Just Because You’re Not Making Money, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Working At Home

by David

in Featured, Work From Home

First of all, if you’re a work at home parent–particularly if you’re a parent of young children–you have my admiration.

I have an even greater admiration for you if you’re doing something entrepreneurial like creating and building your own business because I know just how painful that can be.

I know how time consuming, how emotionally and physically draining it can be.

I also know that it takes massive persistence and resilience to get up and keep going after the many setbacks you have doubtless encountered.

Getting the balance right between family life and work while you’re working at home can end up breaking your business (or employment), your family and sometimes it can break you.

Regardless of how you’re doing it, working at home can be hugely challenging but, if you get it right, hugely rewarding!

My Definition of “Work at Home”

I’ve billed this site as a survival guide for work at home parents so I guess I’d better define what I mean by “work at home”.

When you think of a work at home parent (usually shortened to WAHM or WAHD for Work At Home Mom (Mum) or Dad) you probably think of someone who either has a regular job that permits them to work remotely, i.e. away from their office, or maybe you think of someone who has their own business such as writing, copy writing or graphic design.

When I see the term WAH, I know that I picture someone doing work online from home, probably from their kitchen table with small children at their feet (probably because that’s how it is for me!).

Maybe you also imagine that when you work at home money is the primary motivator, but actually, it doesn’t have to be.

In my definition I’d like to include those who are working on their own stuff, perhaps studying academically or enhancing their skills through study, and also those who homeschool their children.

I definitely include those people who are taking the entrepreneurial route and have yet to make the breakthrough. Building a viable business can take years of unpaid work, but it’s still work!

The difficulty there is that other people (especially those closest to you) often don’t see it as work, because work brings in money–and if you’re not bringing in money you’re just playing at it while you get over your midlife crisis.

I also include people with obligations beyond the home, paid or unpaid:

  • School
  • Community
  • Charitable
  • Non profit
  • Care-givers

There are all kinds of ways to work at home and I’ll get into those later but I want you to know that my main focus is on those who are taking the entrepreneurial route because that’s where my experience comes from.

OK, so that’s not exactly a concise definition. I’ll work on that and come back to it.

I’ll probably update this page over time until I get my definition right because I definitely don’t want you to feel excluded. If you work from home in any capacity there will be something on this site for you as I develop it.

Do you work from home? What do you do and how do you cope?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

HonieBuk November 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

Thanks Chuck! You just lifted my spirits through the roof.

I get envious when I see WAHM and yes, I do think of succesful people and even those who bring their work home from the office.

I used to work S/E as an Advanced Sports Theapist/Holistic Therapist till having my 2nd child and subsequently getting an injury that prevents me form doing a physical job. I’ve tried re-training but my heart has not been in what I’ve tried to do.

I put a lot of time into voluntary work with the NCT (UK largest parenting charity) but now my youngest is at school I’m desperate to do something I’m passionate about and makes me feel I’m contributing.

I do have a plan – all will be revealed soon. Of course, there won’t be any money at first (something I know only too well being S/E before).

After reading your post, I have reminded myself it doesn’t matter – Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m sure they didn’t have family at their heels while doing it.

Thanks for posting and now I shall feel positive about my efforts.


David November 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

HonieBuk, I’m so pleased that you found this useful.

I just love this:“I’m desperate to do something I’m passionate about and makes me feel I’m contributing. It’s exactly the way I feel.

Can’t wait to hear about your plan. Sounds positive and exciting!


Michelle May 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

Hi I was over at your changing your thinking post — which was great btw I even took notes! But I was curious about the link titles the hardest time in your life thinking it would be about some tragic event (which I am thankful it was not) but it was about my hardest time in my life!! A sahm of 6 young children, 3 of whom I am homeschooling. So thank you for including me :). Yes it is hard and scary, but well worth it. I do feel very passionate about it. Just not ALL the time. Here’s to more positive thinking and eating one meal a day (my meals are too big right now, but I’m trying) lol!!


David May 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Michelle, thank you!

It has definitely been the toughest part of my life so far. I couldn’t even begin to convey how tough it was in just a few sentences – I might even struggle with an entire website at my disposal. 🙂

The thing is, I don’t expect anyone else to understand, except those that have been through it.

And as for those who haven’t, they may well discover just how quickly life can start to unravel when things don’t their way. It’s scary how quickly it can happen too.

I am so pleased to hear that you feel passionate about your life. I am also delighted to note that you concede you don’t always feel that way… because that’s the reality. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops!

So, 6 children!! And you homeschool too! You’re a glutton for punishment! 😀

I admire anyone who homeschools. I know I couldn’t do it.

Thanks for dropping by (and for reminding me I need to start preparing my one (very delicious) meal). 🙂


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