All Articles Tagged "work from home"

How To Survive When You Both Work From Home

November 18th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Working from home when your significant other does too could mean mid-day sex breaks or it could mean killing each other before you have your morning coffee. We don’t want to see the latter happen so here’s some advice on how to not hate each other by the end of it.

How To Afford Being A Mother: Work From Home

October 12th, 2015 - By Clarissa Joan
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Black woman/business owner/freelancer in home office/workplace next to computer


I didn’t plan to be a “stay at home mother” or a “work from home” mother, but working from home works best for me.  As a writer and an investment consultant, I can work from anywhere. I am most effective, work wise, when I conduct my business in an office, isolated and focused. However, my choice to be a mother raising healthy and competent children requires otherwise.

As a first time mom, childcare was definitely a concern. My mother is deceased, and my mother-in-law lives out of state. If I decided to return to work full-time, daycare was our only option.

I also noticed childcare to be the most frustrating topic of discussion for my pregnant peers, especially those who were not fortunate to have work from home jobs or extended leave benefits.

Let’s be honest, no mother feels comfortable leaving her infant child with a stranger before the child can talk and articulate their happenings freely. Unless you are lucky enough to have a spouse, a mother, a grandmother, or a sister-friend who is available to care for your child in your absence at an affordable rate, anxiety and stress overwhelm you every time you think about how to be a mother and how to pay for being a mother.

America is one of the only developed countries without mandated paid family leave for the birth of a child. Having to choose between raising your child and feeding your child is not synonymous with being a developed civilization. The International Labour Organization recommends a minimum of 14 weeks paid leave for families. In Europe and the Middle East, the average leave for families is between 26 – 40 weeks. (see: Paid Leave Around The World, Buzz Feed) In the U.S., we have failed to mandate any paid time off for families with babies.

This puts the burden on families to problem solve and make the best decision on their own. I worked from home part-time prior to having children, but I must admit working from home and having children is not easy. It took me 10 months to catch my breath and find a routine suitable for my work demands and my child’s development. We also downsized our cost of living significantly in order to create enough space and time for us to focus on being parents in addition to working to afford the roles.

What really helped me surrender to my role as a mother, and let go of the world’s expectations that I must work X amount of hours in addition to the demands of motherhood, was the research I uncovered about child brain development from ages 0 to 3. (see: Baby’s Brain, The Urban Child Institute)

During early childhood, the human brain grows more rapidly than any other time in our life. What we experience during our pre-school age years sets the stage for how we learn and interact with the world as adults. Affection and safety are the key elements to preparing a child’s brain to excel. If children do not feel loved or safe, they have a hard time progressing cognitively, meaning their ability to think critically and problem solve is thwarted.

According to a study, which followed nearly 500 infants into their 30s, babies who receive above-average levels of affection and attention from their mothers are less likely than other babies to grow up to be emotionally distressed, anxious, or hostile adults.

When it comes to my role as a parent, these are the facts:

  •  Childcare is as expensive if not more in some states than rent and housing costs. Where I live in Philadelphia, the average cost of childcare is $800 a month for infants.
  • Many studies show that a safe environment, a caregiver we trust, and affection are the most important tools in brain development during our early years.
  • The decision to be a parent is just that, a decision.

For our family, I could not justify making extra money outside my home just to pay someone else to care for my kid. Also, if in fact affection is what stimulates the brain the most from birth to age five, my presence in my child’s daily activities is critical. I am the parent. I should be the one making my young child feel loved and safe not a stranger for 40 – 60 hours a week.

The final factor for me is that I chose to be a parent. My children will be babies for a short time. Then they will grow old to have their own lives and desire more independence than they do now. I get five years, if that, to hug and kiss and love them into amazing human beings. There will come a time when school, friends and their own passions peak their interest much more than their dad and me. If five years is all we have to sacrifice in terms of career and extra cash, it is well worth it for the lifetime of memories we’ll have with our happy children.


Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience. She resides in Philadelphia, Pa with her Husband, their two girls, and a yorkie named Ace. Clarissa is also an expert in impact investing. She is the Communications Associate at Impact America Fund.

Is It Bad To Hire A Nanny When You Work From Home?

July 9th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Working mom/woman with baby/child, Shutterstock


I’ll admit, when I first heard about work-from-home moms doing this, I rolled my eyes. It’s not that women don’t need help when it comes to their kids, they can be a handful. Yet, I’m reminded of examples of single mothers in my life who seem to do it all without much assistance.

Does this make hiring a nanny if you’re able a bad thing?

I was introduced to the idea during the very short time I worked for a family magazine here in Oklahoma. It was an unusual job that lacked structure (which is why I left) but did have perks — like working from home the majority of the time. This allowed me to diversify my income streams and still focus on my self-employment endeavors.

