Confessions of Three Work-at-Home Moms

When Deborah Bryner's arthritis flares up, she works in bed. When it's time to make dinner, she totes her laptop to the kitchen. But when she really has to buckle down and meet a deadline, she heads for the basement, where there are no distractions.

"If I'm working in the basement, I tell my kids, 'Don't bug me unless you're bleeding or on fire,'" she says.

That kind of flexibility is what Bryner, 50, loves about working from home. She offers various professional services, including transcription of podcasts and online interviews, copy editing, and blog writing. And while she types away at her laptop in Anchorage, Alaska, her various bosses check in on her from Pennsylvania, Maryland, California and Nebraska.

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

Like other parents who work from home, Bryner's focus is her children. Her son, 16, is in high school now and her 20-year-old daughter, who is autistic, currently attends an alternative career training program. "Our kids have always had one of us at home, as much as possible," she says. "Even teenagers do better when there's a parent at home."

Tishia Lee, 33, who works as a virtual assistant from her home in Burton, Michigan, echoes that sentiment. Three years ago, she worked as an optometrist's assistant at a Wal-Mart Vision Center, often stuck in a shift that didn't end until 7 or 9 p.m.

"My son was literally being raised by daycare," she says. "I'd see him in the morning, then send him to school, and when I finally picked him up, it was time to go home and go to bed."

Now, Lee takes her 10-year-old son to school each morning and picks him when the school bell rings – not five hours later. "I love to see him come out of that building with a huge smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye," she says.

Getting to that point wasn't easy. Lee is a single mom without a college degree, so she knew she had to make enough to support them both. She considered going to cosmetology school, but couldn't afford it. She and her boss tried to schedule better hours, but it didn't seem fair to other employees. Finally, she teamed up with another friend who was launching her own virtual career as a business coach.

"She really took me under her wing and trained me," Lee says. "To this day, she's still one of my clients."

As a virtual assistant, Lee does transcription, manages customer service e-mail, schedules appointments and offers other administrative services for online businesses, mostly those that are run by other work-at-home moms. In her personal time, she writes a blog called Adventures of a Single WAHM.

"For the first six to eight months of my business, I had to take side jobs to make extra money," she says. "I did housecleaning, or babysitting at my church."

Unfortunately, being more available for her son doesn't necessarily eliminate the guilt she sometimes feels when work and parenting collide. "I still feel guilty when my schedule is really busy and he can't have my undivided attention," Lee says.

In the days before high-speed Internet and laptop computers, these kinds of careers would not have been possible. So these moms have learned to be tech-savvy. Melody Spier, 38, who lives in rural Tennessee and also works as a virtual assistant, relies on satellite for her Internet connection. "So anything – rain, clouds, ice – can interfere with it," she says. "But when that happens, I have work that I can do offline."

Spier, whose kids were 9 and 12 when she quit her job as an office manager seven years ago, says she stumbled into a couple of "work at home" scams before hitting success with her own business. "I lost a few hundred dollars because they have you buy the merchandise up front and then sell it," she says. When she couldn't make sales, she couldn't recoup the money.

Despite the false start and the many friends who told her to beg for her "real" job back, she's found success. "My husband was always supportive, but he was skeptical at first. He thought I could make money, but that it wouldn't replace what I made before," she says. "Now I'm making even more than I used to."

Next: High-Paying Work-From-Home Jobs >>


PayScale

Editor

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

90 Comments

Filter by:
Michelle Stefferson

REAL Work From Home!
REAL Residual Income!

No Lotions NO Potions!
17 Year Old Company Members of the DSA, NADP, Chamber of Commerce!
Check it Out: http://www.HomeCareerEnterprises.com

May 24 2009 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cornel

WHATTT "RECESSION"????



There is a "Famous" Quote that goes something like this, "The Major
Key To Your Better "Financial" Future Is YOU!"

If you are Open-Minded, a BIG Thinker and ready to get your "own"
(MBA)Massive-Bank-Account, CHECK THIS OUT!!!

What Do You Have To LOSE?>http://www.casshnurface.com

May 22 2009 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
judith clark

how do you get started, i need extra money now

April 19 2009 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cornel

WHATTT "RECESSION"????



There is a "Famous" Quote that goes something like this, "The Major
Key To Your Better "Financial" Future Is YOU!"

If you are Open-Minded, a BIG Thinker and ready to get your "own"
(MBA)Massive-Bank-Account, CHECK THIS OUT!!!

What Do You Have To LOSE?>http://www.casshnurface.com

April 19 2009 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cornel

WHATTT "RECESSION"????



There is a "Famous" Quote that goes something like this, "The Major
Key To Your Better "Financial" Future Is YOU!"

If you are Open-Minded, a BIG Thinker and ready to get your "own"
(MBA)Massive-Bank-Account, CHECK THIS OUT!!!

What Do You Have To LOSE?>http://www.casshnurface.com

April 08 2009 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cornel

There is a "Famous" Quote that goes something like this, "The Major Key To Your Better "Financial" Future Is YOU!"

If you are Open-Minded and a BIG Thinker, CHECK THIS OUT!!!

What Do You Have To LOSE?>http://www.casshnurface.com

March 31 2009 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stacey King

This is a BOOMING time for Stay At Home Mom's Opportunity to put their family first and then Dominate the work force! If you like enhancing the live's of other and helping other's SUCEED this may be the opportunity for you.We are a company called Send Out Cards, a Online Greeting Card and Data Base System which allows you to keep in touch with your business clients, friends, family etc. in a more personal way. It helps to enhance your business and bring more referrals, by sending thank you, happy birthday, anniversary, get well, ect. cards to your clients showing them you appreciate them.Our motto is "Changing Live's One Card At A Time" Please go to my site and make a card on me they will walk you through the System. This a Fun and rewarding business with Real People, And Real Results! We are looking for people to hop on board and make a difference in the World!

Many Regards, and God Bless,
Stacey King
www.sendoutcards.com/staceyvk

March 27 2009 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alicia

I sell Marykay from home.I love working from home
check out www.marykay.com/alicia2
I will tell you all about it
alicia2@marykay.com

March 25 2009 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brianna

Independent marketing associates needed to sell legal service plans offered by Pre-Paid Legal a
30 plus-year-old NYSE company. Unlimited income potential and training provided. Contact Brianna Bell, Independent Associate, at bell14@prepaidlegal.com or legaldreams@gmail.com.

March 24 2009 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jen

hello everyone,

Im interested about online marketing,how to get an extra income,and how it started, By the way Im web directory submitter or link submitter I have also a friends who make blogs and a bookmarking,just incase any sites needs our services,just contact me at cogals@gmail.com thats our xperty!

March 24 2009 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With
Keywords:
Location:

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 27 - Aug 3

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.

×

Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.