Blog

Working at Home with a Baby: Where to Start

Follow me

Ariel Kostrna

Virtual Assistant at AVA Virtual Assistance
I absolutely love helping people grow! One of the best ways I can do that is by sharing things that I've found helpful, in any area of life.
Ariel Kostrna
Follow me
When you hear “work-at-home mom,” what image comes to your mind? Is it a relaxed woman in comfy sweats drinking a hot cup of coffee and closing her laptop after an hour of good work to get her peacefully sleeping baby?  Or is it a frazzled woman with a milk-stained shirt trying to balance a wailing baby on her hips while buttering toast, all while on a phone call with a client?

Every working mom has to find the careful balance of mothering, working, and the rest of life on the side—but the dynamic certainly changes if she’s working from home.

While many mothers dream of working from home with their little ones, it’s often much more of a challenge than they anticipate. In the next several months I’ll be posting a series of articles of things I’ve learned as I try to navigate this new season of life.  I hope to answer a few of your questions, as well as offer some tips I’ve found helpful as a new mother of a 7-month-old who’s working from home.

So where to start? Well, right at the very beginning: making the decision to be a work-at-home mom (or WAHM in internet lingo). Obviously, a lot of us can’t work from home for one reason or another. I feel extremely blessed to be a virtual assistant who can both be at home with her son and have the creative, lucrative outlet of work. If you have a job where you can work virtually, I’m talking to you! And if you’re not sure, please talk to your boss about it. Chances are, they may be happy to try to facilitate you working from home for at least a couple days a week, if you present your case with confidence. A good boss will realize that your level of satisfaction directly affects your work performance.

Freelance-type work (like being a virtual assistant) is ideal for the WAHM. That’s because your work hours are extremely flexible (which is a very good thing, because most often you work when baby sleeps!) So if you fit in that category, you’ve already got a great start. But even if your hours are set, don’t despair! Our next post is all about scheduling.

I actually pursued working as a virtual assistant for this exact reason. Many years before I ever got pregnant, I jumped at the chance to work for AVA Virtual Assistance because I knew that I’d want to be able to work from home when I had a baby. And now that I have one, I’m really glad I did!

But how to make it work once you’ve established you will indeed be a WAHM? That’s what we’ll start on next time. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Are you currently working at home? Planning to? How and why did you decide to be a WAHM?

Tracking Money

Follow me

Ariel Kostrna

Virtual Assistant at AVA Virtual Assistance
I absolutely love helping people grow! One of the best ways I can do that is by sharing things that I've found helpful, in any area of life.
Ariel Kostrna
Follow me

…determined NECESSARY!

As a business owner, you need to track your money. It’s absolutely necessary when measuring the fiscal health and well-being of your company. You can measure your success using accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, Fathom, etc.  Get jiggy with those reports! They are fun and informative if you give them space in your world.

When you know what the numbers are doing, you can make better decisions about where you’re going, and how much it may cost. If you know bookkeeping, then your effort is really all about having the discipline to do the work – no matter how you may be feeling about your numbers at a given moment.

Not great at doing your own accounting?

We may be able to help, or recommend a good fit with one of our many Accounting Firm clients. Don’t waste the time struggling. Outsource and get consulting on the stuff that isn’t in your own wheelhouse. Contact Us.

How to Measure Success

Follow me

Ariel Kostrna

Virtual Assistant at AVA Virtual Assistance
I absolutely love helping people grow! One of the best ways I can do that is by sharing things that I've found helpful, in any area of life.
Ariel Kostrna
Follow me
I’ve said it a thousand times…

Running a business is messy.

So, how do you measure what’s good in your business so that you’ll know if this messy business is worth it? The answer is – so many ways!

Here’s one way to track what’s important to you.

I discovered along the way that (for me) being “virtual” meant the ability to serve clients out of the area. Delivering a great service across state lines gave me a thrill and true sense of accomplishment. I began to measure this kind of growth and success using Google Maps. One pin for every state we have clients.

You can modify this type of tracking to fit your own business model, it doesn’t have to be like our “Service Reach by State”. It could be:

  • a pin for a specific amount of revenue earned by state
  • a number of products sold within city limits
  • distribution channels earned by county… you name it!

Google Maps has options for plugging in photos, color coding pins, and using layers to help you track and stay organized! Get creative, and start dropping those pins.

Also, design it your own way! I get this question all the time: “How many clients do you have”. I hate that question – it has no consideration for how much work comes with each client and therefore does not speak to one’s success. You could have TWO clients and make millions of dollars.

Measure the successes that are important to YOU.

How are you tracking your small business successes? Leave a comment – We’d love to hear from you.