The marketing director was a married gal with two children and one on the way. Even though both of her kids were school age, she still had a nanny work part-time at her home. I never truly understood why she needed a nanny during the day if her kids weren’t there, but hey, to each their own.

Ever since I had my first child last year, things on the work front have been different but thus far manageable. Both my husband and I work from home full time, which makes life easier if and when we need some quiet time to focus. We had a pretty good routine going until our second child came a month ago. With a 17-month-old and infant under one roof, our ability to juggle is getting not impossible, but tricky.

There’s something a little odd to me about having someone help you with your children when you’re at home. It’s one thing if I was constantly out of the house and needed someone to care for my child, but essentially, I would be under the same roof. I guess it’s no different than paying someone to watch your kid in daycare, a very popular option among working parents.

The biggest reason I entertain hiring a nanny is because I would like for my children to be bilingual. My husband and his family were born in Panama and spoke Spanish as their first language. Even though we speak to our children in Spanish most of the time (obviously the infant knows diddly), it would be great to have an “abuela” (grandmother) figure who could help reinforce it. After looking at daycare programs that provide Spanish immersion programs, it’s actually cheaper in our case to pay a nanny. Why would I pay the same amount to have my toddler in a class setting once or twice a week when he could get a longer, more hands-on experience at home?

At least for now this is just one of many ideas swirling around my head. For the most part it makes sense — and provides extra financial freedom for the person or small business we hire — but for now, I’m still dancing with the thought.

If you work from home, would you hire a nanny?

It’s Okay To Be Proud You’re A Work-From-Home Mom

June 13th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.



Can I be honest? There are times when I don’t feel like I’m doing enough with my career. I love being a self-employed mommy who can work from home. I can save money on childcare and experience the best of both worlds, being a working and stay-at-home mom.

As silly as it sounds, I sometimes feel a little intimidated when I attend networking events, especially when the “what do you do” question comes. Sure you can spout off the title on your business card, but to me, it’s a little different than an executive with a corner office.

There are so many fabulous people with really fancy job titles!

All intimidation aside, I’m so thankful to be in the company of women making power moves and setting the course for success, regardless of who they work for and where.

While I don’t have as many mom entrepreneur or work-from-home friends, we all talk from time to time sharing stories and frustrations. At the end of the day, we should all be proud of our endeavors and embrace them wholeheartedly. Sure we might call an extra room in our home — or the kitchen table — our office, but who really cares? We’re the captains of our own ship and navigating self-employment waters to make our own success.

Working from home, let alone yourself isn’t easy. It’s not as glamorous as it is on television where you’re sleeping late, or heading out to a spa in the middle of the afternoon just because. In many cases, you can’t afford a rental space for an office, or don’t want to as it takes money out of your pocket. Yet, I sometimes feel like the work many of us do is watered down, almost to the point of being a hobby on our downtime between folding laundry and taking our kids to school.

Just because the hustle looks different doesn’t mean it’s not a hustle.

For me, working from home full time hasn’t been a walk in the park. My journey began as a part-time entrepreneur until I was self-sufficient enough to let go of safety nets. This of course didn’t happen overnight and took years of hard work and dedication. Throw two kids under age two into the mix and finishing the day with your sanity becomes a major accomplishment. Needless to say my office stories can be pretty boring compared to others who work for major companies.

Even if society doesn’t think our job titles and what we do are worthy of mention, we don’t need their validation. Entrepreneurs and the movers-and-shakers don’t always look alike. We all have different goals and how we go about tackling our dreams. A work-from-home mother can accomplish so much and conquer her industry in the same manner as someone at a traditional 9-to-5.

It’s okay to pat yourself on the back from time to time.

Is An Office Of Your Own Worth The Money? Questions To Ask Yourself & Alternatives To Consider

May 27th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Black woman/business owner/freelancer in home office/workplace next to computer


As I write this, I’m secretly plotting an escape plan from my own home office. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working from home. You don’t have to worry about things like choosing a boardroom-ready outfit, commuting costs, lunch and childcare if you happen to have children. That doesn’t mean you don’t have wild dreams from time to time about setting up an office of your very own.

My home office is actually one of the bedrooms in my house. It’s pretty comfy when you aren’t tripping over toddler toys (funny, my husband works from home too and his office is spotless) or have random visitors “dropping by” throughout the day as if you don’t have work to do. What started as a little piece of solace has quickly turned into a clubhouse for social gatherings.

I get excited when I visit or see photos of other self-employed friends setting up a commercial studio of their own. Aside from looking pretty dreamy, it must be really exciting to trek off each day to your own space with keys and quiet. This makes me think about whether or not I could use an office area outside of my home, and more importantly, if it’s a practical idea.

