So you want to stay home with your kids, but you can’t afford it? I can totally sympathize. Our journey has been a difficult one, and making it work is a continuous battle. Despite the stress of learning how to live on a single income, I would not return to work for anything. I love being a full time mom.
To help bring in a little extra cash, I pursue a number of work-at-home opportunities. First and foremost, I blog for Families.com, which is a site I can stand behind 150%. In fact, I urge you to go join right now, because it is a fantastic community. I completely vouch for them in terms of their values and the type of content they feature on their site. They periodically hire new bloggers. As listed on their site, they pay $4 per blog entry after the training period. Families.com is just one site out there that legitimately hires freelance writers and bloggers to write quality articles and blogs for their site. I found Families on Rat Race Rebellion (http://www.ratracerebellion.com/jobs-blogging.html).
I also do work for my husband’s company. This opportunity was unique in that I did not find it online. One of my husband’s coworkers moved to another city and her job opened up. Another coworker and I now share her position. From time to time I may have to find a sitter so I can attend a meeting, but so far this has been twice in three months. I recommend contacting reputable companies in your area and asking them if they have any telecommuting positions open. It helps if you have a skill such as writing that can be done from anywhere with a phone line or a fax.
Now one other thing I have found that works, but requires quite a bit of time, is writing for e-How. I only had time to write 25 How-To’s since my son was born, mostly because I spend my time blogging for Families and writing for my husband’s company. But from those 25 articles, I generate about $5 per month without doing anything. As you can see, if you have the time to write a huge quantity of quality how-tos that people will actually read (they need to attract enough traffic), you could make a decent residual income. I plan on continuing to write more articles when I find the time….after all, it can’t hurt! So far I have made over $20 and it’s real money – they deposit it directly into your bank account every time you make at least $10 (it carries over from month to month if you don’t meet the minimum dollar amount for a payment.)
I have also heard there are a number of legitimate companies that look for transcriptionists. I found a lot of good information in forums about this. You can check out the link here: http://www.transcriptionessentials.com/forum/index.php?topic=13384.0
Another idea is to sell items online. Some women are creative and can make things to sell on sites like eBay or Etsy, but I have also heard of women making a decent income from buying and reselling stuff online. For instance, they go to closeout sales at stores that might be going out of business, buy something in bulk for a deal, and then sell the stuff individually on eBay for less than retail but more than what they paid for it. This is something you could definitely do with a child around since it’s no problem to take them to the store with you and post stuff online after they go to bed.
Finally, you might want to consider watching a little one full time in addition to your own. If you know of anyone who is returning to work, you might offer to watch their little one for a reasonable fee. In my area, $2.50 per child per hour is a reasonable rate. Make sure you know the regulations and laws in your state. In the state of Illinois, you cannot watch more than three children, including your own, without a childcare license from DCFS. That means if you have four children, you would need a license to legally watch more children full time. Obviously I am talking about providing daycare service, not babysitting.
Being a mom is such an important job and it is such a blessing to be able to do it full time. If you are trying to make things work, I really believe you can achieve your goal if you are willing to work hard, part with unnecessary material items (like premium cable), and put your whole trust in God.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)