To be a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) or Not?

By Maria Adavieve Mella

Mommy Ada with baby Cashel
Being pregnant and maintaining a nine-hour job is truly an exceptional feat that women should be saluted and respected for. Personally, I admire expectant mothers who continue their career working for nine straight hours while a bun is baking lovingly in the oven. I can imagine the daily battles, which include out-of-this world and intermittent mood swings, unnecessary fears, and sometimes, unlimited cravings for different what-nots. After finding out that I would soon be a mother, my husband and myself have fully decided that I retire from teaching in a classroom because we want to foster a less stressful environment for myself and for my baby. Throughout the pregnancy, I devoted my time and invested on a permanent home-based business.

A little about me:
I’m a special education teacher by profession, and for the past ten years, I have taught in different classroom settings – high school, preschool and special education. Experiences in the past as a teacher contributed a lot to my current activities as a work-at-home expectant mother. I have never realized that I have creative juices stored in my system, which I’ve been currently pouring out as I bake sweets and as I engage myself in different art and craft activity.

Why be a WAHM (work at home mom)?
I am personally surprised that I have decided to put up a business that’s home-based. Little did my closest friends know that I have culinary skills or have a penchant for art and craft. My own parents never thought that I could possibly bake or whip up something delectable as my chewy chocolate chip cookies and crinkles (pardon the shameless plugging). Initially, I have wanted to put up a small special education center with a reading programme somewhere in the southern part of the Philippines. But I have decided to put this on hold because I got pregnant. I am aware that my mobility to transact different activities will be limited due to my condition, lest I choose to stress myself out, which would be detrimental to me and to my unborn baby.

Working at home means I have control over my time, money and energy. I have also discovered that working at home has endless possibilities! Currently, I manage 4 different work-at-home activities, namely, baking sweets, making crafts, “online garage sale,” and teaching ESL students. My hard-earned money from working abroad is invested in different investment facilities, so as far as my expenses are concerned, the profits from my different work-at-home activities are being used.

Should expectant mothers decide to work at home, here are some wise tips that may be considered:

1) Have an emergency fund. 
If you can manage putting up an emergency fund at the same time managing a home-based business, that’s okay, but never stress out yourself!

2) Budget your money.
Corollary to tip #1, it is advisable to strictly budget your money. Being a work-at-home expectant mother does not necessarily mean that you are able to save a lot. On the contrary, there are times when you are not able to work because of scheduled check-ups. Time is also devoted to exercises and naps. Hence, there are days when home-based businesses operated solely by expectant mothers experience financial lulls, so it’s best to allocate money for different expenses.

3) Decide whether it is a permanent or temporary home-based business.
On choosing your home-based business: decide whether it will be a permanent or a temporary home-based business. Personally, I have chosen to have a permanent home-based business because, firstly, I will home-school my children in the future. All the activities that I currently do will be imparted to my children (home-schooling is another story J ).

4) Know your market
Focus on the needs of your target group of people. I knew that my initial market would be expectant mothers who also crave for sweets. Slowly, my market extended to office workers- young and old alike- and school-aged children.

Minimize spending for your home-based business (especially if this is temporary.) You have to be resourceful and find ways to come up with tools, ingredients, etc. that you need. I love the idea that I can cater to different groups of people at home without necessarily having a physical structure, which entails huge expenses, like a restaurant or a craft shop, although putting up a comfort food shack is possible.

Identify your interests. It’s a cliché to mention that you gotta love what you do or follow your passion. In fact, some studies in the field of business say that this isn’t advisable, but somehow this works for me.

5) Be creative.
At present, you might be lacking skills, but there are tons of DIY videos online which will facilitate your learning. Talk to people, gather insights, and, consider interests. Positive interaction is beneficial to the expectant mother, because it aids in having better moods.

6) Take baby steps. Be patient and believe that everything will fall into place. Take a break once in a while, and that includes spending quality time with your loved ones. (Going to the beach is perfect or a picnic in a nice place is perfect!) Spending time with your family is a good investment and it is the initial step to success, because they are the ones who will point out your areas for improvement, praise you for your achievements, and support, if not, pray for a safe pregnancy.

In summary, working at home is an all-new endeavour. As mentioned earlier, the possibilities are endless, just be creative and heed the tips. Never be lackadaisical because you are doing this for your future family, whether it’d be temporary or permanent. But remember to take a good rest, especially now that you are in a delicate condition. Good luck to us, soon-to-be mommas!

About the Author: 
Mommy Ada recently gave birth via natural and gentle delivery last Nov 19, 2015. This laid the path for a gentle and natural type of child-rearing which includes being a work-at-home mom. Baby Amore Mariae, aka Cashel, inspired Mommy Ada to open a sweets and upcycling business. 
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