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Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom: In the Beginning… (Part 1)

I am a firm believer that, with God’s blessings and lots of hard work, anyone can successfully work from home. However, I will be the first to tell you that working from home is just that–it’s work.
I’m by nature a positive person but I won’t sugar-coat the truth when
it comes to working from home: if you are not prepared to put in lots
and lots and lots of time and effort, working from home won’t work for you.

I’m sure many moms could look at me and want what I have–the
ability to make a good income while staying at home, choosing my own
hours, and taking care of my husband, home, and family first. I can
take a day off (or even a few days off!) whenever I like and
the money continues to come in at about the same rate because of the many
multiple streams of income I’ve set in place.

All this might sound really wonderful (and it is!) but what most people
often don’t add into this equation are the countless hours, days,
weeks, months, and even years I’ve spent working, learning, and experimenting to get things to the point they are at.

The effort has paid off and I’m now reaping the fruits of my labors
(though I’m still making lots of mistakes and I’m sure I’ll continue to
do so until the day I die!), but I won’t ever forget the struggles I
had to go through to getwhere I’m at or the mountains I’ve had to
climb along the way.

This series is my personal journey to Becoming a Work-at-Home Mom. I will be sharing what things have and haven’t worked for me, what I
wish someone had told me when I was first contemplating starting a
business from home, and how you, too, can become a work-at-home mom.

Let me start at the very beginning…

When my husband and I were married–over six and a half years ago–we knew we wanted to stay out of debt, live on a budget, and we wanted my primary place to be at home. I had no desire to pursue an outside-the-home career; I just wanted to be a stay-at-home wife and mother.

However, there was also this thing called money. We didn’t have a lot of it and my husband still had three and a half years of school left ahead of him. We were living on a very tight budget but we weren’t even making enough to pull that off. We knew that the only way we’d survive the next three and a half years was if we not only continued to pinch pennies, but if we also found ways to increase our income.

Before we got married, I worked an odd assortment of side jobs to produce a little income: I taught violin, babysat, tutored, and worked as a mother’s helper and a waitress. I continued on in some of these after we got married but when we moved to a new town where we knew no one so my husband could begin three years of law school, I found that my side job possibilities narrowed a great deal!

However, we prayed a lot and talked about a hundred different ideas. And then we got creative.

I advertised my experience as a mother’s helper in the local homeschool newsletter and soon was working for four different families each week. I enjoyed this work and it helped to pay the bills. We didn’t have any wiggle room at all, but by carefully squeezing every little thing we could out of every penny, not buying anything but basic necessities, and strategic grocery shopping, we were able to survive on $800-$1000 per month.

A number of months went by and one week I began noticing that I didn’t feel so well. I was tired and sick to my stomach much of  the time. I went about my usual routine, but I could barely keep up with my mother’s helper jobs. I continued to feel worse and worse and we couldn’t figure out what on earth my problem was. After about a week of this, I realized that the one thing I’d not considered was the possibility I could be pregnant.

We’d wanted to have children since we were first married but we’d struggled with some infertility issues and I’d finally just given up the hope that I’d ever be a mom. However, I had some pregnancy tests stashed away and that morning I decided–on a whim!–that I’d just take one. After all, it wouldn’t hurt anything.

Imagine my total shock when I took it and looked down a few seconds later to see two pink lines! No wonder I’d felt so sick and tired!

We were ecstatic, elated, excited, and overwhelmed all at once! We were thrilled to be parents, but we realized this was going to turn our world a little upside down. Never could we have realized at the time just how much having a baby was going to change our lives forever–for the better!

To be continued next week…

Just for fun: How many of you currently work from home?
Tell us a little about what you do. (And if you have a website, be sure to leave the link in the comments section.)

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266 Comments

  • Tammy says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. My hours have recently been cut in half at work and I hope to give more time to my blog. I would love to be able to work part time from home in order to make up for money lost from hours being cut. Again thank you for the time you are taking to help us all. My blog site is
    http://savingwithtammy.blogspot.com

  • jason says:

    Learn how to start making money online today! http://www.wealthyhuman.com

  • Brenda says:

    I am disabled and the income isn’t very much I do a little side business painting furniture don’t earn a whole lot but every little bit helps I have also had 2 garage sales 1 I made 288.00 and the second I made 312.00 so every little bit helps

  • Diana says:

    I foster an adult with disabilities. Most days are good. Over the past few years she has had increasing health problems, which indicate I may need a new Career, at the blink of an eye,… so I want to get started on that right away building it before I need it more seriously.

