This is the very first in a series of regular features called “parent workshop topics”, with this first being work from home. Although the majority of parents who stay home are moms, dads can also stay home with their children and are often just as nurturing as women.
Whatever your skills and goals in staying home, there are many different ways you can earn money and still be with your children. I have been working from home for thirteen years. My daughters are now in school full-time, but for many years we homeschooled while I worked at night. Here are some work at home ideas:
- Babysitting. Yes it is low pay, lousy hours and exhausting. However, if you don’t yet have any other skills and you want to stay home with your children, taking in a couple of babysitting kids can help you achieve this goal. A big mistake that many in home day care providers make is pricing themselves too low. Call local day care centers, babysitters and meet somewhere in the middle on your prices. Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to provide at least one meal a day and snacks.
- Consulting. If you do have a special skill, become a freelance consultant. Consultant businesses range from interior design, to writing business plans, to accounting, drafting and computer skills. Think about what skills you have and whether you could use any of them to start a small business. Make sure you do have some savings as getting the business going can take some time.
- Catering. If you’re a great cook, you can likely pick up some work on the weekends catering parties. This might allow you to stay home during the week and your spouse to help with the children on the weekends. Catering can include anything from appetizers, to desserts, to wedding cakes. If you plan to make wedding cakes, attend a local cake decorating class, available at stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michael’s. This will give you the information you need to keep a cake from wilting or falling. That’s the last thing you want, when the bride is paying you good money to make her day extra special.
- Making a product. Are you good at making something? Many women have started successful businesses making everything from beauty products to purses. The key is to find something that is unique.
- Direct Sales. You become a reseller for companies like Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware or Pampered Chef. Do some research to find out which company is the best match for you. With this type of work, you typically present your product at home parties several nights a week. While you won’t technically conduct the parties from your own home, you’ll have a more flexible schedule that might allow you and your spouse to split up child care duties and avoid sending your children to a babysitter.
- Ebay Auctions. Although this is hard work, it can be done from home. You can either sell products from a company and have them drop shipped, create your own products to sell or browse garage sales, thrift stores and secondhand stores to find products to resell. It may take you a while to figure out which items sell best and find your niche market, but many people are making decent incomes solely selling on Ebay.
- Cleaning Business. If your children are well behaved, you can take them with you to help you clean houses. A few houses a week (or offices) should be enough to replace lost income, especially if you aren’t spending a lot of money on clothes and commutes.
These are just a few of the ideas for working at home. You’ll find many more ideas at sites such as moneymakingmommy.com.