Making Work at Home Work: Book Review and Confessional!

I’ve been a work-at home mom pretty much since the beginning, teaching private piano and voice lessons. I have gradually transitioned from the set times and predictable schedule of lessons, to the unpredictable, incessantly needy work of website Publishing/Blogging/SM Marketing, while still teaching lessons to make the income, and it has gotten CRAZY this year!

I have just read the book, that is going to revolutionize the way I do business at home! That is, if I actually follow through with the incredible advice in Mary Byers’ “Making Work at Home Work”

Here’s how my Friday went this week, and why I really needed this book:

  • 7:30 am: wake up really groggy and tired from co-hosting the National Mom’s Night Out Thursday Night. Say goodbye to hubby and HipChick, going to school.
  • 8:00 am: still cuddling in bed with Little Pea and Princess (she was home for Kinder Orientation) because I just needed some down time from the week of planning the party.
  • 8:30 am: Get Princess and Little Pea some breakfast… three times… she eats a lot in the morning, not so much at night.
  • 9:00 am: Clean up the kitchen and living room, put away laundry, check email, tie up some loose ends online, take a shower, and prepare for my voice student.
  • 10:00 am: Teach voice student, while Little Pea and Princess play in room.
  • 11:00 am: Lunch
  • 12:00 pm: Work on some online networking.
  • 1:00 pm: co-host Wii Mommies Blog Talk Radio debut With Julie! Yippee, fun! Movie for the kids, only two whining interruptions!
  • 2:00 pm: pick up HipChick from school
  • 2:30 pm: after school activities with the kids, work a little while they play outside.
  • 5:00 pm: fix dinner
  • 7:30 pm: Put kids to bed and write until 11:00 pm. It’s the only time I can sit in one place long enough to actually think through a post.
  • 11: 00 pm: go to bed, finally fall asleep at 11:30.

This schedule is simply unsustainable. I have become the “forgetful mom,” the “late mom,” the one who needs three permission slips sent home before she finally sends it in. Yes, THAT one. And it’s not really working for our family.

In her book, Mary Byers covers every topic a Work-at Home mom needs to master in the day-to-day life of her business and her family. I can’t possibly convey to you all the lessons Mary teaches in this book, every page is a wealth of information. Here are some of the topics that really stuck out to me:

Acknowledge the difference between “At Home” and “Work at Home.” This is SO important! Even while teaching a few lessons a week, I still had time to do everything an “at home” mom does: meeting friends at the park, grocery shopping at my leisure, cooking meals for friends who had babies, attending playgroups and moms’ groups. And then the housework and cooking. Now that I am trying to make a full-time career from home, my mindset needs to change! In the past few weeks, I’ve talked to my friends who I haven’t spent as much time with, insuring them that they are still valuable to me, and I am adjusting to the idea that I work full-time now.

Control your business, don’t let it control you. Learning to set goals, and say no every once in a while is a tough concept for me, but Mary gives practical advice for it!

Helpful Child-Care strategies. I am really nervous about handling the summer with all three kids every day. Mary helped me to plan for the summer, instead of just hoping the kids cooperate. I got a great idea from one of the WAHM interviews in the book, with real life WAHMs on their challenges and successes. Here’s the plan:

  • I will pay the kids $1 a day if they play together in the mornings, and let me work.
  • We will also purchase a pool pass. After lunch, I’ll take the kids to the pool several days a week as a reward!
  • There are a couple of weeks where the older ones will be at camp, but this plan is a lot cheaper than all-summer camp, and lets me spend time with the kids.
  • The only thing is: I may have to switch to working after noons until dinner. I’m not really a morning person, and doubt if I can really be alert enough to focus on writing. My best time is 2-5 PM, and at night.

Facing the Daily Dinner Dilemma. Mary introduces the idea of “Supper Swapping,” which can really save your dinnertime sanity. She suggests that one mom delivers dinner one night of the week, and then receives deliveries the other days. I don’t think that would work for me, since people live more spread out here. But I actually did a frozen supper swap a while ago, and I think that would be a good alternative. Everyone swaps frozen entrees so you have lots of dinners ready in the freezer.

Mary also gives some awesome ideas for “Preserving Your Profit.” I am not naturally a business/detail-minded person, and I need a LOT of help in this area. I’ll mainly concentrate on the “Saving Your Sanity” part of the book for now, because if I don’t do that, I’ll probably end up tossing the computer out the window and running off to Buenos Aires. Then when I get the hang of that, I’ll really dive into the business side. One idea I have is to barter advertising for a WAHM accountant I know for her to help me!

If you are a WAHM, you NEED to read this book. It’s almost as if Mary has years of experience as a WAHM and an incredible way of teaching it to others! (Ha ha! Of course she does!)

Will you leave a comment and tell your biggest challenge of working at home, or your best idea for keeping yourself sane? I’d love to hear it!


If you’d like to win a copy of this book AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card, visit the blog tour post at Mary’s Blog and leave a comment. What- did you think I was giving away mine? NEVER! It’ll take me five readings to soak in all the incredible information and incorporate it fully into my WAHM life!


About Mary Byers: Mary M. Byers successfully juggles both a freelance corporate writing and speaking business and her responsibilities as a wife and mother of two school-aged children. She is the author of The Mother Load: How to Meet Your Own Needs While Caring for Your Family and How to Say No . . . And Live to Tell about It. Visit her website to learn more: or her blog Follow Mary on Twitter at @marybyers

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. says:

    Working from home is the biggest blessing! I just love it. Being able to be home with my babies means more to me than anyone could ever know..well, scratch that… every work at home mom understands how much it means!



  2. For me I think the hardest thing is having only one child, she has nobody to play with but me, so she needs all my attention. I am currently only working through naptime.


  3. gingerrwade says:

    Ode to she that finds the schedule and keeps it. I have to discipline myself to do the same.



  4. marketing workshop says:

    I got exhausted just reading your schedule.
    .-= marketing workshop ´s last blog ..Learn the Secrets Behind Successful Twitter Marketing =-.


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