Work at Home, Mom!

Women are talented. Members of the milder gender are smart, creative, and driven. So many women leave successful careers to stay at home and raise children, also cutting the income for the family sometimes in half. But leaving the office to stay home doesn’t mean having to give up work, the income, or even success. Moms can put their talents to work, working from home. Here are a few ideas for small or moderate jobs moms can do while still being at home with the kids.

The New BC Place Stadium

Sewing

Sewing is becoming a lost art in the United States. Moms simply are not passing the tricks of the trade to their daughters as much as they used to. If you are one of the lucky few that learned from mom, grand mom, or even a home economics class in high school, dust off the sewing machine to earn a little extra. Start with a few simple patterns, perhaps purses or diaper bags. Get some trendy material and make a few. You can sell them at craft fairs, on community bulletin boards, or on auction sites. If you are really good at sewing, offer custom drapes or furniture slipcovers. These items are actually pretty simple to sew if you know how, and are high value to homeowners (read: homeowners will pay a lot).

Crafting

Along the same lines as sewing, but with other mediums, if you can make something you can sell – well, you’ve got a product. Knitting simple hat and scarf sets in the fall and winter and crafting friendship bracelets, baby blankets, booties, and the like year-round is a good gig for making a buck from yarn and needles. You could also make beaded jewelry, personalize clothing with studs, create snazzy decor for kids’ rooms … If you can imagine it, create a few demos to sell. Besides putting a little cash back in your pockets, it is a good outlet for your creativity.

Writing

Get started as a freelance writer. You don’t have to look far to find out everything you need to know, from how to find a writing job to sites you can write for, as well as the different kinds of jobs there are. If you have a penchant for words and a talent for putting the pen to paper, you can make a solid living, not just a few bucks, from freelance authoring.

Cleaning

Though it is not technically working at home, many moms can bring a child or two to a cleaning job outside of the home. Day cleaning homes for busy families, single parents, and executives can prove lucrative for a few hours of work. You can do this independently or under a larger company on an as-needed basis. Night cleaning jobs mean you can truly stay home during the day, and overnight clean local offices, schools, or other locations. You could offer a pick-up and delivery laundry service (mostly from home, but you will need to drive a little). Or you could offer organizational services to the less-than-neat people who need a little system in their lives. Whatever you are good at, when it comes to personal assistance like cleaning, will get you a little extra spending cash.

Sitting (Kids, Pets, or Houses)

Moms that are already at home with a child or two can earn a few hundred extra dollars a week taking care of other people’s children. Plus, if it works out right, the kids get new friends as well. Many places have licensing requirements for permanent child care providers, but if you want to watch a kid on an as-needed basis, and maintain a few friendships for that purpose, you should still be able to. You will have to check your local laws regarding what requires licensing and what does not. Even then, opening a daycare center in your home still allows you to care for your own children at home and earn additional income. It also affords a few tax write-offs for operating a business.

You could also offer up your services to the neighbors as a pet sitter. This service can include walking dogs during the work day, bathing and grooming pets, or even boarding a pet during vacation. And, since you know the family will be on vacation, offer to sit the house – water plants, mow the lawn, collect the mail, and feed the fish while the family is gone.

Sales

Direct sales has long been a go-to for stay-at-home moms looking to become work-at-home moms. Direct sales companies have an established product, sales structure, commission, and training. For a moderate start-up fee, a mom can have the basics to begin in a sales business to friends and family from the comfort of home. Of course, you have to pick the product and company, learn the product and company, and be able to actually sell something to someone to make money, but lots of women succeed in direct sales, earning great commissions, trips, and even cars. For a list of direct sales companies, visit the Direct Selling Association, DSA, and then check out the companies that interest you through the Better Business Bureau and the company websites. Definitely search for the company in the news and try to find out what its representatives are saying about it.

Events

Some moms throw great parties, some flounder. For every defunct piñata and burned plate of hors-d’oeuvres, there is a person wishing they had hired the right kind of help to avoid their catastrophe. If you have the Midas touch for parties, make some extra money planning events. Event planners pull all the details together, and sometimes even supply some details (like cake and catering). You could offer services for kids’ birthday parties, corporate meetings, weddings, proms and balls, bachelorette parties, and even funerals.

Personal Services

What can you do that other people either cannot or do not have time for? Meal planning and grocery shopping, preparing dinners, picking up dry cleaning, purchasing wardrobe items, chauffeuring kids, gift shopping, putting photos in albums, trimming hedges … whatever you are good at and willing to do will help you beef up your allowance, and make someone else’s life easier as well. Personal services are a matter of seeing a need in someone’s busy life and offering to fill it for them, for a premium.

Photography

Moms take pictures. It is a natural part of being a mom to spend a decent amount of time behind the lens. Put the familiarity you have developed with your camera to use. Photographers work in many different categories (or across several). You can offer to take candid shots of other people’s children, or photograph weddings and bar mitzvahs. Though having a studio takes up space in the home and costs a small fortune, operating a home portrait studio is a good potential source of income. You could also offer “stock-type” photographs to publishers on a freelance basis. The publisher describes the photos they need to the photographer, who stages and takes them. Publishers benefit from consistent photos that are not restricted use as they buy the rights from you.

The Sky is the Limit

Well, actually, there is no limit. As a mom, you have as many options as you can imagine to make money from home. This list is just a start. If you have an idea, put it to the test. Keep trying until you are happy with what you are doing, how much time you are putting into it, and what it is paying you back.