Successful Work from Home Mom

At Patrice & Associates, we have several women who have combined their business development with being a Mom.  These women are an inspiration and testimony to what can be accomplished when one  puts their mind to it. 

Lynda’s story.

I am proud and thankful to be the mother of two fantastic kids.  I have an 11-year-old daughter, Donna, who just might be the next iCarly with her musical and computer talents. My 13-year-old son, Dominic, is just as creative, but he gravitates to the world of fantasy through computer games and books about dragons.  

Dominic is joyful and loving but he doesn’t express the full range of emotions that other kids his age are able to show.  I knew from the time he was 1 year old that he was different.  I felt that he viewed the world differently. 

Yet I did not know until he entered school that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of Autism. He was originally diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Today, Dominic is progressing through regular classes in middle school and learning how to make new friends…thanks in part to a wonderful therapist who’s helped us teach Dominic how to engage in two-way communication. 

This challenging personal situation only increased my need — and desire — to work for myself from home. I’d taken a year off from my previous job of running a local marketing agency in Orlando, and I admit that once I was ready to return to work I briefly entertained the idea of working for someone else. It would be a dependable job, I thought, and I’d be around other people. 

But once I realized that I needed the flexibility of a home-based business, and that I had to be available for Dominic when he needed me, my decision was made. I opened an office in my basement and began work as a recruiter of top management positions for local restaurant chains. 

What I’ve learned to do is structure my day around the times when my kids are at school. After they have both left for school, I grab my coffee and my laptop and I start my work day.  I continue working steadily until they come home. 

Afternoons are spent wrapping up projects I’ve been involved in during the day. I rarely start a new project once the kids are home, but I do check my e-mails and make follow-up phone calls to clients. By following this routine, I have steadily added new clients since I opened my business. 

Some working moms who choose to have home-based businesses for the first time soon realize that they don’t have that “line of demarcation” that draws a clear distinction between being an employee at an away-from-home workplace and a mom/businesswoman who runs a home-based business. Away from home, they don’t have a son running up to them asking for help with his math homework, or a daughter arriving home in tears from school who needs immediate attention. At home, you have to be both businesswoman and mom at the same time. 

My computer and phone are on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but when my kids need me I can shift from work mode to mom mode and tend to their needs. When I’m on the phone with a client and Dominic needs attention, the person I’m talking to often is a parent and has no problem with resuming our conversation after I resolve a home issue.  

The biggest challenge to overcome is the “availability factor.” The perception among your family and friends is that since you work at home you’re available to swing over to a car mechanic and get the oil changed or run an errand for a neighbor. 

The best way to ensure that you have a productive workday is to follow a few simple guidelines: 

  • Prioritize your day. You have to know when your kids will need you, so structure your tasks to make yourself available to your children on the days or times when their needs are greatest.

 

  • Establish a clear line of communication with your family. Let your husband, kids or live-in mother-in-law know what your work hours are and that you need to be left alone to do your job.

 

  • Adhere to a defined work schedule. Designate which days are workdays and which are days off and stick to the schedule to create a productive routine.

 

One last bit of advice: If you wake up on a designated workday, but you just can’t get it together and you feel guilty, you’ve just got to forgive yourself.

Lynda Gail Alfano is a Regional Recruiting Manager for Patrice & Associates, the nation’s leading employment search firm for the hospitality industry. Based in Orlando, Lynda’s clients include several well-known brands such as Smokey Bones, Freebirds World Burrito, Cracker Barrel and Ruby Tuesdays, which have hired her to find top talent for their management positions. Lynda can be reached at (407) 351-JOBS (5627) or lyndaa@patriceandassociates.com.

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I am grateful to have met Corina and will surely have a professional working relationship with her for years to come!

    Corina Mack was extremely thorough and quick to respond to all of the needs of myself as well as her business client. Her ability to communicate between the 2 of us made the process so quick. Corina was very knowledgeable about the company she was representing and their current team that was in place. Sometimes companies receive an overwhelming amount of applications for positions and Corina’s ability to pre-screen potential candidates surely expedited this businesses needs to fill their role.           Regards, John R. Guyon III I am grateful to have met Corina Mack and will surely have a professional working relationship with her for years to come!
  • Erin DeFreitas was Top - Notch!

    Could not have been better!

                          Thank You!     Eddie T. Erin DeFreitas was top-notch!
  • I am beyond thankful Jaclynn Graybill!

    Jackie was my recruiter and she truly is an exceptional addition and excellent employee!  Patrice & Associates provided amazing service which made my decision to chose this organization to work for seamless.  I have referred Jackie to a few of my friends, and I am confident they will receive the same outstanding experience as well!

    All the best,

    Chantal

    I am beyond thankful Jaclynn Graybill!
  • I give Jay a 10 out of 10! 

    Jay Gray is an exceptional recruiter and someone who truly cares about what his client is seeking for employment. Jay helped me through the entire hiring process and made me feel confident about my new career opportunity. I am truly grateful to have had his help. Once again, thank you for you service and it really did help me in a time I needed someone like Jay to come in and help secure a position that valued my worth. I’m really enjoying my position and I’m fortunate for the help!               Much Thanks! Walker Patterson I give Jay a 10 out of 10!
  • I have been nothing but completely happy with Jonathan Litt

    Jonathan Litt has been absolutely amazing during the process of getting me hired for a new position. I’ve been in hospitality for many years, as a Director of Finance in hotels. The last year and a half has been quite difficult, even for those of us who remained employed during the pandemic. After a year of running a department alone due to property wide layoffs, a stressful transition (brand and management company), working crazy hours, along with a 20% paycut for 9 months, I started feeling very overwhelmed and drained. I told myself it might be time for a change and I was going to let the universe help me. And, it happened! Jonathan Litt found my resume and reached out to me inquiring if I was interested in a Finance Manager position, in the Food world. And, I thought that it was worth speaking to him.
    Immediately, I felt this position might be a great fit for me. From the very first email, and texts, he was amazing. He is so professional and helpful, down to helping with revising my resume to point out things I hadn’t even thought of, to helping with getting prepared for the interview. I’m so confident in my abilities but always hated interviews because you never remember the things you want to explain or the right questions to ask. I also find it to be amazing that he reaches out via text because we all know how much easier texting can be these days when you’re in meetings and/or have deadlines and cannot always hop on a call. I was offered the position and start in 2 weeks and I’m so excited! I’m grateful that I can stay in finance, while taking a chance in a new direction, albeit still in hospitality, and will finally have a better work/life balance.
    I would absolutely recommend Jonathan Litt not only for anyone seeking a new role or for companies seeking the next “right fit” for their business. I look forward to keeping Jonathan in my circle of contacts.
    Thanks,
    Erica Garner
    I have been nothing but completely happy with Jonathan Litt