Many stay-at-home moms (and stay-at-home dads too) leave the workforce to raise their children. Some of them choose to do so to be more involved in their children’s upbringing, and others for financial reasons, such as the high cost of childcare. More recently, many working moms are staying at home temporarily to care for their children because they are either out of work or had to sacrifice their career to act as interim schoolteachers and playmates since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. No matter what their motivation may be, stay-at-home moms are excellent multitaskers with infinite untapped potential.
If you happen to be a stay-at-home mom and are interested in contributing to your household income, or if you are a working mom whose career has been held back by the bleak pandemic employment situation, look no further and check out the following for ideas of how you can make extra money at home while attending to your parenting duties.
Start a Freelance Gig
Start by making use of your professional knowhow from before your full-hearted devotion to kids and chores around the house. Online freelancing websites these days have made it easy for individuals to get paid one project at a time while enjoying a flexible schedule. For example, Fiverr provides a convenient online marketplace for sellers and buyers to trade services. In “How I Made Over $2,000 in One Month on Fiverr,” I discussed my success with Fiverr as a freelance editor, revising and proofreading job application materials and SOP/PS for college and gradschool. Presently, the platform lists 9 major service categories, including Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, Music & Audio, Programming & Tech, Data, Business, and Lifestyle, and each category has a gazillion subcategories to further specify your service area.
For example, if you used to be a great graphic designer, why not put up a gig to design brand logos for companies or to draw illustrations for books and magazines? It is up to you to decide on what your gig is about. The greatest benefit of being a freelancer is it gives you the freedom to pursue not only what you are good at but also what you are genuinely passionate about! Even if you have become a little rusty, you can benefit from freelance projects because you grow your experience and knowledge from working on actual projects. This is particularly of value for stay-at-home moms who aspire to return to the workplace after taking some time off.
Find a Part-Time Job
If workplace interaction and institutional affiliation are something you miss sorely from before you became a stay-at-home mom, you may be interested in taking up a part-time job. A part-time job offers a more steady source of income than a side gig. The employer often provides some sort of guidance or orientation, and the tasks can be somewhat anticipated and routinized once you get the hang of it, unlike the whirlpool you find yourself being thrown into every time you are hired as a gig worker. Nonetheless, the stability of a part-time position usually comes with a trade-off–it is less flexible in every aspect; for example, you may be asked to work during certain hours. When you apply for a part-time position, read the job ad carefully and make sure that it fits your schedule.
A part-time job is a great way to build up or brush up on your experience and serves as a stepping stone for a full-time position when the time is ready. It also helps smoothen the transition, making it easier for stay-at-home mothers to adjust to the professional world. Even if a full-time position is not what you have in mind down the road, it does not hurt to take up a part-time job every now and then, not only because it may benefit your finances but also because it may improve your mental wellbeing. According to evidence-based research, stay-at-home mothers are prone to feel higher levels of sadness, anger, and isolation due to prolonged exposure to their kids. A part-time job “pays” you to be away from your children. It gives you peace of mind and makes you feel better about yourself being able to contribute and help out as a productive member of the society.
Other than LinkedIn and indeed.com, a good place to look for part-time positions is through The Mom Project. Driven by the mission to help women remain active in the workforce, the company connects women whose careers have been interrupted due to childbearing and childcare to supportive employers. It lists both temporary and full-time positions, and it always displays a decent number of work-from-home/remote options; granted, many positions are California-based or require applicants to work PST hours. There are also sites that cater specifically to flexible work that have seen an outsized spike in activity during the pandemic. FlexJobs, for example, is a career resource where stay-at-home mom applicants may find remote roles. The Penny Hoarder also features work-from-home opportunities.
Writing for a Commission
Good writers are needed everywhere. If you have strong writing and editing skills, you can write articles for websites where contributors are paid for how many views they receive on each article. HubPages and Medium are two sites that give decent rates for writers who provide engaging content on select topics of interest. Commonly referred to as passive income, this way of writing for a commission differs from a freelance or part-time position where you only receive a cut-and-dried payment once. Once you get your article out there, you sit back and wait for it to catch on (or not). Obviously, articles that present intriguing information, argue with convincing evidence, and wrestle with an issue from a novel perspective are more likely to be well received and widely circulated.
Other ways to profit from generating your own content include blogging and self-publishing. If you have always wanted to start your own mom blog, you should not wait any longer. Read this article to find out how others have done it and how you may find your way to success. If you are particularly creative, you can blog about your craft ideas or art projects, and it could be a hit! Once you build up a consistent readership, you can monetize it for profit. If you are really successful, you can even consider launching a full-fledged business. If a mom blog is not your cup of tea, come up with something else you’d be interested enough to research and write about. For example, I am into personal finance, so I write about how to budget, save, invest, and make money. You, too, shouldn’t be solely defined by your role as a stay-at-home mom.
Bring Your Craft Skill to the Next Level
Remember the wooden horse you helped sand and assemble for your son for his last school project? Or the crochet hat you made for your friend’s daughter? For stay-at-home mothers who are crafty and handy with tools, one way to make extra money is through selling homemade goods. E-commerce websites such as Etsy have made it easier than ever to set up an online operation. Nonetheless, running an online store takes time and effort. You will have to be really good at making something in order for your product to be considered of value and unique. Moreover, you will have to think about the virtual layout and organization of your business, prepare product images and descriptions, and stand in as the customer service front of your business to address inquiries and process orders.
