The Most Important Action You Need to Take if You Want to be a Work at Home Mom

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I am an impulsive person, a “let’s do this!” type, a go-getter. It’s a trait that has gotten me into some trouble in the past, let me tell you. There have been times when my excitement to do things resulted in some pretty bad consequences. (I’ve learned my lessons, I promise.)

However, I’ve learned that there’s a way to channel this impulsiveness, this “let’s-do-this!” attitude towards the positive. 

In fact, it’s this go-getter attitude that was a kind of “seed” in my work-at-home life.

Working from home was something I didn’t have to think twice about, when the idea popped into my head. It was something I wanted to happen, even if I had no clear idea of how I’d earn a living while I was at home all day. When the last day of my 8 to 5 job was upon me and I had packed up my desk, I still had no real idea if I could survive financially without the “salary umbilical cord.” It was a time when I pretty much played everything by ear: I was a new mom (my son was just 4 months when I handed in my 1-month resignation notice), and I was going to leave the world of office employment to be a freelance writer for the first time ever.

Still…

… even if I had no idea how to be a mom, and no idea how to work as a freelancer…

there was one thing I was sure about: I was going to be a work-at-home mom. 

I was going to do whatever it took to be at home, attached to my son, and earning my share of the family income.

From that first client from Craigslist to where I am now, I’d say things have been quite good. It’s been three years since I made the “leap” to live this WAHMderful life. Throughout this time, I’ve —

  • been hired by companies abroad as a copywriter and social media editor, working on flexi-time;
  • grown my blog to a level of influence, which helped me foster a community of moms who also worked from home and create a “brand” around the WAHM lifestyle here in Manila;
  • collaborated with Manila Workshops and started giving workshops designed specifically for work-at-home moms;

Things have been pretty good. God has somehow blessed this life and made it fruitful.

The one question all aspiring WAHMs ask

When other moms ask me,

“OK, so what’s the first step to being a WAHM?”

I can never give a general answer. Usually these moms want to know tactics. They’d like a blueprint that they can follow, a template of sorts that they can implement in their lives so that they can finally become work at home mothers. I wish we could, but even in our workshops, there’s no way to teach the topic, “How You Can Become a Work at Home Mom” in a simplistic manner. There is no silver bullet to becoming a work at home mom, just as there is no one formula for success.

When I take a step back and study how I became a WAHM — to the point where I can realistically set up a business of my own —, I see a consistent pattern of actions that led to certain outcomes, outcomes that I considered as successes. Each phase of these milestones began with one key action — that one important action every aspiring WAHM needs to take, if she really wants to become a WAHM.

It’s the first step to becoming a WAHM.

That step is: making the decision to be a work at home mom. Because deciding is when put yourself in the active pursuit of achieving what you want.

Tactics, the “how-to’s” and steps to WAHMing: These will only work after we’ve made the decision that we want to become WAHMs.

My mentor, Jonather Mead, calls the first step of this effective decision “the art of mental tattooing.” What this means is for you to make a single, small shift in thinking that helps you visualize an inevitability — like quitting your job and starting another job or putting up a business that you can do from home.

Mental tattooing isn’t about throwing our hopes and wishes into the air.

It’s not about coming together randomly on Facebook and chatting about being a WAHM, but not taking active steps towards it.

It’s not about waiting for the right circumstances to fall into place. Decisions are hardly ever made when conditions are ideal.

It’s about setting things in stone — ergo, “tattooing” your goal of becoming a WAHM mentally.

It even means being as literal about your decision, like calendaring the actual date of when you want to be a full-fledged WAHM, just so you can take the steps to make your hope a reality.

Deadline mark

“Just do it” is the shizzle… and some tips to help you do it.

Whenever I meet moms in the work-at-home circle, I can easily spot who is thriving in her WAHM life: she’s doing work that she’s capable of doing; she’s earning enough —sometimes even a surplus— to fill in her family’s income needs; she is happy. Similarly, I can also sense which moms are on the fence about their decision to actually become WAHMs.

And you know what? It’s the moms who have committed to reach their goal of becoming WAHMs who are really succeeding in their chosen lifestyle path. Conversely, those moms who let fear or uncertainty get in their way don’t get anything done that helps them achieve their desire to be WAHMs.

