What Makes a Successful WAHM?

What does it take to be a successful WAHM? Working at home isn’t for everyone, so what is it that makes that special person who can work at home and make a successful business out of it?

There are 5 main characteristics that all WAHMs have.

Those five characteristics (in no particular order) are:

  • Organization
  • Multitasking
  • Ambition
  • Discipline
  • Flexibility


I know I’ve said it a million times, but it really is true. WAHMs have to be organized. There is just too much to keep track of not have some sort of organizational system.

An HMN can do wonders for organization

Not only do you have to manage the business side of things such as sales, marketing, communications, filing, billing and the actual work (making sure projects are on schedule, and actually completing the projects), but you also have to manage everything that has to do with running a household. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a spouse who can help out with things like cleaning the home (which includes keeping your home office clean and organized), paying household bills, playing chauffeur to the kids and making sure homework gets done.


Most people will tell you that it’s better to focus on one thing at a time. This is very true. Our minds are made to focus on one task at a time. It actually takes our brains about 10 minutes to shift gears from task to task. However, WAHMs don’t have this luxury.

Us work-at-home moms have to deal with screaming babies, “mommy I’m hungry,” conference calls, and more interruptions than Carter’s got liver pills. We have to be able to multitask. If we can’t, nothing gets done and we lose control of a what can be a very chaotic situation.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any tips on helping you multitask. Well, accept taking up video gaming. No seriously, there is so much on the screen at one time when you’re gaming that you learn how to pay attention to your surroundings, and still play the game, or you get killed. It’s a tough love, crash course in multitasking.

Personally, I have ADHD, so multitasking is even harder for me because my brain is constantly switching tasks on me when I don’t want it to, but I have learned to use it to my advantage. So, what works for me, probably wouldn’t work for anyone else.


Ambition is a necessity for any WAHM. Frits Ahlefeldt PD, via Public Domain Pictures

Ambition is a necessity for any WAHM. Frits Ahlefeldt PD, via Public Domain Pictures

This is one of those things you can’t teach someone. You either have it, or you don’t. Being a WAHM is very challenging, and things can get really tough. So tough that you have to rely on every fiber of your being to pull yourself through successfully.

The other thing about starting a business is that it takes a lot of CONSTANT HARD WORK to get it off the ground. Since your the owner, boss, and employee, you have to do everything to make your business a success and that takes ambition. 


It also takes discipline. Working at home is a fantastic way to spend more time with your family, be available for your kids and still bring in a salary. But the problem is there’s no one to make sure you do your job. Just you. Business tasks, deadlines and other work related things tend to take a back seat to household chores, errands and caring for kids unless you have the self-discipline to get the work done before the deadline.


Last, but definitely not least, is flexibility. Although scheduling specific work hours can help keep work life separate from home life, you still have to be flexible. Kids get hurt, need help with homework, etc. and you have to be able ride the waves (so to speak). We choose to work at home because if offers us flexibility to be with our families and still make money. But we have to remember that we need to be just as flexible.

Did I miss a characteristic that you think WAHMs need? Let me know in the comments!

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12 comments on “What Makes a Successful WAHM?

  1. Melissa, these are great points. I especially like your last one, and one that I’m trying to work on. flexibility is VITAL. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  2. All wonderful points and will tell you that multi-tasking is a skill I have perfected and can literally do about three things at once. It is so ingrained in me at this point!! Thanks seriously for sharing and you truly gave same great tips here.

    • Thanks Janine! Indeed, multitasking is probably one of the hardest tasks to perfect, but once perfected becomes one of the most important skills we have. If I couldn’t multitask, I’d never get anything done. The only time I don’t multitask is when I have a headache, and that’s just because it hurts too much lol!

  3. Emily says:

    All really good points. Now that I’m blogging, I am learning that multi-tasking and organization is key to being successful. I think you’ve covered all the bases here.

  4. stacyharris28 says:

    This is great. I don’t really classify myself as a WAHM yet. Mainly because I know I am not capable because my son is too distracting for me to truly believe I can keep up with the schedules. But hopefully by the time he is off to school, I will find a way to make some real cash and keep organized! 🙂

    • I hear ya Stacy! I homeschool Sam, and I’m thinking I might need to either put her in school, or at least daycare a few hours a day because it’s really hard to get everything done in 24 hours. Even though multitasking helps, focusing is difficult when you’re constantly multitasking!! I have yet to make enough money from all of my writing to pay all the bills, but I have been successful at paying a couple of them. I think if Sam was at least in daycare for a few hours, I’d be able to make a lot more money!

  5. Bang on. I work from home but I don’t have kids, I can’t even imagine being responsible for one more thing. You’re a rockstar!

  6. Rich Rumple says:

    I see what you’re saying, but I think you’ve forgotten a trait … humor. When things don’t always go right, you’ve got to see the sunshine instead of the rain and smile! Otherwise, everything goes to Hell. I’ve seen it in your posts, so please, don’t say it’s not there! lol Great post!

    • I did!! I forgot humor!! If I didn’t have a sense of humor I would have succumbed to depression by now!! I’ll have to edit the post to add that. I’ll be talking about each of these characteristics this week and I want to add in humor because it really is necessary, and just as important as all the rest (if not more so, especially for us moms lol).

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