Making Work at Home Work

by Guest

Did you know that this week is National Work at Home week? I know many of you out there are WAHMs or have aspirations to one day become a work at home mom!

Mary Byers (herself a WAHM) quit the corporate world eleven years ago. She began a home-based business and raised her children all while making sure everyone had clean underwear and food to eat. She’s had her share of failures along the way, but she’s also has her successes.

Mary has written several books, but her latest book, Making Work at Home Work: Successfully growing a business and a family under one roof shows moms how to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set without sacrificing their families.

It covers important topics such as developing a successful business philosophy, balancing time between work and family, setting realistic goals, and handling the challenges of being both “Mommy” and “CEO” while running a profitable home-based business. In addition to including her own experiences, author Mary Byers profiles real moms with home-based businesses who offer their hard-won advice.

Mary says she “feels really privileged that I was able to write this book. I wrote it with Work at Home Moms in mind. There are so many unique challenges about working at home that only another work-at-homer can understand!

She says the most important question to ask yourself is: Why are you working?

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don’t know why they are working. Most assume that they are working for money. But when I talk to people about the topic, I hear a lot of different reasons for work. Some work for the mental stimulation. Some to keep their skills up to date. Others work to support their scrapbooking habit or to be able to purchase cosmetics at a discount.

There’s a big difference between working to put food on the table vs. working for the “extras” such as summer camp or a vacation. Both are legitimate but it’s essential to be honest about your motivation. Knowing what drives you will help you keep your priorities in order. When my children were young, I worked for the extras. However, instead of stopping when I earned enough to help with vacation costs I kept right on going, becoming a workaholic in the process. It didn’t serve me or my family. When I recognized my error, I was able to cut back on work in order to create a healthier balance. Now that my children are school-age and I’m working to help cover orthodontia, tuition and retirement, I’ve increased my hours accordingly.

Understanding why you are working makes it easier to make tough work-related decisions. Will you work on the weekends? Stay up late to get it all done? If you’re working to put food on the table, the answer will more likely be yes. But if you’re working for the fun of it, you may choose not to compromise family time by late night or weekend work. When you know why you are working, it gets easier to decide what kind of boundaries you’ll adhere to.

Excellent advice Mary. Let’s find out a bit more about you and how you first began your Work at Home career!

When did you start your business?

Why did you decide to start your business and how did you choose the type of business? The business found me, actually. I left full-time employment outside the home when I was expecting my second child. The decision to leave a job I loved was so agonizing I hadn’t even thought about what I would do after my son’s arrival. Colleagues began calling, however. “Would you speak at our conference?” “Would you write an article for our publication?” I said “yes” to everything and my business as a professional speaker and author was launched from our guest room.

What is your favorite thing about being in business for yourself? I get to work in my pajamas many days and have the freedom and flexibility to set my own schedule, making it possible to manage both work and family in a way that’s comfortable for me.

What turned out to be harder than you thought? Balancing work and family when my children were preschool age. I was always wondering when I would be able to find the next block of uninterrupted time to work. It was mentally grueling.

Looking back, what is one thing you know now, but wish you knew back then? That I’d still be at it a decade later and by business would be thriving. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have worried so much in the beginning.

Do you participate in any business groups (mentoring, networking, etc)? I’m part of several informal groups and have many friends who also work at home. We call each other for advice a lot!

As a business owner, it can be easy to work all the time – do you have any tips for balancing your business and your personal life? I finally have set office hours, which includes an ending time each day. Occasionally I’ll allow work to spill over into Saturday morning, but I try to limit this as much as possible.

What have been some of your best business successes? My first book was published in 2005 and I’ve written four more since. Adding “author” to my credentials was a dream come true!

What are you planning to do with your business in the future?
I’m taking on bigger projects which increases revenue and makes it possible for me to plan further out rather than chasing smaller projects that require the same amount of preparation but sometimes result in more stress. In addition, I plan to facilitate accountability groups for other at-home-entrepreneurs, which reflects my passion for helping other women succeed in a home-based business.

I’ve also launched a blog on this topic at

What one piece of advice would you give to work-at-home moms? Remember that your children are only young once. When my children were preschool age, the days seemed to last forever. Now that I have a 13 and 11 year old, I’m seeing how fast it really goes. There will always be time for work. There won’t always be time to snuggle!

Mary has also developed at Making Work at Home Work blog ring. She’ll be sending out helpful tips and monthly articles for your blog (and your personal use) as well as connecting Work at Home Moms. Go here to find out more info!

In celebration of National Work at Home week, we are giving away five copies of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully growing a business and a family under one roof.

