I have been doing this for quite a while with varying degrees of success. Basically, depending on what you do, it can be a very good thing.
I always felt that I didn't wait so long to have kids so that I could let someone else raise them. But, then again, I never really made the kind of money that justified full time day care.
I was lucky. I was able to cobble together a livelihood by working in the family business and developing a side business along the way. Now it is a way of life.
How productive am I as a work at home mom? I admit that I can get more done in 30 minutes than when I spent 1/2 a day in an office trotting the corporate track. Something about that uninterrupted time. Boy, do you miss it when you are at home with the kids therefore you utilize it, appreciate it.
So, yes, I feel productive but not as organized as I would like to be. Certainly not as professional as I would want to be. I don't wear business clothes anymore. I dress like a mom which is one or two steps above pajamas. My professional image has suffered. What with kids screaming in the background as you're talking services with a new client! But, people are forgiving these days. They understand. They are usually pretty cool. If my crazy, mom-full life bugs them, I am sure they just go somewhere else. This is a small enough market, usually they will be back.
How about the mothering? How is that effected by working at home? This is where the ever present mommy guilt comes in. I have spent a lot of time trying to distract my kids so that I could get some work done. I always feel bad about that. I have to drop whatever I am doing to answer a client's call or deal with putting out a little fire. The kids are second in line in those situations. I try to arrange meeting around the kids but clients are clients. I spend lots of time away when they would rather have me here. I am only so "in control" of the schedule.
I have spent many hours itching to take care of the over flowing in box knowing I can't really do it justice until they are gone to school, camp, preschool, etc. I have had to drag them with me to meetings. By the way, this never, ever really works. No matter how wonderful the kids are. It is just against the grain. Kids are not naturally patient and clients don't naturally hurry. A lose-lose scenario.
I am thankful that I have had this opportunity. I realize what a gift it is. Many kids don't get to see their parents until around dinner time. That is their normal. I am here to make sure they eat breakfast. I have a little time to volunteer in their classes. I am here after school. But, I guess I will need to wait until they are grown to hear what they really thought about it.
It is what it is. I wonder what they will say.