As glamorous as having a separate office is, it can get very pricey.

Unfortunately too many entrepreneurs jump into unnecessary expenses before their business even turns a steady profit. Who else is guilty of stocking up on more office supplies and custom business cards than needed?

The truth of the matter is, a private office is more of a want than an actual need for many self-employed individuals. Yes it would be great not to work from your kitchen table or the living room sofa, but you do have to consider the additional costs before you sign on the dotted line.

Ask yourself if the business your in really needs a ton of space to operate. Those who work virtually or provide a service online might be comfortable with a desk and chair, while those who create products — or keep a small inventory — might need additional room. The most important aspect to think about is cost.

Offices aren’t free.

Studio and other forms of commercial space mean a monthly rent payment for you. This of course does not include additional furniture and storage items you need, the cost of utilities and other expenses outside of what you have at home to keep things moving. Should your business turn a nice profit that allows you to save and pay yourself, by all means, get that dream office.

With a 16-month-old child and baby on the way, my dreams of having a separate office is not in the cards right now. There’s just too much going on for me not to be close to home. Perhaps I’ll revisit the idea once they start pre-school and aren’t at home full time.

If you happen to work from home and are in desperate need of a change of scenery, here are a few ideas to consider that won’t cost as much as getting an office of your own.

Home office swap. This might sound weird but can be a breath of fresh air when needed. If you know someone who also works from home — and keeps a tidy space — think about swapping rooms for the day.

Collective/shared office space. One popular route many entrepreneurs are taking is a shared office space. Some come with their own rooms while others are simply an open area with multiple desks. While it might not be 100 percent yours, the rent will be much lower and you get out of the house.

Backyard shed renovation. Here’s one I’ve been considering. Whether you call it a “mom shed” or a place to get away, some are renovating old sheds into mini offices. This would allow you to be super close to home but removed enough to complete more tasks.

Have you been considering an office of your own?

Just Because I Work From Home Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Work

April 23rd, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Busy/working business woman


For whatever reason, some people who work traditional 9-to-5 jobs think those of us who collect a check from home are kicking back as if we have a day off and nothing to do. In the words of Maury Povich, the lie detector determined… that was a lie.

As someone who has worked from home for years now, I get it. There are certain perks that come with being a stay-at-home entrepreneur or telecommuter. For starters, you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to wear and whether or not traffic will be a mother heading into the office. I for one was never a heels type of gal and enjoy walking into my office on the daily with leggings and a casual shirt.

Regardless of what you think or heard, working from home isn’t always a walk in the park. Sure it does give you freedom from office drama and a boss breathing down your neck, but my oh my does it come with its own can of worms.

While it might look like I’m living the glamorous life to friends and family, those who are in my inner circle know it comes with a cost. For starters, my hours tend to be longer than most people I know who work in a traditional office. Some of my girlfriends stare at the clock to leave for the day while I’m trying to remember if I made dinner so I can put in a few extra hours. Weekend tasks are an unfortunate but sometimes necessary reality as you might need to do a little more in order to get ahead. Since I run my own show, if something doesn’t get done, it falls on my shoulders to do it. You can’t “milk the clock” and still collect a check. If you don’t deliver, you don’t get paid.

And let’s not even talk about vacations or maternity leave. Those who are business owners or in the freelance world typically have to work on the double in order to cover the days they plan to miss. With five weeks to go in my second pregnancy and plans for celebrating my wedding anniversary out of town, I can’t tell you how many nights I had to burn the midnight oil in order to make sure things will be on auto-pilot. Some of my gal pals who recently had children are fortunate enough to work for jobs that have paid maternity leave. With my first child, I “took off” two weeks. This time around I hope to be able to have at least a month since I’ll have two children under two.

Speaking of children, if you’re a work-from-home mommy, there’s really not much of a break you get. Yes I truly count my blessings when it comes to not paying childcare, but good gracious work days tend to double when you throw a little one into the mix. I actually know a few stay-at-home moms who made the decision to go back to work so they could get a little more peace during the day to concentrate on their jobs.

I’ll never complain about my ability to work from home. I’m living a dream. That doesn’t mean the dream doesn’t come without a cost, or affords me additional hours in the day to kick back and be lazy.

Can anyone else relate?

Has Your Child Influenced Your Small Business Brand?

March 6th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Working mom with child


I’m not the kind of mom who forces people to look at an image gallery of my child so they can tell me how cute he is. I’m also not the parent to post a zillion pictures of him on social media. Yet as much as I try to not be “that person” who’s consumed with their baby (seriously, how can it be helped), I must say that he has certainly influenced my professional life.