To enter simply leave a comment on this post by Friday, June 5th. Five winners will be chosen at random and announced on Saturday, June 6th. This contest is open to US & Canadian addresses.

As always, don’t forget to earn more entries: subscribe to our Feed, sign up for our 5M4M Newsletter, add our 5 Minutes for Mom button in your sidebar, write a post and link back to this contest on your blog, and spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, or email! Please see our site’s Terms and Conditions of Use for a complete list of our contest and giveaway rules.

This post was written by guest contributor Amy Lathrop from Sprightly Amy Anne.

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1 Shelly May 27, 2009 at 8:12 am

I would love this book! I’m working from home currently and I’m facing a lot of challenges and would love the insight and tips.

2 Shelly May 27, 2009 at 8:16 am

I twittered and subscribe to your blog and newsletter.

3 Amanda May 27, 2009 at 9:15 am

Great post! I am a work-at-home mom and I would love her book. I already posted about it on my blog.

4 Amanda May 27, 2009 at 9:20 am

Whoops! Forgot to add that I am already a follower of the blog (and get your feed) and follow you on Twitter.

5 Rona May 27, 2009 at 9:36 am

I’ve been working from home for7 years now. The last 2 years I’ve been co-managing a self storage property with my husband.
It hasn’t been the best 2 years since I’m doing something I no longerenjoy. I work because I have to.

6 Libby May 27, 2009 at 10:04 am

Wow, very impressive! I’ve been working from home as a freelance graphic designer now for 2.5 years. We’ve got a daughter with special needs so it was impossible for me to continue on in my corporate job and still be able to get her to all of her therapy appointments, etc. This book sounds awesome! Would love to win a copy!! Thanks for sharing this great post!!!

7 Erica Mueller May 27, 2009 at 10:05 am

This WAHM would love this book!!

8 Robin May 27, 2009 at 10:49 am


What year is this?!

Excuse me but all moms are work at home moms……some more than others.
Some stay at home moms work harder than women who have jobs outside the home. Some stay at home moms work very hard keeping up their home and taking care of their family; some of them work harder than some stay at home moms who make a second income inside or out of their homes. It has also been noted that some women who stay at home do little at all (but blog), while some women who work at jobs outside the home do little work inside their home (including take care of their children). Then there are the moms and non moms who do very little (if anything) at their jobs outside the home yet collect a pay check.
In the end, all moms are working women….working moms….some just work harder.

9 jennsquared May 27, 2009 at 11:00 am

I’ve always wanted to work from home and have my own business!

10 jennsquared May 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

woops. Forgot to add that I already subscribe to your feed on my google reader!

11 Angela May 27, 2009 at 11:06 am

This seems excellent and I have been struggling with this transition!

12 Barbara H. May 27, 2009 at 11:32 am

I’ve been considering trying to work from home, and this would provide much needed information.

13 Barbara H. May 27, 2009 at 11:32 am

I subscribe to your feed.

14 Barbara H. May 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

I receive your newsletter.

15 Barbara H. May 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

I have your button in my sidebar.

16 Kalisha May 27, 2009 at 11:55 am

I agree with Robin’s comment above. I have been a stay-at-home mom and just recently have been learning to be a sahm while also managing a wahm blog job. It can be tough–especially when my first priority is my children, home and family. I work and blog because I think it is fun, but now that my children are getting older I have had to change my motivation for “working” and that’s money. We want to be able to save more money and I am fully capable of bringing in extra income. My husband also fully supports me staying at home while working from home, but has been encouraging me to see the business side of blogging too.

I would really like to read this book–Thanks for the opportunity!

17 Kalisha May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am

I have you in my blogroll!

18 Jeanette May 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm

woot! I really need this book – just started my own home business a few months ago and with three little ones at home, balancing is hard!

19 Jeanette May 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm

oh, and I subscribe to your feed!

20 Jeanette May 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Your button is on my sidebar!

21 Mozi Esmes Mommy May 27, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Great interview – and I’d love to have that book!

22 Mozi Esmes Mommy May 27, 2009 at 1:07 pm

And I’m subscribed to your feed.

23 Libby May 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm
24 Libby May 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I subscribe via MyYahoo! reader

25 Therese May 27, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I would love this book, I am starting a new blog where this post would have fit in great, shame it is not up yet.

26 Therese May 27, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I am already subscribed to your feed

27 Therese May 27, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I am already subscribed to your newsletter as well.

28 Therese May 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Tweeted this too which put it on friendfeed and facebook

29 Hollie May 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I become a work at home mom on June 1st, so this book would definitely be a timely read.

30 Hollie May 27, 2009 at 8:44 pm

I tweeted this post!

