I have many friends that are stay at home moms but they do part-time work from their homes. Whether it is selling Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, Mary Kay, Kelly’s Kids, free-lance writing, baking cakes, etc. There is a fine but sticky line involved in that kind of business because you are viewed as a full-time, stay-at-home mom however you still have responsibilities and obligations to meet for your clients. Somehow a crazy balancing act takes place and of course the mom guilt sets in regarding time management, finishing tasks, having a successful business and bringing in money but not “taking away” from time with your family.
I really admire these moms because I sold Discovery Toys for a while and I remember that struggle. I loved having the parties and I loved the products and I loved using a different part of my brain…however the balancing act was a challenge that I didn’t really prepare for well.
Over the past week or so I have enjoyed reading a book by a successful “work-at-home” mom, Mary M. Byers. I wish I read Making Work at Home Work back when I was selling Discovery Toys. Byers does a great job at prioritizing simple questions women should ask themselves as they embark on the adventure of working at home for a profit. They are truly simple questions and concepts but they establish priorities and boundaries to protect your sanity, your marriage, your role as a mother, your time management and your ability to actually succeed and make a profit.
The first half of the book is titled Saving Your Sanity. It focuses on helping you process through your own reasons for working at-home, communicating with your spouse for a successful partnership and team approach, giving ideas and strategies for child care options and even simple practical solutions for dinner time dilemmas.
The second half of the book helps you work on Preserving Your Profit. Byers digs in to some real business how-tos like record keeping and deductions, subcontracting, planning ahead, retirement planning and even accepting the fact that you don’t have to know it all to be a success.
The chapters are short and simple and scattered throughout the book are mini-profile/interviews with 13 successful work-at-home moms. They represent all different kinds of businesses, strategic ideas and lengths of time that they have been “at it.”
Byers succeeds at being down-to-earth, witty, realistic and entertaining. The book is a quick read and I came away with many practical ideas. I wish I would have had this earlier in the game because I could relate with the struggles she describes. Byers succeeds in helping moms ask the hard questions that can lead to some real freedom in setting healthy boundaries which will lead to greater productivity, peace in the home and self-confidence.
So if you are a work-at-home mom, are thinking of becoming one or know someone that could use some encouragement in their pursuit, I highly recommend this book! Pick it up and you can read it in a few days and gain a lot of insight. You should be able to find it at your local bookstore or even pick it up online:)