Wow, I can hardly believe it’s been almost a year now. I’ll be celebrating my first year of WAHM-ing next week, actually. Back then I never thought I’d be right where I am now especially since I just took the plunge and didn’t really have a written plan. I’ve been really blessed because opportunities sort of just fell on my lap, which is not the case for many aspiring WAHMs. However, my “success”, if you want to call it that, wasn’t just all about luck. It took a lot of hard work too.
It has been a really interesting first year. Of course, I experienced some setbacks and committed some mistakes. But that’s okay. I learned a lot too and earned enough to contribute substantially to the family income. So, I’m pretty happy about what I’ve accomplished so far and would like to share with you guys the five (5) most important things I learned during my first year of WAHM-ing.
Don’t underestimate the power of NETWORKING.
I have to admit that most of the projects and clients I’ve had came from referrals. That shows you that in some cases, who you know really matters. In my case, my strategy from the very beginning was to align myself with people who are already in the industry I want to be in. That way, I can learn from them, formally or informally, and apply my learnings to my work. Aside from that, if people know you and the work that you do, they’re more likely to refer you should they come across somebody who needs the services you have to offer.
Invest in LEARNING.
Since last year, I’ve already attended numerous workshops both online and offline so that I can gain more knowledge about my chosen field. I’ve written about it here, here and here. There are a lot of other people out there who offer freelance writing, virtual assistance and social media services so I can’t afford to be complacent. I want my clients to know that I’m continuously improving on my skills and that can only help me perform better. While you will need to invest some money to attend some of these workshops, be on the lookout for free ones. There are lots online, such as the one I attended on Coursera.
Learn to DELEGATE.
I’ve always had a problem delegating tasks to other people because I’m so OC. However, it came to the point where I had to admit to myself that I’m not superwoman and can’t do everything by myself. I noticed recently that I’ve actually been losing time for my hubby and kids because I’m constantly working, if not doing chores. It really defeats the purpose of why I decided to be a WAHM in the first place. So, I decided to hire a part-time virtual assistant to help me out with some administrative tasks and I became a lot less stressed.
Similarly, delegate some chores to your hubby and older kids as well. My hubby and kids have been so supportive of me working from home and will gladly help me out with stuff around the house, especially since we don’t have hired help at all. Just don’t expect them to do things the way you do them or you’ll just end up getting frustrated.
Set a SCHEDULE but learn to LET GO.
To survive as a WAHM, you need to set a schedule that works for you and your family. My schedule revolves around the stuff I need to do around the house and for my family. For example, at night, the only time I can work is when my son, Ziggy, is already asleep. I also don’t work in the mornings it’s our schedule to do laundry or to buy groceries. It’s great to work on a schedule but bear in mind that anything can happen at any time. Your kid can get sick. Your hubby might need to work overtime and will get home late. Emergencies can occur. Life happens. In these cases, you have to be flexible enough to change your schedule a bit. Learn to let go of the things you can not control.
Know your LIMITS.
I’ve been reminded of this recently when I realized how frustrated I’ve become to have to work on weekends. I’ve lost precious bonding time with my family because I’d be stuck in front of my laptop while they’re all doing something fun without me. I’ve lost a lot of sleep because I was pulling all-nighters. I was tired all the time. Work had started making me unhappy. Yet I kept going because I didn’t want to lose the income. Until such time that God intervened and decided to end my contract with that client who I had to work weekends for. I guess, HE heard my heart’s desire to regain time for myself and my family. So, know your limits and don’t lose sight of why you decided to be a WAHM in the first place.
I am hoping that with what I’ve learned thus far, I’d be able to move forward as a better WAHM. Being successful in WAHM-ing is not impossible. I’ve witnessed other WAHMs do it. I know I can do it too. So can you.