  • I am working toward working from home so I guess I am a part-time work from home mom and a part-time work outside the home mom. I work 2 part-time jobs outside of the home and then I am a Market Partner with an amazing company called Monat Global. We are a naturally based hair care company that launched a year ago. I was able to get in on the ground floor of this company and it has treated me well. My husband and I have 4 children that keep us very busy and our goal is for me to be able to quit one of my part-time jobs by December (which is coming up really fast)!! I have a blog as well but I have not dedicated as much time to it as I want to. I actually have plans to change it a bit but I don’t really know how. I LOVE following you and I just subscribed to your 5 day How to work from home series and I am very excited. Just in case you want to check out my blog it is http://www.countrychaosblog.wordpress.com. Thank you for helping others!!!
    Crystal Stevenson-Work from home wanna be!!

  • Diana says:

    I am disabled. I don’t have children or a husband. I am trying to save some money and enjoy your blog. I have thought about providing gift wrapping services for the holidays. Not sure.

  • Ellen says:

    Hi! I am a stay at home mom primarily…although I do have a Premier Designs jewelry business…I am attempting to follow a dream of starting a blog and work from home…the jewelry business is working from home, but technically when I was doing it more full time I was away from home doing shows, etc….after having my second baby I felt strongly called to start and work on a blog…it is a slow but steady process and I am definitely learning as I go…your courses and blog help me out so much!! After December I am going to exclusively be working on my blog and not the jewelry business so this course and your book could not have come at a better time! Thank you so much! My blog:
    http://www.mommyhappiness.net

  • Veronica says:

    Hi Crystal,

    What I have read of your story thus far is very motivating and encouraging. I am a stay-at-home wife and mom of 3 little boys. I definitely am looking to get this work from home, generating an income that can help in the support of my family, on a full time basis. I have an inspirational blog that provides encouragement for the soul and empowers individuals to live life, with Christ, purposefully and successfully. Check it out when you can at http://www.veronicascup.com

    I look forward to reading and acquiring more of your material to help me in the early phases of my blogging/work from home journey. 🙂 Thanks so much!

    Veronica

  • Hi there! I just signed up for the 5 Day Course on How To Make a Full-Time Income from Home. I watched my first video today.

    I was called into ministry (music) at an early age and now that I am married, with a 14 month old and in my 30s some days I feel just like you said. I know that music ministry is my calling. It is my passion. I believe my music ministry is going to turn into a full-time ministry with my family. Something I have prayed about for 20 plus years.

    I quit my job when my daughter was born and it has been such a struggle financially. We keep praying and tithing hoping that it will change soon, but we truly believe that I am meant to stay at home with our daughter so I can pursue my passion in music ministry. That is why I am so grateful I saw you on the 700 Club taking about your website and blog. I appreciate you sharing this information for free. When I can afford it, I would love to buy one of your books. Things are too tight right now financially so it may be awhile.

    Thanks again. God bless. With a song for Him, Ashley

  • Thank you so much for sharing your journey and tips. Some times knowing there is another woman out there living (almost) the same experience as me and my family makes me feel less alone. People don’t share their true lives often enough, rather they sugar coat it and cover up aspects to appear to be keeping up with the Jones’. I’m currently a SAHM and with my husband run a side business doing custom apparel. I also “ghost blog” and we take advantage of living close to my husbands regular job and living in an area that I can walk to most things (grocery store, park, library, kids preschool). We’ve been a one car family for more than two years now.

    Here is our home-based business:
    http://www.knightscustoms.com

  • Rhonda H. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I currently am a work at home mom, working part-time for a local company. I keep their website updated, edit podcasts, and more. I have 1 more child left to homeschool, after graduating three older chldren. I also am caregiver to my disabled husband. But, my dream is to own my own business, writing a blog. I know that this series will be valuable motivation for me to do this. Thanks again, Crystal.

  • Nancy says:

    Crystal so excited to have caught the Focus On the Family broadcast a few weeks ago. Ordered your book and Just starting to read it now. I have a scrapbook kit (personalized book kit) geared toward children ages 2-5 on Good Manners. I have not known how to successful get my marketing started so I am interested and excited to look into blogging to parents on teaching Good Manner skills to their kids! My website is goodmannersforlife.com Thank you for sharing your experiences and success!

  • Briana says:

    Hi there! I enjoy DIY crafting, home decor and baking up something sweet! Inspiring and encouraging others to explore and find their inner creative side is what truly brings me happiness. I wish to provide as much tips and inspirations to everyone around me. On my blog you can explore my many creations and fun DIY’s for any occasion!

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