Work-from-home is an enticing idea for many people who are looking for more flexibility and autonomy in their lives. For new moms and ones with young kids, going from boardroom to playroom can be a very rewarding transition when done with discipline. The biggest challenge is often figuring out how to balance work with all of the responsibilities of growing a family.
Meet Millie and Stephanie, superstar Legal Experts on JustAnswer and even more super work-from-home moms. We asked them to share their stories and advice on how to maintain work productivity and balance at home.
JustAnswer: How did you find out about JustAnswer?
Stephanie: In early 2008, I was about 7 months pregnant with my second child and recently changed legal fields from general state practice to Social Security. Things were tight at the time as my husband was contemplating going back to school full time and I was moonlighting in a physical, non-legal environment while seeking to rebuild my new practice. Of course, it wasn’t the optimal situation with my pregnancy. I opened an account with FlexJobs.com and saw a listing from JustAnswer that was looking for attorneys to respond to questions online. It sounded perfect so I applied.
Millie: I found out about JustAnswer in early 2009 after my mother died and I was trying to find general estate law information for the state in which she lived. My primary practice areas were satellite and employment law and litigation, and I didn't know anyone personally who practiced estate law. I searched online and it led me to JustAnswer. I researched on how to become an Expert and signed up.
JustAnswer: It’s always interesting for us to hear about all of the different ways professionals become Experts on JustAnswer. What were you doing outside of JustAnswer?
Stephanie: I was a lawyer with a solo practice in general New Jersey state law. In 2005, I made the switch to practice Social Security Disability exclusively.
Millie: I was in a similar situation. When I had my daughter in 2011, I was practicing satellite and FCC law for a major international law firm before switching to employment law and general litigation. Prior to this, I started my own online e-commerce consignment business which I still run today.
JustAnswer: On the topic of switching, let’s switch the conversation to your kids. How old are they?
Stephanie: Baby #1 is 9 ½ years old. She was only about 1 ½ years old when I started with JustAnswer. Baby #2, the one I was pregnant with when I joined JustAnswer, is soon to be 8 years old. Wow, I have been an Expert on JustAnswer for quite some time now!
Stephanie with her kids
Millie: Me too! This fall, my baby, who is no longer a baby, will be 5 years old.
Millie's daughter, Zoe
JustAnswer: What you do you love most about being a mom?
Millie: Every single day is an adventure and I love seeing my daughter experience things for the first time. She is a social butterfly who loves to smile and laugh, and I enjoy getting to see her grow up.
Millie with Zoe at just a few months old
Stephanie: I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. After being lucky enough to find the right person to marry, I had an uneasy half-belief that I may not be able to get pregnant. In fact, my husband and I started the adoption process and were near completion when I became pregnant. I had my daughter when I was 39 and my son at 41. I cherish my children more than I could ever imagine and I love making sure they know how loved they are.
Stephanie with her kids
JustAnswer: You both had kids around the same time as when you became Experts on JustAnswer, how have you been able to transition from work-from-home to work-from-home moms?
Millie: Before my daughter was born, I preferred to work mostly nights on JustAnswer. After having my daughter, I had to schedule my work time around her sleeping and eating schedule. About 3 months after she was born, I was diagnosed with PPCM (post-partum cardiomyopathy) and that limited my ability to run my consignment business so I relied on JustAnswer quite a bit.
Stephanie: Two kids are twice as much fun and work - and they enjoy interrupting my work day. Fortunately, the JustAnswer portion can be done online without a need for phone calls unless there’s some quiet. As the kids got older, I have found myself taking advantage of early mornings and late evenings to get certain work done.
JustAnswer: It sounds like you had to make some adjustments to your schedules. Describe your “typical” work day now.
Stephanie: On a typical day, I get up pretty early, make some coffee, and go into my home office to get a jump start. I work on my own legal work throughout the day but I listen for the "bell" on JustAnswer to tell me when there is a new question that I could answer. If I can, I click over to one of my screens and handle it. When done, I continue on with what I was doing with my practice.
Millie: I don't really have a typical day anymore! Every day is different but it’s one of the reasons why I love being able to work from home.
JustAnswer: What are some of the advantages of being a work-from-home mom?
Millie: I love the flexibility to set my own work hours and jump on the computer when I can. There aren’t too many jobs out there where you can make good money while staying at home with your kids.
Stephanie: I love being able to stay home with my children, continue to practice, grow in my new legal field, and not have to resort to taking a job with a law firm again. JustAnswer has helped me bring home the bacon from a home office. When my motivated 9-year-old daughter wanted to try Cyber School this past year, I could accommodate that because I could be home with her.
JustAnswer: Lastly, do you have any tips for other work-from-home moms in the Expert community?
Stephanie: My advice would be to do your best to take advantage of the perks that our workstyles provide us, such as being more available to our children. Kids can make up for many disadvantages one may have with self-employment or working from home.
Millie: Once you’re a work-from-home mom, you really need to make sure to schedule time for work and time for yourself and your kids. It’s easy to get too caught up or overwhelmed with one or the other.
We want to thank Millie, Stephanie, and all work-from-home moms in the Expert community.