The alarm sounds and rudely awakens me from a deep slumber. It is another early Monday morning which means it’s time to get up, get dressed and take my oldest daughter to school. I then head home, turn on my computer and get to work. Mornings for me are the most difficult as I struggle to balance spending time with my youngest daughter (not quite school age and still at home) and muddle my way through and respond to the endless emails in my inbox. Who am I? I am a WAHM.
WAHMs, or work-at-home moms make up many of the small online businesses we find among the plethora of Websites which exist on the Internet today. Why have so many of today’s moms taken the plunge into online business ownership? While every mom’s situation and circumstance is unique, most moms start on the path to home-based entrepreneurship for two main reasons: First, most moms want to be at home in order to take part in the primary parenting responsibilities. Also, many moms find it difficult to make ends meet on their spouse’s income alone. This forces many moms to make a decision as to whether or not go back to work or to find work out of the home. For many moms, the demands of the corporate world are overwhelming and too demanding, so they decide to start their own online business in hopes of controlling the work day in terms of flexibility and scheduling.
Why do so many moms choose the Internet as a venue to start a home business? There are a couple of reasons: The Internet (Websites) and email allow for ease of communication. For example, traditional businesses usually handle correspondence via telephone or in person. Can you imagine trying to conduct business over the phone while in the background your child screams for more ice cream? Or imagine as a mom business owner that you have an office and that a client comes in to see you for a meeting, but suddenly your child who is in your office as well, has a potty training accident. What mom could or would ever attempt to conduct business in this fashion? Thus, conducting business via an interactive website or through email allows a mom to accomplish those business tasks which would have otherwise been impossible in traditional settings.
The second reason is the cost involved when starting a business. Traditional methods require a business owner to obtain a commercial office, and of course there is the overhead which is associated with such an office. In comparison, it is relatively in-expensive to start an online business. Most Web authoring tools are cost effective and extremely easy to learn, making the cost of designing a business website almost obsolete. Also, the price of maintaining an online business presence through a Web host is a fraction of the cost of maintaining a commercial office. These are some of the contributing factors as to why more and more moms are turning to Web business ownership.
Today’s moms are able to make their dream of working at home a reality, but some overlook one important factor-balance. While it may seem that the WAHM has it all, a closer look might reveal otherwise. WAHMs struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work and life. As with most of life’s challenges, there are solutions that can help the work-at-home mom successfully manage work and family life, some of which include the following:
-- Set boundaries. If possible, set limits on the amount of hours you will work each week.
-- Set a schedule. In addition to setting boundaries, incorporate a daily schedule to follow so that you will not become over worked or “burned out.”
-- Make time for your family. Remember that you started your online business with your family in mind and be sure to spend as much time with them as possible.
Although every WAHM’s situation and circumstance is unique, one common factor remains: To achieve the ideal work/family balance. Incorporating the techniques mentioned above, the WAHM will be able to focus and will gain the confidence she needs to run a successful Internet-based business and a happy home.