From a working mom to stay at home mom (SAHM) blogger – Honest confessions & tips
Disclaimer: I have walked on both paths, being a working mom for a year and a stay at home mom blogger now, and I feel being a mom in itself is a big task, and anyone who is doing it, either way, deserves an applause. There is no intention here to hurt the feelings of any mom. I am sharing my real confessions and some tips, since I know the depression that a stay at home mom feels is real, and even if I am able to boost the confidence of any one mom, this article reaped its fruit!!
First of all, let me start by saying, “If you are a mom, you are doing great”. We don’t get to hear this often, do we? But, we need this boost. We need it to survive the amount of physical and emotional effort we put through to have our act together. Starting from taking care of home to kids, spouse, parents, kitchen, job, groceries, laundry, the duties are endless.
And if you are one of those moms (like me), who has been working for years altogether before her baby was born (I was a software engineer for 8 years), and have now decided to work from home (it can be some home business, blogging, some part-time job, freelancing, being an online reseller, Instagram or other social media influencer, etc), I would suggest you to keep some things in mind (from the very early on). I wish someone had guided me on this when I had started thinking to make blogging a full-time job, because, trust me, the transition phase is not easy.
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If you are considering making the switch to work as a stay at home mom, please do keep in mind these few golden points:
1. The GUILT – I have spent years on my education and job, and now I have to work from home
The major guilt pangs come from the constant reminders that keep on popping in our heads about the education and former work experience. While it is true that I have spent many years studying for and working on the 9 to 5 job, but, I also keep on reminding myself of the positive things and flexibility that I’ll get working on my terms as a stay at home mom.
You need to constantly remind yourself that this is what is working best for your family. Don’t let the guilt monster take over your thoughts, because I know, the depression it brings is REAL. Kill that guilt monster right away. Stay at home mom (SAHM) jobs is something you can take seriously these days. Do your research and go for it girl!
2. Remember, you don’t always need to follow the difficult path
Doing a 9-to-5 job is very difficult these days. While working 9 to 5 justified what I learnt during my school/college years, but I also realized that me and my husband constantly talk about what we can do after few years (we call it retirement from our software jobs).
The job industry has been a lot demanding recently, and it definitely takes a toll on our day-to-day lives. We are running day and night, finishing off one deadline after the other, looking forward to the weekends. It’s all too overwhelming and tiring, giving our physical and mental health a hard time.
So, being a stay at home mom (SAHM) blogger is giving me an opportunity to look forward to each day, with deadlines that are self decided and which I can reschedule as per my family’s, especially my child’s demands. This is the easy path for me now, and I have no shame in choosing it, because we were planning to follow that in later years anyways.
3. The financial independence saga – don’t let it fool you into unwanted depression
Being a working mom definitely helps your family financially, looking at the rising costs these days. But, if you are able to manage and save within a single salary, I would say this is just the start for you. Working from home (for me as a blogger) is not giving me the paycheck that I used to get. But it is opening doors for many other opportunities for me, which are going to pay very well in the long run.
It is a slow progress, but if you are dedicated and you have the right support at home (especially from your spouse), you can reach heights that you can’t even imagine otherwise. It is not only giving you work flexibility, but also an opportunity to convert your passion into a full time income. And trust me, when you are working on something that you love doing, the dedication is exemplary and returns can be unimaginable at times.
So, if you are planning to start working from home, don’t let the financial independence (that you had earlier) fool you, it’s just a matter of time now. Let the financial independence guilts come and go, don’t take them too seriously!
4. The perks – Flexible timings/location and availability for family/kids
The best part about being a stay at home mom blogger, has been the way our day is organized. Trust me, it is very difficult to manage (especially the meals) when you are working full time. It was taking a toll on my health earlier, which was one of the reasons I wanted to work from home.
It’s not like I work less now, instead I think I am spending more time these days, working on and planning my blog. If you are a food blogger (or you know one personally), you will understand that creating a recipe (deciding the recipe, creating it, and then taking hundreds of pictures of a single recipe which results in hardly 10 of the best images being published), is just a start.
That is where the real work starts. Creating the blog post (not just the recipe, but the initial content which talks about recipe and other general things), then publishing it, then posting it on all the social media platforms, the different recipe/food sites (foodgawker.com, tastespotting.com, fridgg.com, recipelion.com, just to name a few). And not forgetting the pinterest sharing. And after all this, SEO is another thing that you have to worry about. Blindly creating content is not how it works, you need to check that your blog posts are coming up successfully with good ranking in search results for organic traffic. And then once you understand the intricacies of SEO, there is a work of revamping your site as per SEO standards.
I think I have spent so much time analyzing and reading about SEO, but I still feel the learning has just started (and all this despite my previous SEO experience working on a project during my initial phase of career, years back, though that experience has definitely proved beneficial for me here).
All said and done, the work is a lot if you take this path. But the flexibility of timings and location is a huge advantage. Of course, you can be available for the family as per the needs, this is so important when you have children.
5. Don’t compare yourself to other people, especially working mothers
While I really respect women who can or have to manage all aspects of life, including full-time job, kids, family, etc, I also feel the women who decide to take the path of doing job as stay at home moms (SAHM) should not feel disheartened. To each, their own. What works for one family, might not work for someone else, and vice versa. So, comparing yourself to a working mom is going to waste your time getting out of the unwanted depression that comes with it. Better to not compare your life with anyone else, and focus on what you can do which is best for your situation. Comparison sucks, train your mind to ward that off.
Also, don’t think of working from home as a taboo, which makes you feel looked down upon by people who only respect people with white collared jobs. Trust me they are dealing with own insecurities in life. Think of it as something you decided to go for as per the system that works for your family after you became a mother.
6. This is the right time to convert your passion into a source of income
I still remember how much I loved to write as a kid. I used to buy diaries and fill pages of it with my thoughts, my feelings. I had even won an essay writing competition in school once. That was a very small thing, but it had definitely given me a boost at that time. Once I had started working, those things came to a sudden stop. But after I became a mother and took a break for my daughter, my urge to start writing came back. And this time that urge was so strong, that I started this blog. I discovered my love for baking also after I became a mother.
I was blogging on and off, trying to look for a job side by side. But somewhere, I also knew that the mental satisfaction that I am getting through this blog is indescribable. I was searching half-heartedly for the regular 9-to-5 job. Then I researched a lot on how blogging can generate income for you. And I also read about success stories of many full time bloggers, some of whom even left their well paying jobs just to devote their full time to their passion.
And it is incredible to read about their success stories, especially their earnings, which is commendable. It was such a morale booster for me. That was the moment when I was sure about converting my passion into something that I will do full time. It is not easy, the progress is slow, but I look forward to do something new and exciting each day. Each day for me now is fulfilling.
7. Most of us are planning what we’ll do (to earn) once we retire from our boring 9 to 5 jobs, you just got to think about it sooner
The blog demands a lot of time and planning. All that planning needs time. Blogging is one sphere which takes time to gain traction, the success does not happen overnight. You need to keep at it, even if you feel low, which happens when you don’t earn anything for some time.
So, I feel this is the best time for me to give it a start. Think of it as sowing a seed now, you will feel content to see the blog growing, just like your baby. It is therapeutic. It takes few years for blogging business to give real fruits, so the sooner you start, the better.
8. Lastly, if this works for your family, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
This is your life. No one can tell you better how to live it. If you and spouse come to an understanding, even if some third person tells you that you can do better than this, stop reacting. Every family has it’s set system that works for them (one spouse working, both spouse working), but only you can decide what works for your family. Don’t take any decision based on what someone else thinks, do what works for you.
Love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Do share in comments. Till then.