Sometimes, working from home can seem like a pipe dream. Especially when you have children to raise.
Are there any work from home jobs that you can do while still caring for your little ones?
Yes, there are. What’s more, many of them are easier to get into than you might think. No magic job will earn you millions overnight. However, you have a number of work-from-home options that will allow you to pursue a job that fits your skill set, income needs, and schedule.
Here are 15 work-at-home jobs for stay-at-home moms.
Can you think of any position you’re more uniquely qualified for than childcare? If you feel like you finally have a handle on caring for your own munchkins, you may feel brave enough to add someone else’s little goobers to the mix.
Daycare and other larger scale childcare services can get expensive. To figure out your earning potential, shop around to find out what daycare centers are charging in your area. Coming in a bit under their prices might help make it more affordable for friends and family who need childcare, while still providing an excellent source of supplemental income for you.
Be sure to check local regulations to see if there are any restrictions or requirements before you start, though, especially if your aim runs closer to in-home daycare than occasionally babysitting for a neighbor.
2. Tutoring and Teaching
Do you have a skill, talent, or area of expertise you can teach to others? If so, tutoring services or private lessons may be a good option for you.
Local schools can be a great resource for finding people in need of tutors, or you can try advertising your services on community Facebook pages or Craigslist. If you live in an affluent area, you may be able to make more than just pocket change with your lessons.
Don’t have a lot of rich neighbors looking for private lessons for their kids? That’s okay! You can even get creative with payment. For instance, if you’re working with a farmer’s kid, provide lessons in exchange for fresh eggs, milk, or produce. Or offer sewing lessons for a friend’s child in exchange for one-on-one sports coaching for your own.
3. Host or Rent
Living near a reputable college or university can open up several options for housing-related income.
If you have a spare room, contact your local university about hosting exchange students. You provide a room, Internet access, and a caring environment where they can practice English and learn a bit about U.S. culture.
This next option may require a bit more start-up, but if you have an unfinished basement or space above your garage (exterior access is a must), you may have a potential rental space.
Services like Craigslist or your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore are a goldmine of affordable, quality secondhand building supplies and appliances. Advertising on a local campus can help you keep that apartment in use for at least nine months out of the year, especially if your rates are just at or slightly below average for your area.
As a bonus, these options require no training and shouldn’t take much time away from your parenting duties.
4. Craft Sales
If you have the drive, you might want to consider turning that craft hobby into a sales opportunity.
Etsy is a popular, well-known, reputable platform, but it’s not the only name in the game when it comes to online craft sales. If you’re thinking about selling your crafts, check out the going rates on popular sites to get an idea of what you can earn for your wares.
No schooling or experience is required, although good word-of-mouth may help get your sales rolling. You may also find that you need a dedicated room for your craft, which could require a small start-up investment.
Whether you want to work freelance or are interested in monetizing your own blog, there is still money to be made in the blogging world.
If you already run a blog, monetizing it might be as simple as adding Google Ads. Building readership is a necessary component to monetizing your blog (and getting the most from your ads), so look for opportunities to work with or cross-post with other blogs in your field to help each other gain readership. It never hurts to contact a business you frequent about sponsorship opportunities.
Breaking into freelance writing is a little easier if you can show previous experience, but a few decent writing samples may be all you need to get your foot in the door.
Many work-from-home opportunities need little more than a bit of determination, a portfolio, and good word-of-mouth advertising. Photography is no different.
Start with a few free (or discount) sessions for friends, family, and neighbors to build a portfolio and cultivate a good reputation. A simple website with a variety of flexible packages will help draw in potential clients.
You can work as much or as little as you want, set your own hours, and even carves your own niche like wedding photography or graduation pictures. Don’t forget to look into opportunities for providing stock photos or employee photos for local companies.
If you’re gifted in the kitchen and love making cakes and treats, opening your own bakery could be a great fit. Running this business from home will require some work and some overhead costs, as there are most likely local or state regulations and equipment guidelines you’ll need to meet.
