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Ask just ten women with small children if they’d like to quit their job for a chance to work from home. Most likely, all of them would jump at the chance to be work-from-home mommies. Just the thought of being able to bring in a check but still be able to spend all day with the children sounds like the dream we all want. However, as with most great ideas, there are pros and cons to consider before rushing into anything. Here are some important things to keep in mind….
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Kids at Home
• Pro – When you work at home, your kids are always there with you.
• Con – Again, your children are always with you. As someone described parenthood; it’s like being pecked by chickens. Just imagine being pecked on non-stop and having no way to escape! Some people can take it, others can’t. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent or that your kids are less tolerable, it’s just life!

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Income From Home:
• Pro – This is obvious – You’re making money to stay home, without spending money or time on a commute or gas. A modest income is nicer than none.
• Con –  Since employers know how sweet a work-from-home deal is, some work from home jobs won’t pay well as an office job, and are a lot more competitive.

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Daycare and Benefits: 
• Pro – You won’t ever have to pay for child care.
• Con – You also most likely won’t have health care coverage offered through an employer. This is truer if you are running a small business or are self-employed. The only way to have insurance would be to buy a private policy or be covered by a spouse. With the Affordable Care Act as law, you can now rest assured that you will have quality protection, but the benefits will stop there, and you’ll probably pay more than if it was an employer-sponsored program.

Flex Hours – 
• Pro – Working at home, you can set your own hours and be flexible about being off work when you need to be off.
• Con – Some work at home jobs require your availability night and day. The flexibility can almost be too much for many. It’s hard to have a routine and schedule when you have no specific schedule, and if you’re a procrastinator or your children have a hectic schedule, it might not be the heaven you imagine.

Family Time – 
• Pro – When you work from home, you find all the time you need for your family and yourself.
• Con – Sometimes, you wonder where your “me” time went. A common problem that occurs with work at home moms is that between working and taking care of their children, they find no time left for themselves.

Office Space – 
• Pro – When you work from home, you aren’t stuck in a tiny prison-like cubicle.
• Con – You also have no escape when you work at home. When you work from home, you’re stuck at home. This means you have no typical getting ready for work routine, dropping the children off at the daycare or sitter and having the peaceful ride home from work to see the family. Everything you do, use and think happens right at home. You can’t make the great escape from home to work and vice versa. For some, it’s similar to a prison, but you have pretty curtains and windows. If you like the hustle and bustle of working downtown in your city, you’d have to kiss that goodbye.

Long Term –
• Pro – If you definitely want a career at home or you’re not as career-focused, then landing a work-from-home now can be a huge boon to your resume.
• Con – If you hope to return to the traditional workforce someday, then you have to remember the cold hard truth – some potential employers may look down someone who has spent a lot of time out of an office. This isn’t justified or defensible, but it’s the truth – some employers may wonder if you’re really serious about a career, or if you’ll jump back into the next work-from-home opportunity that comes your way so that you can spend time with your kids.

Overall, there are valid pros and cons when it comes to working from home. Like with all career decisions, make sure this is an agreeable family one. Consider all your options before making the decision to work from home, and if you go for it, make the most of it, and have a blast with your family!

Shelly Ryan writes all about work- and learn-from-home opportunities. Her recent work is on the Top 10 Online Masters in Public Health Programs.


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