In addition to running her own business from home, Emily also helps run her husband Mike’s business, Connective Electric, Inc. – she wears many hats helping with human resources, billing, marketing, licensing, etc. In her interview below she shares how working from home has helped their family and how she deals with the struggles that come along with being a WAHM.
Did you always plan to be a WAHM? If not, what made you decide to work from home?
I originally planned to be a SAHM but Mike’s business grew and needed my time more and more and then after having my first child I discovered my true passion was in throwing parties and jumped at the opportunity to start my own business.
If you own your own business, what is the name of your business and what do you offer/sell?
My own business is the The Merry Love Joy Company. We sell Your Party in a Package which is personalized, customized, convenient, and affordable alternative to having to create your own party. Our packages include Party Printable Designs (invitations, cupcake toppers, banners and more), Party Supplies/Decor, and Party Favors and customized by theme and personalized by the customers name and age. We also carry special occasion clothing, toys/gifts, costumes, baking goods, and craft supplies.
How long have you been a WAHM?
I left the corporate world in May of 2011 and had my daughter in September of 2011, she made me a mother, so officially 2 1/2 years!
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
Two children, Liliana who just turned 2 1/2 on March 5th and James who is almost 10 months.
What is your workstation setup like? (ie. In the kitchen, room to room, in an office/study, etc.)
I have a dedicated craft space and a separate office space. We built a wall in our garage and turned our garage into half office and half warehouse. I will send some pictures.
What days/hours do you typically work?
I work M-F 8-5 and then any extra time I can get in the evenings and through the night sometimes and every couple of hours on the weekends.
Do you have a nanny/mother’s helper while you work?
I have a nanny to help with my children while I work and she is like part of the family. It is difficult being home and working from home but I had to decide to let go of the control while she is running the show and it has been a beautiful relationship.
How does being a WAHM affect your husband/partner?
He wanted me to be home with the kids and since I provide so much support to his business, I believe he is happy with the way our business lives and home lives are intertwined.
What are some of your frustrations with being a WAHM?
I feel a lot of mom guilt. It is hard when my daughter wants to come and play in the office and I have to say no because I always want to be available to her and not reject her but at times, work must get completed so I have to say no. It tears me up inside every single time this happens. A lot of people also don’t understand that I am actually working, they think that I have a nanny and just hanging out all day, it is hard for some people to grasp the notion that I work from the house, why I don’t know but I have a lot of moms ask what I do, what does my nanny do, when do I work, what do I do all day long, sometimes the questions can be a little intrusive.
What is the single most gratifying part of being a WAHM?
Knowing that I am truly always available to my children, that I don’t have miss any special moments or activities because I determine my schedule, I really love that flexibility.
Describe a typical day in the life for you as a WAHM.
We, the children and I, get up and have breakfast, watch a little Curious George, play in the playroom, go for a walk or play in one of their rooms. Then Mell, my nanny, arrives and the children either finish breakfast, get ready for the day and they usually go to the park. I have an assistant 3 days a week so we go over what tasks and items I need her to complete, then I begin my own to do list of items to do. I then work from about 8-12, take a 30 minute lunch from 12-12:30, nurse my son for a bit, then I return to work at 1. I finish up my day from 1-5, then it is dinner time, bath time, books and bed.
What food/toys/technology/etc. could you not live without as a WAHM?
My laptop, it gives me the flexibility to be able to work around the house.
How do you think being a WAHM has helped you and your family?
I think it has really provided me the flexibility I need to accomplish my work goals and life goals.
What advice would you give to a mother working outside the home who wants to transition to being a WAHM?
You need to set up a dedicated space to complete your work. It is very challenging sitting in front of the children and trying to get work done. You have to be prepared for the distractions and learn to eliminate the distractions and focus on each task you have and complete them.
What sacrifices have you had to make in order to be a WAHM?
We have to cut back on personal expenses a lot. My husband and I don’t get out much together alone but we don’t mind, we take the kids to dinner with us to louder, fun, places like noodle bars instead and still get our date nights in and get to be a family.
What are some of the misconceptions you feel exist towards WAHMs?
That we really don’t work or have jobs.
What sounds do you like to hear the most while working?
I like to listen to light music, Dave Matthews Band or Bob Marley, usually something cheerful and in the mornings sometimes I put on Disney Junior. It is just such lighthearted and light background noise that I can tune it out but not have to sit in complete silence.
Is there anything else you want to share about life as a WAHM?
I absolutely love it and I am so grateful that I am able to have this opportunity to work from home and watch my children grow. It is amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way!