Working at an office has always been your jam. There鈥檚 free coffee, and those post-workday margarita Mondays make your boss鈥 silently scary stare totally worthwhile. But now that you鈥檙e a mama, your priorities have changed. The shift into motherhood has made you question your nine-to-five existence and wonder if office life is really for you. If you鈥檙e contemplating trading in rush-hour drives and daycare drop-offs for an at-home option, you鈥檒l need to consider what being a work at home mom (WAHM) really means. Scroll below to learn what you need to think about before quitting your job and becoming a WAHM.

A woman works in her home office

1. The Job: Quitting your full-time, out-of-the-home job typically requires a financial backup plan. You can鈥檛 exactly snap your fingers and find something to do from home (especially for the salary you鈥檙e used to). Unless your company is fine with letting you work from home or you already have something else lined up, start your search well before you quit.

2. Childcare: Just because you鈥檙e at home doesn鈥檛 mean you鈥檙e on mom duty. Working at home means just that 鈥 you鈥檙e working! Unless you鈥檙e the Wonder Woman of multitasking mamas, it鈥檚 almost impossible to juggle caring for your kiddo and actually paying attention to your job. While you don鈥檛 have to send your littles to daycare all day, hiring a part-time nanny or sitter provides you with time to work without worrying about what the kids are doing.

3. Office Space: Your preschooler鈥檚 art table will not make a suitable desk for your laptop, and the bean bag chair in the playroom probably isn鈥檛 the best place to set up shop. Make sure your home has some sort of space to designate as your 鈥渙ffice.鈥 If not, get creative and figure out a way to turn an already-in-use room (such as the laundry room or the guest bedroom) into your work-from-home space.

4. Playdates: Now that the neighborhood mamas see you at home during the day, they鈥檙e going to knock on your door (or more likely text) and ask if your kids want to play. Built-in babysitter, right? Not so fast. The neighborhood moms aren鈥檛 inviting just your kiddo over 鈥 they want you to come too. Or maybe they鈥檝e decided you should play catch-up and host the next few playdates. Consider how you want to deal with this type of situation. This might mean creating 鈥減laydate time鈥 in your daily schedule, or prepping a brief, but firm, explanation as to why you can鈥檛 have extra kids running around your home.

5. Salary: Just because you won鈥檛 have daycare costs to cover doesn鈥檛 mean you鈥檙e in the clear when it comes to the financial side of being a WAHM. Yes, you鈥檒l also save money by not having to drive to work, pay to park, or buy lunch on the go. But a stay-at-home job may not pay what you鈥檙e used to 鈥 especially if you鈥檙e doing something like writing a book or starting a blog. While some 鈥渕ompreneurs鈥 make full-time salaries by blogging, writing, or consulting, it can take years to truly see a profit.

6. Savings: Salary isn鈥檛 the only financial consideration to take into account before deciding to work from home. If your new job situation means you鈥檙e taking a pay cut or going from full-time to part-time employment, you need a nest egg to fall back on. And it shouldn鈥檛 be the egg you鈥檙e planning to use for your children鈥檚 college education or to pay off your credit cards.

7. Work Hours: It鈥檚 totally tempting to spend your days with the kids and your nights working 鈥 until reality sets in. Spending all day running races, making crafts, and chauffeuring your tot around is tiring. The last thing you鈥檒l want to do when your little one drifts off into dreamland is start your work day. Before deciding to work at home, make sure you can choose (and stick to) reasonable work hours.

8. Social Life: Your toddler is your BFF; you absolutely adore and want to spend every waking moment with them. But sometimes you need grown-up time. Socialization with other adults is one of the biggest challenges moms have when they leave the workplace. A WAHM life can feel isolating. This potential lack of social stimulation is something that you need to give some thought to before ditching your coworkers for your kids.

9. Everyday Intrusions: Your 鈥淗ey, let鈥檚 have a playdate!鈥 neighbor isn鈥檛 the only one who might not understand that 鈥渨ork鈥 is a key part of being a work-at-home mom. From your own mom to your friends, people may start suddenly popping in, calling, or texting at all times of the day, thinking you鈥檙e just hanging out with the kids. As you make this transition, you鈥檒l need a plan for politely handling people who don鈥檛 understand that yes, you are actually working. Just from home.

Are you ready to become a WAHM? Tell us about it @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)