I operate in the world of decorating where I provide lifestyle advice and tips for the design aficionados at heart. I guess it’s only natural there would be a shift in my focus considering I am a mother–and desire my home to look nice but also be functional. Having a child has been one of the biggest blessings in my life and surprisingly made me go back to the drawing board when it came to my personal brand. Isn’t it natural my business would evolve too?

Needless to say my target market has expanded. I can now relate to a whole new demographic. There just needs to be a balance so I don’t neglect my intended audience with things that aren’t relevant. Then again, it could lead to a new path I never thought to take.

I can think of so many women who made the decision to leave the corporate world to focus on motherhood, or take their small business in a different direction. For them the decision was pretty simple: to fill a void in product or service to a particular group of people who are often targeted, but not always understood. Because they could relate with their own experiences it became almost effortless to package their ideas into a new business plan.

My son and baby on the way have forced me to think outside the box when it comes to my business and the things I’d like to achieve. Yes I always aim to be the best I can be, but my experiences as a work-from-home mother are unlike anything I have ever experienced. In fact, it has made me think bigger than just one site and a particular industry. I’m currently researching ways to expand and create an umbrella that also covers my new-found sisterhood of mommies. I want to help women in particular who stay at home with their children bring in additional income.

There’s a bigger picture that’s starting to take form. While it’s still a bit blurry, I just needed a few extra pieces of the puzzle in order to see it.

Obviously everyone’s path is different. Some people find inspiration where others don’t and that’s okay too. Maybe your child doesn’t influence your business. At the end of the day you have to do what you think is best for your path.

Related Read Sometimes You Have to Step Away to Move Forward

Why Work-From-Home Moms Need A Standing Appointment With Their Children

February 27th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.



I’m sure if you read the title of this article you were probably questioning what parent is so busy they need to schedule time with their child. The truth of the matter is all of us can get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle that makes juggling work/life balance a difficult one.

One of the biggest misconceptions about work-from-home moms is our schedules. I guess some folks like to skip over the fact that we do work. Don’t get me wrong, I count my blessings for the opportunity to do what I love and be at home with my family. Aside from saving on expensive childcare costs, it’s nice to see my little 13 month old running around. I just wish I could dedicate more one-on-one time with him throughout the day.

Like a “traditional” job, many work-from-home mommies have a daily routine. And while it can and will vary between individuals, all of us have to give our attention to what we do in order to make money. Once my son turned six months old and started getting into things, I thought about his development and need to socialize. Sure it’s not going to be high on his list of to-dos like a toddler, but it was something to consider. After all, he was at home… every day of the week and weekend. No matter how much I tried to cram into our Saturdays, I felt it wasn’t enough.

I started looking for nearby activities that he could participate in that would reduce his cabin fever. Luckily we’re dead smack in the middle of five libraries that have weekly gatherings for children of all ages. In fact, there were tons of play dates and opportunities to hear a story and play with musical instruments. Knowing myself and my need for order, I started scheduling standing appointments once or twice a week. This would let anyone in my business world know I was out or busy, but in reality, it was non-related work time with my son.

Even though he doesn’t get it (why would he), I can tell he gets excited to get in his car seat and go somewhere. On average, I try to make our adventure at least an hour and dedicate all of my time to play and bonding. Not only does it tire him out (thank you Jesus for naps) but also gives us much needed mommy and child time.

I understand the average working mom might not have this luxury, but if you work flexible hours or call a space at home your office, you have the potential to do the same. As good as my intentions are throughout the day to play with my son, I find it hard to concentrate on deadlines and spending long amounts of time playing with blocks. Sure I have the evenings where my husband and I can really soak in our time as a family, but as a mother who’s at home with her child throughout the day, I don’t want to wait.

If your schedule doesn’t allow you to leave your home, try starting your work day early so you can close down shop a few hours early. This is something I have done since my son was an infant that gives me extra time to unwind and spend with him.

How do you find the balance?

10 Tips To Negotiate Working From Home

November 12th, 2014 - By Taylor Gordon
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Have you wanted a job where you work from home, but never knew how to land one?

There’s good news. Depending on your job, you can request remote work and have it approved by your current employer.

Read on to find out how!

Crack The Whip: 9 Tips To Stay Motivated While Working From Home

August 18th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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For those with the ability to set their own schedule and work in their pajamas, learning to stay motivated is an invaluable asset. You, unlike many others, don’t have a boss breathing down your neck to “get ‘er done,” which is the good news. The bad: no boss means debates between getting a project completed or going to the park for ice cream on a sunny day not only feasible but dangerous to your career. MN understands, and we’re here to help you crack the whip on your motivation and get you focused on even the nicest of days. The ice cream can wait.