In addition to making sure you can create food safely from your home, you’ll want to amass a photo portfolio and a stellar reputation. Glowing reviews and raving referrals will be two of your best assets when it comes to getting a home business like this off the ground.
The one downside to a home business, like baking, is that the business side can eat up a lot of time and energy. You’ll need to do a fair amount of research to learn what you need to know about invoicing, marketing, taxes, and other crucial aspects of successful entrepreneurship.
8. Social Media Services
Many small, local business could benefit from a simple website and a social media presence. If you have a bit of web experience or are social media savvy, this could be the job for you.
Formal training is a bonus, but you can also use podcasts and online tutorials to make yourself an expert in creating simple websites and managing social media for small businesses. Don’t want to delve deep into coding? Try making yourself an expert at using one of many website building services instead.
Starting a website or social media presence may require dedicating a few nights and weekends. After that, most of the upkeep and updates can be scheduled around naps, activities, meals, and bedtimes.
9. Direct Sales
There are two main requirements for direct sales: an outgoing personality and a go-getter attitude.
Want to get into direct sales? Simply contact one of the many reputable, established direct sales companies. Trusted companies include:
If you’re uncomfortable at the thought of continually making sales pitches to groups of friends or strangers, then this isn’t the job for you. However, if that appeals to you, then you have the potential to build a good customer base.
As a bonus, you can usually schedule parties for nights or weekends when your partner can step into mind the kiddos.
10. Beauty and Spa Services
If you’d like to break into the beauty field — manicures, pedicures, hair cutting and coloring, massages, facials, reflexology— you’ll likely need some schooling. The good news, though, is most of the training programs in this industry take less than a year or two.
You’ll need a room you can dedicate to completing training and starting up your business. You will also probably need to purchase additional equipment and materials. Don’t forget to do your research, too, and find out what sort of licensing you may need to provide beauty and spa services in your home.
This field may not be the best fit for parents with young kids, but it could work with school-aged kids — allowing you to fit in appointments during school hours or on weekends.
11. Network Administrator
For those with a degree in Information Technology (or a significant amount of experience already on your resume), working as a network administrator can be one of the more reliably lucrative work-from-home opportunities available.
Although you will likely need to schedule a few days a month for on-site work, this field is still flexible enough for stay-at-home parents, especially if you’re freelancing for smaller companies.
Starting salaries are good in this industry as well. Entry level is around $42,000 a year. Freelancing rates may differ, but you still won’t be earning pennies a day for your trouble.
Like network administration, notaries boast a decent average salary, coming in at roughly $36,000 a year.
Becoming a notary does require a training course. You will also need to arrange for childcare when you’re meeting with clients. On the positive side, notary services are always in demand, and you can set the hours that work for you.
Publishing an e-book isn’t the best guarantee of payment, but it can be a fun and rewarding option for parents looking to flex their creative muscles.
Writing is an easy task to fit in during naps or after bedtime. With no experience required, your biggest challenge will be learning how to market your e-book to make sure your book isn’t lost in the self-publishing shuffle. Luckily, simple methods like a social media campaign, a catchy cover, and captivating blurb often work the best.
14. Mystery Shopping
A history with spam emails may make you wary of mystery shopping opportunities and with good reason. That’s why it’s a good idea to go direct to the source about opportunities whenever possible rather than trusting an unknown third party. And remember any offer that requires you to pay money before you make money is likely a scam.
Mystery shopping can take up some time, between the actual shopping experience and the necessary reporting afterward. However, you may be able to fit it in during your actual errand runs and with kids in tow.
15. Website Testing
Although the pay is low, the time commitment is low as well. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a something easy to do during naptime, an episode of Sesame Street, or an intense coloring session.
Getting started requires little more than a short qualification test — no extensive IT background necessary. If your laptop or desktop doesn’t already have video or microphone capabilities, though, you may need to make a small investment, depending on the company’s reporting process.
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Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on finding happiness and success in life and at work. You can find her dishing out advice with a side of wit on Twitter and her career advice blog, Punched Clocks.
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