Are you thinking of taking the plunge and going solo? Whether that’s starting up your own business, going freelance or consulting in your current line of work, it’s a path that many mums consider after having children. It certainly seems tempting to spend more time at home and have a more flexible schedule.
But working for yourself isn’t all plusses. Sometimes there are huge minuses. It’s up to you to determine whether the plusses outweigh the minuses. But, it’s good for you to know in advance what the pros and cons of working for yourself are so that you can be realistic about what you’re getting yourself into.
Cons of Working for Yourself
Work and Home Life Often Collide
Due to the lack of regimen, and no clear delineation of work versus time off, you’ll find yourself working odd hours to accommodate the needs of your family; thus feeling as if you never have a day off.
You’ll Do a Lot of Work for Free
When you run your own business, much of the work you do is not billable, therefore will feel like free work until you start making a profit. It can be hard to push yourself to do things that aren’t producing income right now, but you must push through so that you can keep your business running smoothly.
Family Will Ask You to Do Stuff (since you’re ‘just at home anyway’)
Not just family, but sometimes friends will start to depend on you being there for them for everything. They’ll ask you to do their chores like watching their sick kid so they can go to work. Your spouse and children will stop helping out around the house as much, since you’re there anyway. It never ends.
You’ll Crave Being out of the House
Sometimes, when you go out, as you’re on your way home you’ll get the distinct feeling you’re going to jail. You will want to do anything but go home, even grocery shop.
Stuff Will Distract You
Without supervision, even the most studious and organised individual can go off the rails due to the internet, television and stuff that is around to distract you from work. It’s up to you and only you to set up a good working schedule to help you avoid this.
Pros of Working for Yourself
No More Living by the Clock
If you arrange your business right you can wake up naturally without an alarm forcing you to get up when your body isn’t ready. You can also go to bed when you want to as well. It’s freedom not to always live by the clock.
No More Traffic Jams
One of the best perks is not having to be caught in a traffic jam during rush hour when you need to pee. You won’t have to do that anymore and it will be a relief, most especially on bad weather days when everyone else has to trudge through the snow or the heat wave.
Fewer Work-Related Interruptions
Office chatter can get overwhelming at times and it can be difficult to get work done due to it. Not to mention office meetings. Be honest, did you ever really get work done due to a meeting? During the meeting you’re thinking about how you could be getting work done right now instead of talking about it.
You Really Can Work in Your PJs
Oh yes you can. You can wear PJs, yoga pants, or a muumuu; no one cares. You can even get inspired right out of the shower and work naked if you want to. It’s your business and your house.
A Flexible Schedule
If you have a parent-teacher meeting you don’t have to ask permission to go. If you want to get your hair done, go for it. Whatever you want to do during the day is up to you as long as you find time to also get your work done so you can get paid. Your schedule is your own.
You Can Eat Healthier
Going out to work often causes everyone to eat out for lunch five days a week. That can not only be super expensive, but it is also very unhealthy for everyone to do it. Now you can prepare healthy lunches for yourself or eat leftovers from dinner the night before. Save money, and save your life.
So is it worth it?
Working from home offers many benefits and even a few drawbacks. It’s up to you to determine if you have the personality for it. You’ll need to rein in family and friends who want to take advantage of you, as well as yourself, to stay on track for creating a healthy and profitable home business. But if you can get the balance right, it can make all the difference to your (and your family’s) lifestyle!