Every week I will have a new post on the topic of being a ‘work from home mum'. I’ve decided to add this topic to the This Mum At Home blog as it is another significant thing that is something I’ve done to simplify my life rather than the complications and stress we would have had on me going back to work for someone else once I had my babies. This is what has worked for me, it may or may not work for you too in your circumstances. You should make your own informed decision on if being a 'work from home mum' is something that will work for you with advice from the appropriate people. So here’s my first post and my story on how I have become a ‘work from home mum’ of 7 years!
(This blog post contains affiliate links.)
How It Started
For me I ‘accidentally’ fell into a at home business when I was 6 months pregnant with my eldest, Joseph, 7 years ago. My background is management and I’ve always had a drive towards anything creative and business related. I just get so excited at the goals and achievements you can accomplish, especially when it comes to running your own business. So at six months pregnant I found myself doing some photography as a hobby. Friends started asking me to do family photos, so on weekends and after work (I was working full time as a manager) I would take photos and then edit them late at night before bed. It started picking up really well and it soon occurred to me that If I continued this after I had the baby I could work for myself and create my own work hours around the needs of my family. Also here in Australia I had to weigh up the cost of childcare against what $$$ I would actually be bringing home working for someone else. In the end honestly I would be working for next to nothing once childcare was paid. I also would be missing most of my kids developing early years and I didn't want that. For us it just made more sense to try and give working from home a go.
Shortly after Joseph was born I started getting the photography out there more. It did very well and I didn’t miss a moment of Josephs milestones. I’ve had great time to bond with my kids daily and teach them myself about life etc rather than have someone else do it. I realize some mums need to go back to work as they have bigger financial commitements such as morage payments to be made. They simply can’t stay at home and I completely understand that. It doesn’t mean I am a better mother than they are, we just have different situations. We do not have a house of our own, we just rent. We chose not to have that financial commitment just yet in our lives so we could raise our family this way. It was just the choice we made. Now 7 years later and another child (now 19 months old) I’ve had my own business to add financially to the home and still been able to spend the time I planned with them.
Creating Multiple Income Streams
When I had Isabella 19 months ago, I took some leave from the photography and looked into other avenues to generate some extra income that would work with a baby and a school age child. (Life certainly went crazy and changed once Joseph started school – read my blog post that started my new journey here). The most important thing to me was about balancing everything so I could spend as much QUALITY family time with my husband and kids as possible. I wanted to work, but I also needed it not to consume my day 24/7. This is when I read Tim Ferris Book - The 4 Hour Work Week. It was a real eye opener and some things such as other peoples stories really jumped out at me. After seeing my best friend lose her fight with cancer and leaving her young children behind, my priorities changed and money became something that was needed for living rather than for endless materialistic items. I wanted a life with my children and husband as first priority. A life of experiences not things. The photography had been wonderful because I could literally do it anywhere in the world and could edit where ever I was. So when on holiday I would just take my work with me and it wouldn’t be restricting. I knew after reading The 4 Hour Work Week I wanted more ‘work’ just like that. I geared towards more options for online ‘work’ that I could do anywhere in the world and thought about the things that I was good at. The photography had set me up to self learn how to work with Photoshop and create different digital items as needed for my business and sometimes even customers. I soon tested and then created Josabella Kids a personalised digital invitation business that has seemed to be starting out quiet well. It wasn’t making millions but it was giving extra income to go on family holidays and other experiences as a family. The best part of coarse was it was all online and I could work where ever I was. It took hardly any of my time to do orders, so even on holiday I would ‘work’ and have money coming in daily for more holiday fun!
As another income stream I had created 2 Your Tube channels when I was pregnant to start documenting that journey and just to capture our everyday lives for our own memories and to share with family that live far away. Being a photographer capturing memories was always a big interest and I just loved it and the creative process. I initially did not start the channels with the intention to make any money, but within the first month I soon learnt I could monetize my channel and did to start making money off ads running etc. Again I wasn’t making millions, but I was making enough per month to cover the cost of the Josabella Kids and Photography website. Every month I make a little bit more and it’s slowly building. I may never make huge amounts like big You Tube families - Daily Bumps, Ellie & Jared, Cullen & Katie, but it's working for us just helping out the other business ventures. The channel has also lead to some sponsored product reviews, so that’s been a bonus to get products free I would otherwise have had to pay for.
Starting The Blog
The start of 2017 lead to me finally starting the This Mum At Home Blog. Something I had wanted to do for so long, but wasn’t entirely sure how to start. It came about simply because I’ve felt the urge to write a book for going on 20 years now lol I have no idea why that has stuck in my head for so long, but with the topic of this blog being things that people already ask me about I felt fit to just write about it and put it out there for others as well. Again the actual process of a blog is something I have taught myself and I've slowly gotten it out there. My goal is to have it not only as a record of my personal journey to ‘simplify a busy mumma's life’, but to also be a resource for other mums that wish to do similar. It will of coarse be something I would like to add to my multiple income stream financially.
With my years of website building and business experience, I've already started working with ways to make money off my blog and I’m confident over time it will too benefit us. (I use Shopify for all my websites that I’ve built myself. That includes this blog and have found them fantastic – you can start your 14 day free trail now with this link. You can do a lot with Shopify including running a online store like the one I have. There is excellent 24 hour support and it’s an easy option to self build your own website without paying someone else $$$$ to do it for you!)
Every one of the ‘jobs’ I have I enjoy and have passion for. So most of what I do, I do not think of it as ‘work’ in the traditional sense and this is kind of what Tim Ferris talks about in his book. If one is a little slower one month then the others are there to back up in the dollar department. Because I work for myself my hours are flexible and can be changed around the caos of ever changing family life. Right now this is working for us whilst the kids are young. Hopefully I can build everything up even more to continue throughout my children's lives as they grow.
These specific jobs will not suit everyone, but hopefully they encourage you to think about what you could do to become a 'work from home mum' if that is what you want.
Do you have a passion or a dream that could be turned into a job from home? Maybe the work you do now is something you could do?