31 Hollie May 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I am a subscriber as well.

32 Jinii Boren May 27, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I would love this book. I am a WAHM and always need advice on how to balance my life!!

33 Rachael May 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I would love this book!! ( I subscribe via Google Reader.)

34 Victoria Higgins May 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Wow – this book sounds fantastic. I would have loved to have a book like this when I first got started with my business. There is a lot of challenges that we face with working at home!

35 TopazTook May 28, 2009 at 12:11 am

I work from home one day a week at this point; I would like to increase that and would love to read this book.

36 TopazTook May 28, 2009 at 12:11 am

I subscribe to your newsletter.

37 TopazTook May 28, 2009 at 12:12 am

And your feed!

38 Angie May 28, 2009 at 8:55 am

Since I’m working towards working at home, I could really use this book!

39 Bess May 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

This would be great to read! I work A LOT from home and only go into the office for two mornings per week.

40 Bess May 28, 2009 at 11:50 am

I get your newsletter, and I also have your button!

41 Andrea McMann May 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I’d so love to win this! My ultimate goal is to make a decent wage from home!

42 Laxmi May 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I would like to get hold of this book . This will be very helpful in promoting my online business “Get freebies and make money”.


43 Heather May 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Great post and interview. As a wahm, finding the balance is always difficult. The minute there seems to be peaceful co-existence between family & work, life throws a curve ball; schedules change, an unexpected pregnancy ;), or shift in spouses career. One things for sure – trying to balance certainly keeps us moms on our toes!
I subscribe to your feed, and I tweeted this.

44 PAMELA May 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I would love to have her book to see where I make my biggest mistakes, thanks for the giveaway, great interview

45 sharon May 28, 2009 at 6:30 pm

i’d l♥ve a copy of this book!

46 edj May 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Please enter me, along with the millions of her adoring fans :)

47 Jane May 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I just found this site and I love it. I work from home in order to show my daughters that I am making a life for myself.

48 courtney May 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Perfect. I work from home and need tips on making it more manageable.

49 courtney May 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I am a subscriber

50 Holly May 29, 2009 at 7:33 pm

This one looks interesting. I could always use some help bringing in some more income.

51 Angie May 29, 2009 at 7:45 pm

I’m an email subscriber: pricousins at aol dot com

52 susan varney May 30, 2009 at 9:22 am

home work would be nice

53 Lesley May 30, 2009 at 9:33 am

I would love to win a copy–thank you!

54 Angie L May 30, 2009 at 10:56 am

I’d love to read this for some ideas. Work and mommyhood is killing me.

55 JDSG May 30, 2009 at 11:29 am

The book would be so informative and useful for me as I try to juggle work outside the home, from home and family life. I am in a transitioanl stage which I hope to have complete within a years time.


visionquest2020 (at) msn (dot) com

56 JDSG May 30, 2009 at 11:29 am

Newsletter subscriber.


visionquest2020 (at) msn (dot) com

57 JDSG May 30, 2009 at 11:30 am

RSS feed subscriber.


visionquest2020 (at) msn (dot) com

58 Marina Oliva May 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I recently became a SAHM and would love to find out how I can begin making money from home!! Anything that can keep me home for my kids is a blessing!

59 Meredith Rogen May 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm

This sounds like a great book. thx.

60 quiltingreader May 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Sounds like a fanstastic book.

61 Renee Concolino May 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Working at home always seems unattainable. I would love to read this book and determine if it is something I can accomplish.

62 Renee Concolino May 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I subscribe to the feed.

63 clemens May 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm

i am working to get little extra things here and there. oh and to pay bills. i want to read this.

64 Lisa Martin May 31, 2009 at 2:49 am

This book sounds like it could be very helpful. I have to work from frequently and I would love some tips on how to be more successful at doing so. I always find myself getting distracted!

65 Pamela Callahan May 31, 2009 at 7:34 am

I think this is a reality that more and more people are facing. The job market is terrible, more businesses are closing. Any insight that could be provided to just help get by should be appreciated by everyone!

66 michele anne May 31, 2009 at 2:31 pm

This sounds like a great book…one almost everyone should read. woudl love to win it.

67 Susan K May 31, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Am looking into working from home in the future -this could be a big help in figuring it out

68 Rose A June 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

If I don’t find a way to successfully work from home very soon, finances dictate I’m going to have to return to a traditional job (which I do like, but I want to be home with my son). I’d love the book, maybe it would give me an insight that I’m lacking.

69 Annalisa June 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm

As an author/illustrator working out of my home, time management is a priority to accomplish home, family and work duties. A mother’s greatest job is to nurture and strengthen her children and that requires balancing lots of other roles and tasks.

