How to work and parent on the move

hotel

One of the big advantages of being a work at home mom is being able to work on the move. There is no reason you have to live in the same place and can’t travel thanks to the location independence of working online.

Traveling plus working isn’t easy

As awesome as it may sound to be able to travel whenever you want, traveling plus working and parenting is not easy. It is quite tiring and takes a bit of forethought as to how to manage it all. To make it work, here are some tips:

1. Ensure there are plenty of rest days

If you need to work while traveling with kids, it’s important that you do not travel at a fast past. There needs to be plenty of “rest” days, not that these will be restful for you! If you are traveling every day, there will not be time to complete your work. I find that working in the evening when traveling, like I do at home, just does not work as well, as I am so tired by all the extra things we do on vacation. For this reason, I recommend spending a week at a time at a place, so there is no reason to rush around and plenty of opportunities to finish work.

2. Take the right equipment

When traveling with kids it is always important to take the right equipment, although this becomes even more important on a working vacation. It is essential you not only take all the work equipment that you need, but equipment for the kids as well.

For the kids, I ensure they have plenty of things to do.  This includes some prized toys, stationary, crayons and baby equipment. I especially recommend taking a good travel crib (you can read some reviews here)

3. Ensure there will be fast internet at your location

There is nothing worse when relying on internet for work than when there is no internet or it is very slow! I always ring ahead to accommodation providers and ask them about the availability, cost and speed of their internet. I also check out reviews on TripAdvisor to see what others say about the internet as often the accommodation provider is not truthful or just do not realise how bad their connection is for people who need to work online. Do not leave this to chance.

There is no reason why you can’t have a successful family vacation while working online as long as you take it slow, have great internet and take the right equipment. Hopefully, these tips will help you.

Why the location independence of working from home is perfect for moms

working on a beach

Working from home can be hugely rewarding as a career option from the get-go, but deciding to work from home when you’re a Mom is one of the best decisions you could make.

It’s important to firstly mention the overall advantage of working for yourself: you can do what you love. Imagine being able to do exactly what you want to do; something you love, something you’re good at, something that gives you joy. Imagine turning your hobby into a viable business doing something like becoming a freelancer.

They say that if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life. Working from home and starting your own business means you’re the boss and you decide what projects you complete

Location independence

On to the subject of location independence, this is the most obvious draw for anyone to start their own business or start working from home, especially moms who have to juggle work and family. Why not combine them into one easy role?

You can literally work wherever you want. You can manage your emails and clients while you’re waiting to carpool your kids from school, go out and have lunch time meetings with clients where you choose, complete that important report while grabbing coffee. With the power of the internet and mobile phones you can manage your entire business from the couch – with your feet up and a glass of wine.  You can even work from the beaches of Thailand as a digital nomad or wherever else takes your fancy.

Do other moms work like this?

In my job I’ve dealt with a lot of freelancers, as well as business owners who work from home. A larger majority than you might think are stay at homes moms who have decided to start working. Often they’re highly skilled and don’t want leave the work force of stop doing a job they love because of a family.

If you have something that your passionate about, or something that you’re naturally good at such as graphic design or copywriting, but want to spend quality time with your kids, then a working from home role is perfect for you.

What sort of things can I work as?

One of the top location independent jobs I find moms doing is as an online virtual assistant. The concept of the role is simple and may be something you’re familiar with or even something you worked at before you left work. Just like a normal assistant, the role is to answer emails, organize files and make appointments – the best thing? You can work from where ever you want.

The advantage of virtual assistants for employers is mainly that of location; it often cost extra to give an assistant a workstation at an office; your employer might even also work from home and so can’t legitimately hire an in-house secretary. For you, this means booking a plane ticket for someone while you’re making dinner, and then adding the details to someone’s calendar while you sit down in the evening.

The location independence of a stay at home job isn’t the only attraction – often working from home will yield the same wage for similar work within a company. It may even be slightly more because you charge for the service, but there are no overheads. You get what you deserve.  There can also be tax advantages.

