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 would like to personally thank Ken for all his help in helping me to find a job. On June 1st I was released from my job of 11 years. I was unsure of what my next steps would be. I haven't been through an interview in years and I felt like I was unprepared. Ken took the time to help me step by step. He first gathered all my personal information and work history. He built a resume from all of that information and articulated my accomplishments in a way I never could have. He sent me tips on what to wear, questions to ask, and called after my interviews to see how it went. He gave me support and encouragement when I was at my absolute lowest. I couldn't have asked for a better recruiter! Thank you again Ken! Thanks, Again, KenGeneral Manager, Logan's Road House, Chattanooga TN
  • Ken Schreifels was a great help during the whole process from start to finish. He was with me every step of the way with tips and words of encouragement. If I had any questions or concerns, no matter what time of day it was, he was there to answer it. I would recommend Ken to anyone. Thank you, William  I Would Recommend Ken to Anyone Looking for a New JobGeneral Manager, Fuddruckers, New Jersey
  • David Israel was a pleasure to work with and was instrumental in helping me find an excellent career opportunity .

    David was extremely professional and took the time to really listen to where I was in my career and what I was looking for. As a result of the work he did to connect me with the right opportunity, I was able to obtain a great starting salary and great benefits as well. I would highly recommend David’s services to both job seekers and employers. Josh Axmacher David Israel was a pleasure to work with!
  • Tim was nothing but helpful from the start!

    I was originally contacted by Tim as a reference for someone who used to work for me. He must have recognized that I myself was a good fit, because within a few minutes the conversation turned to me applying for the job.  He was always pushing for me. He was there to help with everything, every step of the way, and was in constant communication. He played a massive role in me landing an amazing job with an even better company. I can't stress enough how awesome this guy was. Tim will coach you through the entire process and be your biggest advocate. He has a lifetime of experience and knows exactly what companies are looking for. A+, 10/10, two thumbs up, 5-stars. Thanks for everything Tim! Brock Kinley Tim was nothing but helpful from the start
  • Tim was very patient and thorough when going through the process of trying to find employment for me and my skills. I appreciate the time and effort he put in for me and I would recommend Tim Walker & Patrice and Associates to anyone looking for great opportunities. Carolyn Floyd Tim was very patient & thorough!