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It’s been a year since I left behind the comfort and security of a corporate job. Knowing what my monthly salary will be is a thing of the past now that I’m a freelancing copywriter and digital marketer. Work-at-home mom life is challenging and ever-changing.
And then throw in the extremely unprecedented event of the coronavirus pandemic and you have the perfect storm for regret.
But I have no regrets about leaving corporate work behind. The last six months have certainly been challenging and work has not been as reliable as it once was with freelancing.
I have to keep in mind why I left corporate. The constant back and forth to daycare, packing snacks, diapers and ensuring I had enough bottles of breastmilk was stressful. And my son never slept at daycare, which meant I’d bring him home, feed him dinner and he’d go to bed. I didn’t get to see him much or play with him.
It felt like all my time was consumed with commuting to and from daycare or preparing to get my son there.
What it’s like to be a WAHM during the pandemic
Many moms can explain work-at-home life during the pandemic since so many offices closed. Much of what I’ll say about the work of balancing a career while having a child home will be nothing new to you.
The difference is that as a freelancer, my income isn’t set. I have a set of consistent clients and sometimes I take on special projects here and there. But the pandemic closed many businesses entirely or drastically harmed their income.
So I’ve spent way more time prospecting than I normally would. And the great unknown is always in the back of my mind challenging me and providing some anxiety. I’ve had so much more fluctuation in my clients during the pandemic than I normally would.
Peace of mind only comes from knowing that this is what I love. I’m passionate about being a WAHM and so I work tirelessly to ensure it’s a stable income for my family.
For all work-at-home moms without a firm salary position, here are my tips for the pandemic:
- Monitor income carefully and do regular projections so you know months where income will be light and you’ll need some special projects or new clients.
- Network and never turn down an opportunity to discuss a project, even if it seems far-fetched. You never know where the conversation will lead. Don’t take on projects you can’t do but don’t be afraid to try something new either.
- Live with confidence. I’d been afraid to build my own brand, blog for my business website (even though I do it all the time for clients) and put myself out there more. But then I realized that was silly. I hid behind ghostwriting and liked being anonymous. No more. Now I’m building my personal brand and it’s going really well for me.
- Talk about your challenges and share your thoughts with those who will listen. Sometimes just talking about what I was going through with my business with loved ones helped me feel better about what I was doing and the track I was on. So start talking and don’t keep everything bottled up.
- Never forget why you started your work-at-home mom life. Think back to what made you passionately pursue this lifestyle and lean on that when times are hard.
While we don’t know when just yet, the pandemic will end. The big question is whether or not you’ll have the life you want when it does end. Don’t give up on being a WAHM if that’s what you really want. Do what’s best for your family and pursue your dreams with passion. I’m certainly glad I did.