In this day and age, working from home as a mom can not only be a viable career path, but it can also be a hugely rewarding role. The independence you have, both in what you work on as well as where you work means that you have such a larger majority of free time to spend with your family. You can work for yourself and get paid for what you do in addition to still being there at all times for your loved ones.

If you’re looking for a career change or looking at getting back to work, then working from home is for you.

Why working as a freelancer on oDesk could be your next career move

work at home dad

Freelancing is a job that most people know little about. The world of a freelancer can seem mysterious to outsiders as well as ever changing and insecure. Freelancers are usually highly skilled individuals who have decided to take their career into their own hands.  This can be a fabulous option for work at home moms.

What Is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who performs multiple tasks, or ‘projects’ for a variety of different employers over the course of a fiscal year. They work for themselves and sell their particular skills to clients who need projects completed. Often the freelancer is given the free reign of a contract and allowed creative license and freedom to complete the task whichever way they choose.

Freelancers that work for longer periods are sometimes referred to as ‘permalancers’ and often fall into the position through employment of a single contract from which a business relationship grows between freelance and client. This might sometimes benefit both parties; the employer because they like the original work and the freelance because the market can sometimes be very unpredictable.

Freelancers were originally named so because in medieval times, knights without allegiance would roam the country looking for work. These were referred to as ‘free’ lances because of the weaponry they carried. They are not called this because they work for free, or for very little money; many freelancers who have found a niche and a client base can make a very adequate salary.

Why Become a Freelancer?

Freelancing is the first and easiest step to working for yourself. There is more creative freedom than most jobs and once you’re established you can pick and choose which projects you complete. In this way, you can often work on something you’re really passionate about and really enjoy, as well as having a varied roster of potential jobs.

As a freelancer, you can expect no two days to be the same. If you’re good at content writing you might be drawing up press releases for a mid-range furniture company on Monday and contributing to a blog on flower arranging on Tuesday.  You can also choose which days and when you want to work, so you can wait until the kids are in bed, or work harder on the weekend, when dad can take care of the kids.

There is also a great satisfaction knowing that you will be doing work and helping many different people out. If you work more high profile projects or are allowed to publish work under your own name, you can start to build a portfolio off of which you can launch bids for bigger, more ambitious projects for bigger clients.

Why Use oDesk and How Does It Work?

Of course, there are many different freelancing websites out there that facilitate the great work that many freelancers do and many clients benefit from. oDesk is different because of how dynamic it is. As a new freelancer, you can easily bid on projects and start your career.

That is, indeed, how freelancing on oDesk works, as it does on many other sites. An employer will post a job advert. Within this advert an employer can write a job description, ask applicants to answer certain questions, set certain restrictions (e.g. only looking for workers in North America) and specify the type of job, be it hourly or fixed price:

An hourly job is one where you, as a freelancer, get paid for every hour you work on a particular project. oDesk have a handy little program that you can use to track your work and bill your clients for exactly how much time you spent.

A fixed price contract is one where an amount is agreed upon by both employer and is paid when the project is completed and submitted.

What makes oDesk so much better than its competitors is how much of a complete service it is. As a freelancer you can guarantee your privacy as well as benefit from an easy to understand and use interface which allows you to keep track of projects and interact with clients.

Literally anyone can start freelancing on oDesk. If you have a particular skill, or are looking to develop meaningful experiences then freelancing is for you, and there is no better place to start than somewhere that can nurture your career and also provide high stakes contracts when you become establish.  It is a perfect job for a work at home mom and can even give you the option of location independence. Just make sure you avoid any online scams!

Top 8 ways to avoid work online income scams

Tips to avoid online work scams

There are many wonderful work at home options in the online job world. Unfortunately there are also many scams. Here are my top ten ways to avoid internet work online income scams.

1. If it sounds too good to be true, it is

This sounds obvious, but it is amazing how many intelligent people are sucked into scams which sound too good to be true.  Unfortunately, the old axiom that there is no such thing as a free lunch is true.  There are good work online options out there, but you are going to have to work.

2. Be skeptical

An advertisement that popped up in my browser recently showed someone’s supposed bank account with a voice over about how this footage can not be faked.  Of course it can.  Be skeptical of any claims.