Good news is, having talked to a few mom friends whose businesses on Etsy have thrived, I know that hard work does pay off. For instance, the owner of BabyBumbleBsBoutique is a working mother who sells hair accessories and DIY bow-making supplies, and the owner of LuckyRedDesign is a stay-at-home mother who makes and sells Chinese lucky bracelets. Depending on what your hobbies may be, you could come up with your own unique merchandise. For example, CNBC reported on how a 33-year-old woman based in San Francisco has struck gold while selling face masks on Etsy since the start of the pandemic. She seized the good timing when the market demand for face masks was unprecedentedly high and profited from her hard work. Though her success on Etsy is hardly replicable, what remains true regardless of timing is you need to have a defined customer base, and design and advertise your product accordingly.
Sort out Your Clutter and Get Paid for What You No Longer Need
Any mom can attest to this–the house starts to feel cramped and disorganized, no matter how many square footage it has to begin with, when a kid is born. Toys, clothes, sports gear, bath supplies, crafts tools, board games, and all sorts of knickknacks. Parents and grandparents are rarely stingy with children when it comes to granting their birthday wishes; and other family members and friends are eager to win kids over with presents. So we end up having way too many LEGO sets, toy trucks, and Elsa dolls in the house. But kids grow out of different phases so quickly, and what their heart so desperately desires today could be gathering dust in a cobwebbed corner three months from now. If so, why not ask for their permission to get rid of toys they no longer need or want? Let them decide if they want to donate them to a charitable organization or sell them for profit. Goodwill, local thrift stores, and buy nothing local groups are great avenues to give away unwanted kids’ stuff. Or, you or they can use Facebook Marketplace, Kid to Kid, and websites like ThredUp to get what they are worth in the secondhand market. You can read about all of these resources here.
Enlist your awesome organizational skills to clean out your clutter in the closet or basement. I understand it can be hard to part with your possessions, especially those that you have held onto for long. So, go through your stuff drawer by drawer, closet by closet, and room by room to determine what you no longer need. Try not to let your emotions run amok, otherwise, you may not be able to part with anything or you end up throwing away something that may come in handy in the near future. In other words, set a reasonable and clear standard about what goes to the “no good” pile. Then, organize them by category and condition. Electronics, especially the bulky type, can be more conveniently sold locally through Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. For clothes and accessories, try Poshmark. If you find it bothersome to manage your items for sale, ThredUp (for fast fashion brands) and TheRealReal (for boutique and luxury brands) are your better bets. Set up a seller’s account on Amazon or eBay when it comes to putting books and music up for sale.
Start a YouTube Channel and Earn from Affiliate Accounts
Who said that stay-at-home moms must be disheveled? A legitimate career path made possible by social media for stay-at-home moms allow them to be not only glamorous but influential–YouTube Influencers. If you don’t mind sharing part of your life with the rest of the world, you can be one of these women in “The Joy of Watching Other People Clean.” For example, Jessica Tull, a stay-at-home mom who doubles as a full-time YouTuber, has half a million subscribers and draws millions of views with her “Clean with Me” videos. As much as many may deride house chores as tedious and unworthy, these stay-at-home moms have proven them wrong. They show that “there is money to be made filming yourself doing work that is generally dismissed.” In fact, one of these women makes a six-figure salary from running her YouTube channel and selling products for sponsors, according to the reporter Ronda Kaysen.
Feeling excited? Now, set up a YouTube Channel and start filming something that you find interesting and may interest others too. Although your success as a YouTuber is not guaranteed, you won’t know what the result may be unless you take your first step. Ms. Tull too launched her YouTube channel in 2017 without knowing what it would bring her. She had intended to make friends because she was lonely and isolated as a stay-at-home mother; she did not plan or anticipate her success as a YouTuber influencer. She and other stay-at-home mothers who made videos of a similar nature have made it because their videos fulfill a psychological need of many who are seeking a moment of relief from the glamor and perfection on social media. Hopefully, this does not deter you from turning to this method. As long as you put engaging and useful content out there, it’s possible people will watch it.
A 2019 survey that FlexJob conducted with more than 900 stay-at-home parents found that many stay-at-home parents earn supplemental income while staying at home through freelance projects (34%), MLM (multi-level marketing) sales (11%), child care for others (7%), and selling self-made crafts (5%). This shows that stay-at-home moms have a significant interest in bringing home extra income.
In addition, the survey discovered that flexibility is still much appreciated even after stay-at-home parents choose to return to work. The absolute majority (90%) want to work remotely from home, and only 30% would like to work full-time hours. This means that some of the opportunities suggested above will continue to be valuable career resources for stay-at-home moms transitioning into the workforce.
In the end, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being and staying a stay-at-home mother (note that I am, too, a stay-at-home mother at the moment). It is a personal choice! Today, we should embrace stay-at-home mothers as much as we may embrace the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, or Justice Amy Coney Barrett. But, hey, here are six ways you can make extra money if you choose to. The options are out there for you! Unlike traditional full-time positions, all the opportunities listed above allow you, a stay-at-home mom, to make use of your spare time and your professional skills to maximize your earning potential.