I love the time each day to read to my little children their favorite books and sing songs because it’s vacation from work each day.


70 Maggie M June 1, 2009 at 3:16 pm

I have a strong desire to be a work from home grandmother. I need the extra income because I am living on SS Disability. I was forced into early “retirement” as the result of two severe work injuries. I went from working 60 hours a week, to nothing. I have taken up hobbies that I enjoy, but I need to generate some income. I’m hoping that Mary’s book will provide me with some information and answers on creating and maintaining a business that I can do from home.

71 Maggie M June 1, 2009 at 3:16 pm

I’m a subscriber by email :)

72 Maggie M June 1, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I’m subscribed to the 5M4M Newsletter :)

73 Maggie M June 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I follow 5minutesformom on Twitter as “Smokeysmom” and Tweeted this giveaway (I also tweeted Mary’s book):

74 christopher h June 1, 2009 at 6:32 pm

love to win this

75 Daniel M June 1, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I’d like to work from home but don’t know what to do about it yet

76 Heidi V. June 1, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I’d love to read this book I want to be WAHM.

77 Heidi V. June 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Blogged about the giveaway @

78 Catherine June 2, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Thanx for the contest

79 Leilani June 3, 2009 at 10:00 am

I would love to read this book. I’m really struggling with trying to make this transition right now.


80 John Carr June 3, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Being a senior on a fixed income, I may just need to start some business out of my home.

81 Jill Miller June 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Sounds like a really good book!

82 kathy pease June 3, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Thanks for the GREAT giveaway
please count me in :)

83 kathy pease June 3, 2009 at 10:34 pm


84 Adrian Lamont June 4, 2009 at 2:52 am

This is great, please count me in.

85 Erma Hurtt June 4, 2009 at 7:10 am

I would love the chance to win, thanks.

86 Michael Capp June 4, 2009 at 11:40 am

I’d love to win!

87 shawna June 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

My dream is to work from home.

88 Ed Nemmers June 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Happy Day!

89 Susan Smith June 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Sounds like a good book

90 gloria mckellar June 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I would love to read your book!

91 Diane Fisher June 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I would love to figure out how to work from home. Recent medical issues have made this more of an issue that it was, so winning this book would be a blessing.

92 Barbara Rawe June 4, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Do I ever need this book! I am trying to work but there are so many diversions that side track me every day. Thanks for this giveaway!

93 Aisling June 4, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I’d love to get some insights from a WAHM who’s “been there and done that”.

94 Mollie G. June 5, 2009 at 12:06 am

Would be nice to win this book, both to help ME get my priorities straight, AND to offer suggestions to my husband, who is currently unemployed and stressing about it… There may be something he can do to generate some income that we aren’t seeing??

95 Chrysa June 5, 2009 at 12:28 am

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

96 Deci Worland June 5, 2009 at 10:17 am

I would love to read this.

97 Roseann K. June 5, 2009 at 10:18 am

I’d love to make an income while at home enjoying my son! Thanks!

98 Donna M. Clark June 5, 2009 at 10:34 am

I would love to be entered to win this book. It looks really helpful. Thank you for having this giveaway.

99 Donna M. Clark June 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

I subscribe to your feed.
litefoot873 (@)

100 Donna M. Clark June 5, 2009 at 10:36 am

I am signed up for the newsletter.

101 Donna M. Clark June 5, 2009 at 10:36 am
102 Amy Tucker June 5, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I just started a home based business — this seems like a great read.

103 Lily Kwan June 5, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

104 Lily Kwan June 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I subscribed to your feed.

105 Lily Kwan June 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I signed up for your newsletter.

106 dorothy l June 5, 2009 at 1:18 pm

please enter me in the book giveaway

107 Brittany Rebello June 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I want this because when I finish my medical billing degree I plan to eventually work from home.

108 Brittany Rebello June 5, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I subscribe.

109 Gianna June 5, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Please enter me :)

110 Cassandra June 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I am sure this book will help me and give me some inspiration to continue pursuing my dual goals. Thanks!

111 Cassandra June 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Subscribed to feed via google reader

112 Cassandra June 5, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Signed up for newsletter

113 Gabriel J. June 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Please, enter me, great prize!!!

114 Gabriel J. June 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I follow you on twitter.

115 Sheryl June 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I am trying to work at home so this book would help me alot

116 Letessha Williams June 5, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Love to have this book!

117 Letessha Williams June 5, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I subscribed via google reader.

118 Letessha Williams June 5, 2009 at 7:51 pm

receive newsletter

119 Letessha Williams June 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm

follower on twitter! @dahliamomma

120 Letessha Williams June 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm
121 Letessha Williams June 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm

button on my sidebar and follow on blogger!

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