son on my own, without his father being in the picture I thought “ok, no big deal, we’ll be fine. Women raise kids on their own all the time. I’m strong, I can do this. Who needs ya!” But now as my son is getting older…I’m struggling to make it all work without much support around and it’s not getting any easier, especially with a tough little stinker like my son.
Now add working from home to this and well….I’m sure you can already see my sanity flying right out the dirty window…but it’s a choice I made the moment I found out I’d be expecting this little bundle of….joy (in a sarcastic tone). I had always planned on being a work from home mom, it’s something I firmly believe in. I have always felt that mothers belong home with their children, and if a second income was needed or if she simply just wanted her own ‘thing” other than the whole housewife stereotype, then a little work from home business was the perfect idea. But I just never thought I’d be alone, with no husband to help support us. So…here I am, sticking to my guns and my beliefs about motherhood and after 7 years and many unsuccessful tries and wasted time on failed ideas, I now have my own home business.
I love working at home for many reasons other than just my firm belief that it is the right thing to do as a mother. It allows me to homeschool my son, which is also a huge importance and it also gives us more time together each day and more freedom and flexibility to just live life and not worry much about schedules or me having to leave him with strangers. It is my job to teach him, raise him and help him grow. So, I have to make it all work. No matter how stressful, how difficult, how soul-crushing, headache-inducing or social life destructing it all is. Every second is worth it to know that I am doing what is best for my child by giving him me, all day, every day. So how exactly do I make it work? Let me break it down…or at least try to anyway…
This is one of the biggest issues with working at home being a single parent. Without another person bringing home the bacon, it’s all up to me to provide for the two of us. Some months are not exactly worry free, in fact, most aren’t. But since we live with my parents, that helps a great deal in that department. I still have to pay for all our separate bills, food, clothes, and pretty much everything else. So pulling in enough income to keep us going is quite the struggle. My business is still new and growing, and I have a long way to go before I can say I am a successful business owner, but with my super skills at budgeting, and finding all kinds of ways to save money and pinch those pennies I think we do pretty well. I hustle like a mama should, work hard and go after my goals. With time and plenty of sweat and tears, we will make it on our own and God willing be able to finally live in our own home. It’s a work in progress people. So as long as we have pizza and Netflix we’re good. ‘Cause…those are the important things, right? 😛
As for managing time for work, school and free time I have a pretty simple system. I mainly work at night. Partly due to having bad internet because we live out in the remote country and partly due to needing to focus on work with constant distraction to stop and scream at my rambunctious and sometimes seemingly possessed 7-year-old. So, every night I stay up long past even when most night owls have slipped into dreamland, and I get shiz done. Then during the day, there is more time for homeschooling lessons, daily chores, and even some writing. I also give thanks to using a day planner to creatively put down all the daily to-do’s, shopping lists, tv show schedules, appointments, reminders, and goals. I use fun stickers and washi tapes to make it something I actually want to take the time to do. Using a really well put together planner with lots of room and space for writing is a must for any busy mom or business woman.
Another way I make it all work is by panning out the specific days to leave the house and run errands. Knowing what day you’re going out days ahead of time really helps. Usually once a week we make our trips to town, which for us is over an hour’s drive being out so remote in the country. We go grocery shopping, drugstore runs, pet store, department store, thrift store and everything else in one full day out. Then plan next weeks trip or decide we don’t need one and skip a week. It’s great to spend a day out remembering that I am in fact a human, that there are other people out there and feel how nice it is to not wear sweatpants for a day. It helps with so much!
Lastly, I make things work by my sheer motivation. I stick to my reasons for doing everything I’m doing and no matter what the obstacles, I make things happen and keep our little family going. I enjoy being a crazy mompreneur. Well…sometimes, and every sanity losing moment is well worth it.
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Much love, your girl,