3. Do your own research

One good way to find out if a work online income deal is legitimate is to do an internet search.  Try searching for the company and job offer and see what others are saying…  Or check out sites like this one!

4. Check out fraud.org for common scams

This site is run by the National Consumers League and has lots of useful information about common work online income scams.

5. Ask for references of other people they have worked with

Call these people and ask them about their experiences.  A legitimate company will have no problems finding references for you.

6. Be weary about any opportunity that requires money up front

You shouldn’t have to pay for training, instruction manuals etc.  If someone is asking for money upfront, ask them why.  Ensure you get all information about the deal in writing – including what exactly you are paying for and what they will pay you for and what each of your rights and responsibilities are.

7. If you do pay money, pay via credit card

If you pay via credit card rather than cash, then you have some chance to be able to recover the money if it is a work online income scam.

8. If you have a funny feeling, trust it

Finally, listen to your gut.  If you have followed all the advice above and you are still not sure, leave this opportunity and look for others.  You will find something!

 

Parenting while working online

parenting while working online

It is not always easy being a parent.  In fact, it is quite often very difficult. Being a work at home mom is not easy. Juggling a job while parenting at the same time is hard.

One of the hardest parts for me is not letting the time I spend doing my job impact on my parenting.  When I am in the middle of a seemingly important task, it can be tempting to turn on the TV, not get dinner on time, and basically ignore my parenting responsibilities while I get my work done.  In some ways, balancing work and parenting can be easier with a job outside the home.  It can be more clear cut when is work time and when is family time.

To handle this, I try to be very strict with what time I spend working and when.  There are times when I need to get some work done when the kids are around, but I try to limit this.  I do most work in the evenings and some on the weekend while my husband spends quality time with the kids. Another good idea is to get some help.

I find I do need to log on first thing in the morning and catch up on email, social media, check my sites are all running etc.  I do what I can before the kids get up, but often I do this while they are eating breakfast.

When my youngest is napping in the middle of the day, I also log in again and do some work online for about an hour.  During this time, my older kids have some chill time with the television.  They need this down time anyway, so this approach works well for all of us.

It takes discipline to keep to this schedule, and I do work during the day when the kids are playing sometimes.  I enjoy my work, and it can be hard to stop at times, but it is also important to remember why I started to be a work at home mom in the first place – to be at home with the kids, so I try to keep the disruptions to my parenting as minimal as possible.

Here are some more tips.

Getting home based help while working online

hoem based help cleaning

It can be easy to think that because you are at home all day, that you should get all the same household tasks completed as a stay at home mom would.  It is important to remember that you still have a job, even though it is a work at home job, and to prioritize your time.

What do I mean by prioritize your time?

Where is your time better spent?  Cleaning dishes?  Working on a new online job that earns you money?  Or playing with your kids?  I know that for me the second two options are not just better ways to spend my time from a parenting and income perspective, but far more enjoyable than cleaning the dishes. If you are able to afford it, I highly recommend getting some home based help.  Don’t feel bad about it.  You are just prioritizing your time more effectively.

What home based help is there?

Anything you want!  I love our cleaner.  A few hours a week is enough to have the house sparkling clean.  In my dream world, I would also have someone come every evening for an hour or two for a general floor clean and dishes.

You can also have a cleaner do your washing, but we outsource this.  It is so nice to get our washing back all nicely cleaned and folded with my husband’s shirts ironed.  A family of five has a lot of washing, so this saves a lot of time.

Depending on how much work you are doing online, there is always the option of a nanny.  Someone to watch the kids for the part of the day while you get work done can be invaluable.  I know a mom who has an au pair to simply help with the kids when her workload is extra heavy and to help with general housework.

Another time saver can be someone to cook your family meals.  If this is out of your price range, there are also meal services which will drop off healthy, home cooked meals that you just need to pop in the oven.

 

The idea of getting home based help can be a strange one initially, but if you are interesting in successfully working online while still parenting young children, sometimes home based help can be the best way to achieve both of these goals.