For those who are still on the fence but who already know they want to be WAHMs, here are some steps to helping you make the decisive choice.

  1. Set a date. Really. You know how when you plan a vacation, you just can’t wait for the date of your departure? Well, it’s like that when it comes to your decision to be a WAHM. For me, it was the end of the school year (because my last job was in teaching): I knew that after the current school year came to a close, I wouldn’t come back to work at the school, and that I would have to find a way to replace that source of income. Setting a date for when you want to make your WAHM leap “official” can help you to prepare your financial war chest, your job options, so that you can work strategically up to your last day at the office. 
  2. Visualize your WAHM life. Seriously, imagine the life you’ll be living as a WAHM. Think about how this will make you happier, or how this change will help improve your life. Let this visualization motivate you to work towards your “start date” as a WAHM.
  3. Surround yourself with cheerleaders. Let other WAHMs and home-based moms inspire you. While you can’t expect to replicate their journey to WAHM-dom, you can look to them for guidance. We have this in spades, over at our WAHMderful Life Facebook community and private WAHMs group!
  4. Get hired, or get something going. The question of “how are you going to be a WAHM” merits an answer that explains what role you are going to play when you become a WAHM. This means looking for a job that you can do from home, sending in applications to potential employers, actively working on your online presence so that you can offer your services to the world — and doing all of this in anticipation of your “end date” as office-based mom.

To summarize, the first step to becoming a work at home mom really involves that one act: Deciding. Once you set your decision in stone, you set  in motion the process of becoming a WAHM, and you will be determined to do whatever it takes so that you can finally come home, set up your workspace, and start your WAHMderful life.

Are you currently struggling in your decision to be a WAHM? What do you think has held you back, and what active steps are you going to take so that you can finally make the “leap” to the WAHM life?

Comments

  1. Cheerleaders are important! Once you make the leap, they’re the ones who will support and motivate you throughout.

    • Martine says:

      Yes, they are! It’s what I always say about “tribes” right? It’s the same concept. Being a WAHM means that “it takes a village” too for you to be successful. “No man is an island,” and all those adages! :)

  2. Hi Martine! Thank you. Reading this article is like hearing God’s voice through you to me. I have decided to become a WAHM a long time ago but things are still holding me back to actually act on it. It’s the fear and uncertainty indeed that’s holding me back. The fear that maybe my skills are not enough or i don’t have what it takes or maybe after all the efforts exerted I will still fail. But I know in my heart I am being led to this and somehow i know i can do this. I just have to believe and believe in myself.
    After all I’ve been through to come to the decision to be a WAHM, after all the soul-searching, i still cry out to God for a sign after all the signs He have shown me. Well this article is it. This is my final sign. This is it for me. Thank you Martine, really, for being God’s instrument today. I know what to do now. Set things in motion. :)

    • Martine says:

      Hi, Mae! I definitely know where you’re coming from. WAHM-dom isn’t for the faint of heart, and it takes guts to let go of the “salary umbilical cord”.

      Oh, I don’t want to be your ‘sign’ though, hahahaha! I’d like to think that here on the website, I am a cheerleader: I help by encouraging WAHMs! I hope I’ve encouraged you, and if I have, I am totally humbled.

      The act of deciding, as I said, will set things in motion. Deciding to be a WAHM right now doesn’t mean handing in your resignation tomorrow(!) It means you’re ready to plan for the day that you come home again. I’m SO excited for you, let us know how everything goes! :)

  3. Row Declaro says:

    Martine, as always your words are inspiring and encouraging. I’ve been working from home for over a year now and I’ve always felt that something is missing or that feeling that I’m not there yet, loving it… but after reading your post I think I’ve finally understood things clearer noe. It isn’t enough that I am physically home, working from home… but really embracing the idea and reality that I am home earning and having limitless quality time with my kids and hubby completes the WAHM ME! it’s okay to miss being out with co-workers on a Friday-payday, or dressing up and putting on make-up… but those are shallow excuses for me not to see the beauty of being a WAHM. Thank you… next step for me is to take that big first step into blogging… I guess I should set a deadline on that too! :-)

  4. You are so right, Martine! Thanks for this post. :)

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