Balancing work and family is more challenging now than ever. Despite this, working parents have become the rule rather than the exception. Seventy percent of moms with kids under 18 work and are the primary or sole earners for 40 percent of U.S. households.
Making money while you’re parenting requires work that accommodates the demands of your busy life. Working from home can provide this solution. Remote jobs offer the chance to earn money, avoid resume gaps, and continue building a professional network, while allowing working parents like you to still spend quality time with their kids.
What work-from-home jobs can you do?
While you may already have the education and years of experience honing your skills, you might not know what options are out there for earning income as a stay-at-home parent.
The best job will allow you to earn money while providing the flexibility of working around your family’s schedule. Working remotely will require computer and internet access, but many of these remote job opportunities also have low to zero startup costs and require little to no additional schooling. Here are a few of the top remote jobs for stay-at-home parents:
- Virtual tutor
- Virtual assistant
- Customer service representative or tech support specialist
- Online consultant
- Social media specialist, evaluator, or marketer
- Market tester and researcher (think surveys and mystery shopping)
- Online crafts seller
- Programmer, coder, or web developer
- Data entry clerk
- Copy editor/proofreader
- Resume writer
- Health coach
- Tax preparer or bookkeeper
All of these jobs offer flexibility, adequate pay, and job satisfaction, but they might not be for you. Don’t be afraid to pursue your own passion. Do the research and see if the demand exists for your idea and if so, go ahead and fully commit to your new venture. If you truly believe in what you’re doing, you can accomplish anything.
Where can you find work?
The gig economy and freelancer marketplaces have opened an online market for parents to sell their expertise from home. Parents with a variety of skills, such as accounting, law, finance, social sciences, writing, marketing, or education can create their profiles on these freelance marketplaces where clients can either select you for your services or where you can find jobs.
Among the top freelance marketplaces is Moonlighting, a commission free platform that has been growing in popularity with freelancers tired of paying to bid and compete for clients. Moonlighting allows you to quickly create a profile that showcases your professional freelance skills, keep an eye out for part-time, contract, or gig jobs, while also offering a full suite of easy to use financial tools to help you manage your freelance career.
How do you fit it all in?
Being a stay-at-home parent and fitting in part-time or freelance work is going to be challenging. But you can avoid burnout and make life a little easier by following these great tips from stay-at-home mom, Jennifer Pinarski:
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. Delegate age-appropriate household tasks to your kids, your partner, or find trusted and reliable help from other freelancers who can help you avoid over doing it daily.
- Keep one foot in the working world. Keep your LinkedIn profile and resume updated, and stay in touch with colleagues, they could be great resources for freelance work or connections later if you decide you want to head back to the full-time working world.
- Go to play group (even if you don’t want to). Build a new network around you who can help you keep your sanity.
- Dress for success. When working from home, go ahead and get showered and dressed as if you’re heading to work. This will help put you in a productive ‘work mode’ and keep you from getting distracted by household tasks.
Know that you won’t always feel lucky. Staying home with your kids isn’t as much about “luck” (no matter how many people say “You’re so lucky to be able to stay home with your kids all day!”). It is all about planning and budgeting.
- Teach your kids to play independently. Being your child’s only playmate means nothing else gets done. In teaching your kids to play independently, they developed amazing imaginations — and you get time for that freelance job, or maybe even time to mop the floors without a Hot Wheels race going on underfoot.
- Make peace with the mess. It’s ok, really.
- Move your needs to the top of your to-do list (and don’t feel bad about it). Self-care and positive mental health are key to being a happy stay-at-home parent. The bonus is that everyone benefits from time invested in yourself — especially your kids.
Being a stay-at-home parent is tough work. It can be isolating, demanding, and exhausting — add in earning an income on top of that and you should wear a cape every day.
Are you ready to start your own freelance business or try out a few side gigs to get the feel of freelancing? No matter what path you choose, kick start your freelance business by joining the amazing community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and gig workers on Moonlighting. Sign up or download the app today — Free!
Originally published at usatoday.com on August 14, 2018.