Stay at Home Jobs for Stay at Home Moms

Having a parent stay at home with the kids is a decision that many families will contemplate. One of the main factors in the ultimate decision is often whether or not that family can afford for one parent to stay at home (which I did a post on here).

And sometimes, all it takes to make it work is a bit of extra money – whether to pay for essential expenses or just to have for extras. So I thought I’d list out some ideas for jobs that a parent can do while staying at home with their child or children.

But before you get too excited, its important to be realistic. These are great ideas to earn a bit of extra money. Unfortunately, none of these are going to make you rich or replace your salary, especially if you were in a professional, post-university level type job.

The reality is that if you want to earn that kind of money, you can’t also take care of a child full time at the same time. You just can’t – either your job or your child or (most likely) both will suffer. And anyone or job offer that claims you can make thousands of dollars with little effort, little  time and no skills all from home is 100% a scam.

Some of the ideas I list below could potentially make you a lot of money, but will require the type of time and focus that an out of the home, full time job demands and you would have to make a choice to get childcare or forgo that potential. However, they are also the type of jobs that you can do on a small scale to make that few hundred dollars a month to give your family budget some breathing room.

1. Multi-level marketing

One job that a stay-at-home mom can easily swing is a MLM (multi-level marketing) type job. This is a job selling a product (make-up, jewellery, supplements etc) to friends, family and later a group of customers directly. Its a growing industry with MLM companies Stella & Dot, Arbonne, Avon, Scentscy and many, many more gaining a lot of prominence and respect. However, while an MLM job can definitely make you some money to add to the family coffers, this is definitely not a job that is right for everyone. I did a post on this, check it out here.

PROS CONS
Very flexible Often involves a large start-up cost, and costs can get out of control
Can be a lot of fun if you are a social person Once you exhaust “low hanging fruit”, new customers may be hard to find
You can get great products for a good deal To make a lot of money, you need to treat it like a full-time job

2. Etsy

If you are crafty, Etsy can be a great way to make some money. The key is to pick a specialty (i.e., if you are a great knitter, instead of having a knitting shop, perhaps concentrate on just one or two things) and focus on being really good at it.

I found this great article that goes into more detail on how to make money on Etsy.

PROS CONS
Very flexible Often involves a large start-up cost
Can lead to a great small business Lots of competition
Creative outlet It can take a while to make money while you build your reputation

3. Photography

Pretty much anyone with a decent camera can be a photographer. Obviously, you can’t become a professional photographer overnight and charge $5,000 a shoot, but with the countless courses available both online and at various community centres, blogs and websites, I really think anyone can learn enough “tricks” to be a decent photographer and make some extra money doing family portraits for Christmas or to take pictures at birthday parties.

PROS CONS
Easy to get started if you have a decent camera Lots of competition, may take a while to build portfolio and referrals
Good creative outlet Not very steady or regular
Could potentially earn a lot if you build good reputation Good equipment is expensive

4. Home day care

Of all stay-at-home mom jobs, this one has the potential to make the most steady money. The trade off is that you have to be home (so a lot of the SAHM lifestyle that is the reason that many moms/dads want will need to be sacrificed) and you are pretty much working all day caring for other kids as well as your own. However there are ways to have both –  I know one mom, for example, who only does before and after school care – her own kids are school aged so she just walks all the kids in her care to school in the morning (she lives just a block away) and picks them up after, but has the school hours to herself.

PROS CONS
Can make a decent amount of money Can’t just hang out with your own kid – need to focus on caring for other children (which can be overwhelming)
Can expense a lot of stuff you buy for your kids Not very flexible
Your child has playmates during the day Lots of licencing and regulatory requirements that need to be met

5. Home Baker

If you love baking/cooking and have a signature dessert or dish, you may want to see if any local cafes or restaurants would like to buy your goods on a regular basis. You could easily prepare the batter or do prep like chopping or measuring of ingredients in the evening after the kids are in be and then preparing early in the morning. A local coffee shop that I frequent hires a university student to makes these amazing salted caramel brownies for them – she makes one large batch everyday and delivers them in the morning when they open. It probably doesn’t pay her tuition but maybe pays for books! Another option would be to have a home bakery business – all you need is a Facebook page – and offer to make goods for special events.

PROS CONS
Fairly small time commitment Early mornings may be required to have everything ready for delivery
Small start up costs Won’t make you too much money on a small scale
Fairly flexible Highly dependent on your location

6. Blogging

Ok, I’ll be honest, this is a very difficult way to make money. So far, I’ve made a whopping $1.54 from Amazon Affiliates sales but this blog costs me $26 a year to maintain so I’m actually in the red (ironically), so its a good thing my only intention with this blog was for me to have a creative outlet and not to make money.

However, for those interested, the way bloggers make money is from Amazon affiliate sales (you recommend items that can be bought at Amazon that are linked back to your blog account and you get a commission), advertising revenue (which is dependent on your site traffic) and if you get good enough that people or other sites pay for you to write for them. While its a bit of a long shot, if you are a great writer and have a unique perspective on a popular topic to really make yourself stand out, you may be very successful.

PROS CONS
No start-up costs Can take a long time to many any money
Very flexible Requires a large time investment
Great creative outlet May be hard to come up with content

7. Dog walker

While you have a baby you can wear in a sling or carrier, this might be a good option to get some exercise and make a few dollars as well. Depending on the area, you could make a good $50 a day walking dogs. It gets complicated when you have to push a stroller or have a toddler that naps during prime dog walking times, but its something that pretty much anyone can do and can do immediately.

PROS CONS
Small time commitment and very flexible Not easy once you have a child that can’t be worn
No start up costs Location dependent for how much you can charge
Get exercise You will cap out on how much money you can make very quickly

8. Consulting

This is another area where you can potentially make a lot of money with a small-ish time commitment, however you need to be a subject matter expert or professional whose expertise is in demand. Again, though, any project you take on will likely need several consecutive hours of commitment so you may need to have a sitter or family member who would be willing to help out during those times.

PROS CONS
Can be a great way to make a lot of money in a short time Need to be a subject matter expert or lots of experience
Can pick and choose when you want to work More like a part time job (will need to put in several consequtive hours in a row when on a job)
Keeps your skills sharp in the event you want to return to work full time May end up taking up more time than you want to devote
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