12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads
There are many reasons a person might choose to be a stay-at-home mom or dad. The cost of childcare might be prohibitive, or you might feel that having a parent at home is essential for your child's development. However, staying at home with your child can be a sacrifice in terms of the income you could be bringing in if you were out in the workplace. (See also: 9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight)
If you're a stay-at-home parent, you might be looking for ways to create additional income to help with mortgage payments or bills around the house, but feel limited in what jobs you can take because of your child's needs. To help you generate extra income while taking care of your little ones, here's a list of flexible side jobs that are great for stay-at-home moms and dads.
1. Sell Crafts Online
If you enjoy knitting, sewing, crocheting, woodworking, jewelry-making, or another creative craft, you may want to consider selling your creations online on Etsy. All you need are some start-up materials, your creative skills, and the ability to pack and mail orders. You'll probably be paid via Paypal, and you can set up your Paypal shipping options so that you can print shipping labels from your home computer. There is a huge market for hand-crafted items today, and if you market yourself well, you can create quite a successful small business.
2. Host an Exchange Student
If you live near a university or college campus, your home may be prime real estate for hosting exchange students. Many university students come to the States for intensive English-training courses and are looking for quality "homestays" where they live with a local family for a few months in order to practice their English and learn about American culture. You will need to provide a private room with Internet access, as well as a few meals a day. If you live near a bus or subway stop and have a spare room, this is a great way to use your space to maximize your income. Contact your local university's exchange program for details.
3. Start a Freelance Business
Perhaps you have amazing illustration or photography skills, make beautiful cards, are an expert at cake decorating, or feel that you can write better articles than most of the crap that's on the Internet. Whatever your skill is, make it work for you by marketing yourself as a freelancer. Start a website or a blog where potential clients can find you, and start doing small free (or cheap) jobs for friends to build up your portfolio and a word-of-mouth network.
4. Monetize Your Blog
Many of my friends who are stay-at-home moms have blogs where they document their cooking mishaps, crafting adventures, and gorgeous pictures of their babies. You can create an easy additional stream of income by putting Google ads onto your website or blog, and then marketing your blog on websites such as Foodgawker, Craftgawker, Pinterest, and other websites.
5. Tutoring or Teaching an Instrument
Tutoring is a great way to use your skills and earn extra income while staying at home with the kids. Often, you can have students come to your house, so you don't even have to drive or be away from home. Search listings on Craigslist or at local schools and colleges, and you'll quickly come up with many opportunities. Along the same lines, teaching piano or another instrument from your home can be an excellent way to earn very good money.
6. Direct Sales
Bet you never thought you'd be one of those Avon ladies, did you? If you're outgoing and have contact with a large number of friends and acquaintances, or if you have a business (such as teaching piano) out of your home, doing direct sales might be a good option for you. It requires party planning and a certain amount of prep work, but if you're a good salesperson you can earn income this way. Jewelry, cosmetics, and cookware are all options for direct sales. However, be careful when researching this option; go with a trusted, reputable company that has good reviews.
7. Babysitting and Daycare Jobs
You've definitely got the childcare experience, so why not make it work for you? Babysit a neighbor's kids while taking care of your own. In general, you'll need a driver's license and a clear driving record in order to pick kids up after school, drive them to sports engagements, and take them home. Making a healthy meal and minor housekeeping duties may also be part of the package.
8. Substitute Teaching
Depending on the state you live in, you may be qualified to be a substitute teacher if you have a bachelor's degree. Although this will require you to be away from your family and to find childcare for your work days, you can work as little as a few days a month but take home a substantial paycheck.
9. Become Certified as a Notary Signing Agent
Becoming certified as a notary can be a lucrative gig. You'll need to take a training course to teach you how to notarize official documents such as loan and mortgage documents. While this job is flexible and allows you to spend more time with your family, you'll need to get childcare for times when you are meeting with clients, and it does require a significant investment of time to be really profitable.
10. Home Beauty Services
Get certified as an esthetician or massage therapist and offer manicures, massages, facials, and other beauty treatments at home. I have personally gone to several estheticians who work from home, and I have enjoyed the personalized service and better prices. You'll need to have a room in your home dedicated to your beauty services, specialized equipment (such as a massage table, steam machine, etc.), and beauty products, so it will require some capital to start up. However, you can schedule your services to suit your schedule and be at home the entire time. Please note that you'll have to find out what restrictions, requirements, and other laws there are for home-based beauty services in your local area.
11. Resell Vintage Items
There's a huge market for vintage items on the Internet. By browsing thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, and consignment stores, you can find plenty of treasures that people are willing to pay for. List them online on eBay or Etsy, and watch your bank account grow.
12. Office Support
Many companies are looking for customer service agents who can answer the phone at home and provide support to clients, or someone to provide administrative support with paperwork, data processing, or other tasks. Check out job boards like the one at WAHM.com, which lists flexible jobs specifically geared to work-at-home moms.
When looking for a side job, be sure to be wary of work-at-home scams. Never pay upfront for promised future employment, and beware of offers that sound too good to be true. Caution aside, by being creative you can increase your streams of income to generate a nice tidy sum that will help out with the finances while allowing you to spend time with the kids.