Is Paying For A Co-Working Space Worth It? A Work-From-Home Mom Balances Pros And Cons

Ad failed to load

When I began announcing to friends and family that I was quitting my full-time office job to start working at home as a freelance writer, I received some mixed reactions. There was the cheerful and encouraging, “Congratulations!” And there was of course the happy-yet-confused, “Does this mean you’re pregnant?” At the time the answer was nope, not pregnant, but fast forward to 18 months later and now here I am, balancing being a mom to my 7-month-old along with a full workload. Talk about being a work-from-home parent.

Although I love spending my days with my son, I’ve recently found myself wondering about the benefits of co-working spaces, and wondering if co-working spaces are worth it when you're a work-from-home mom? Would it be worth the financial trade-off for a little adult conversation and a semblance of a “real” workplace? Yes, the flexibility to care for my son throughout the day is awesome, but I’d be lying if I said focusing my energy on raising him hasn’t taken a toll on my career. Realizing that sometimes I need a space to concentrate that isn't full of distractions, I decided to dig a little deeper into the pros and cons of co-working spaces, and here’s what I discovered:

Ad failed to load

Pro: There’s Human Interaction


The stereotype of someone lounging on their couch in their underwear is not that far off, to be honest. There are weeks where I don’t get fully dressed, because why bother? My kid will probably get some type of fluid on me at some point, and it’s not like the mailman cares if I’m wearing an ironed blouse.

However, this lack of motivation to get up and at ‘em can be dangerously pervasive when you work from home. When I haven’t laid eyes on anyone else for a few days except my non-verbal baby, I crave adult conversation as much as I craved waffles during my pregnancy.

Con: It’s Not Home


On the days when I have that dreaded four-hour waiting period for the cable guy to (maybe) show up, the ability to still get things done is invaluable. Plus, as much as I like going out to lunch with co-workers, I save a lot of money by having my entire kitchen at my fingertips. And if I need to take a midday nap — hey, it happens — I can!

Pro: They're Great For Bouncing Ideas Off People

Raw Pixel/Pexels

If you think that Facebook is an echo chamber, wait until you work by yourself. I’ve written so many things that I ended up having to send to friends for editing advice; after reading the same sentence a hundred times in a row, even the most well-constructed phrases may read like complete gibberish. Having the ability to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs in a co-working space is a fantastic way to get some quick feedback from other professionals.

Ad failed to load

Con: It’s Not Free

Negative Space/Pexels

I'm still going to have a mortgage to pay whether I work from my home or not, so doubling up my home as an office saves me some overhead. Prices at co-working spaces vary depending on location, desk size, whether you rent a private office, and more. When you’re just establishing your business, that extra cost might not back out financially.

Pro: It’s A Dedicated Work-Only Zone

Marc Mueller/Pexels

My current “office” is a small desk in the corner of my son’s nursery. It’s convenient to have that overlap — his toys are right next to me to keep him at least mildly distracted — but it can be challenging to mentally separate your work area from your living area when you work at home. Exhibit A: I constantly have to stop myself from bringing my laptop into bed to “finish just one more thing.” Setting up barriers for certain spaces helps, but sometimes it’s best to force yourself to walk out the door to an office, even if it is a shared one.

Con: Childcare Can Be An Added Cost


Unless you only utilize a co-working space when you have free childcare lined up, you're likely also worrying about the cost of a nanny or daycare. For many families, mine included, it’s hard to find affordable childcare, and sometimes the numbers don’t justify it. But if you've been able to work out your budget to get yourself and your kid squared away, a few hours at a co-working space could spell out an extra productive day for you.

At the end of the day, there’s no concrete right or wrong answer about paying for a co-working space when you work from home, but there’s also no harm in trying one out. Check out co-working resources in your city and ask around to see if there's a space that works best for you and your family.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

A Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the te…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack