WW: Cool Cash And Kids: Making Money As A Stay-At-Home Parent
February 3, 2021
Parents who stay at home to raise children may want to simultaneously find options for earning income on the side in a way that is conducive to combining parenting and work. Options like freelancing or even launching an at-home e-commerce or writing business can provide extra cash and a flexible schedule. That allows you to effectively combine work and home life, creating a healthy personal-professional balance.
Juggling Work And Parenting
One challenge of working at home when you have children is setting appropriate boundaries and cultivating exceptional time management skills. Before you get started, think about the best way to find a healthy medium that works for your family. For example, you’ll want to create a designated work area, preferably one that is out of your home’s high traffic areas and allows for some privacy. Outfit your office with essentials, including a comfy chair, laptop or desktop, printer, and, if appropriate, a dedicated phone line. An office that has an external private entrance can also be a great asset.
What Can You Do?
In terms of deciding what type of work-at-home option is best for you, there are several considerations. You may be able to work for a company as a part-time or full-time employee who is 100% remote. You might also build on your professional skills or hobbies as a way to generate extra income. Some professions lend themselves to consulting roles, such as blogging, marketing, and advertising, freelance writing, and personal coaching. Internet technology is another fast-growing field that allows for a significant amount of remote work. Consider earning an online degree in IT, data analytics, or cybersecurity to pursue this option.
Working The Gig Economy
If you don’t have specific skill sets that lend themselves to working from home, there are many flexible options in the gig economy where you can earn extra cash with side hustles. That might include food delivery, rideshare services, childcare, or even part-time, temporary, or seasonal jobs. If your kids are school-aged, working as a substitute teacher or teacher’s aid can be a win-win, as you’ll work a similar schedule to that of your child. If you’re a crafty or artistic individual, consider selling your wares online or at local festivals. You can also approach consignment boutiques and ask about showcase opportunities.
Managing Your Time
To be effective as both a parent and a worker, Project Smart recommends creating schedules that make sense for your business and your family. For example, some parents work opposite shifts to be dedicated and focused while the other is responsible for childcare. You may get up early in the morning or stay up late in the evening to work when kids are sleeping. It might be beneficial to bring on in-home childcare for several hours a day to give you a good block of work time. If your children an appropriate age, you can teach them to respect your work boundaries and occupy themselves with their projects while you’re in the office.
Making Your Business Work
Once you establish your business, finding customers is the next step. If you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll want to ensure you take on enough business to earn the income you need while also taking care not to overextend yourself. Utilize software programs that help with task tracking, invoice generation, and accounting functions. Ask for connections and referrals from family, friends, and former colleagues and bosses.
According to Constant Contact, cost-effective advertising for a small start-up can include email and online marketing, social media outreach, and word-of-mouth advertising. Niche publications can also be useful, as can networking groups and industry associations.
Combining work and family can be challenging, as well as rewarding. Consider your family’s unique circumstances, skill sets, and available time, then map out a business strategy to help you and your business succeed.
To learn more about best practices for promoting your business, visit Jenn Greenleaf.
About the author: Gwen Payne is a stay-at-home mom with an entrepreneurial spirit. Over the years, she has mastered raising her two daughters while side hustling to success through small ventures based on her passions — from dog walking to writing to e-commerce. With Invisiblemoms.com, she hopes to show other stay-at-home parents how they can achieve their business-owning dreams.