When Johnny and I were first discussing starting a family, the topic of finances was a natural thought-starter. We were both working full time, and we started asking ourselves some questions for if/when we had a baby:
- Would one of us quit working and stay home?
- Would we both keep working full time?
- Would one of us cut our hours to part time?
Those questions are a bit more general than what we actually asked ourselves. Each couple’s situation is different, and in our case, Johnny’s career is the more serious one, as well as the more lucrative one. So those questions were mostly directed at me: Would I be a full-time stay-at-home mom? Would I keep working full time? Part-time? If I chose to do the stay-at-home thing, would I be eternally subjected to wearing sweatpants 24/7?
In a perfect universe, I would stay at home with our baby full time and say “Good riddance!” to my career. I think Johnny would cheerfully do the same. He would also take the whole “sweatpants 24/7” thing way too literally.
What I am going to do instead (once my maternity leave dries up) is continue to work full time from home with a baby. I feel super lucky that I even have that option. I’ve been working full time from home for almost three years now, so having a baby and continuing to work will hopefully be a fairly seamless transition. Although, changing diapers while participating in conference calls should be a bit different.
I’m going to try it out and see if it’s sustainable. While we’d be okay with just one income, my added income allows us to save much more than we could with just Johnny’s. That said, I know once we have a second kid, working full time from home may no longer be practical as a full-time mom. And then what? What are my money-making options if I want to be a full-time mom? What do other full-time moms and dads do? Well, here’s how some of the incredible moms I know make a side income:
And I’ll start off by saying none of these are easy options. But they’re all viable options for a mom (or dad) who’s serious about making some side money.
Teach a Skill
Piano, voice lessons, violin lessons, voodoo doll making, calligraphy, knitting, sewing, etc. Whatever your skill, teach it. Solicit friends, neighbors, fellow church parishioners, etc., in the beginning to build a customer base and a reputation. Then market yourself, girl(boy)friend!
Even though I currently work full time, I’ll still take on freelance projects on the side when I am saving up for something I want. I have found multiple freelance jobs by posting ads on Craigslist and by responding to others’ ads as well. Freelance sites such as oDesk are a great option as well. It’s also a great idea to reach out to former employers (which is why it’s so important to always leave on good terms) and let them know you’re taking on new freelance clients.
Mobiles like this DIY one I made sell for upwards of $60 on Etsy.
Sell Your Craft
Whether you crochet, sew, make jewelry, paint, or enjoy doing some other craft, that craft can usually be sold. Thanks to sites like Etsy, anyone can sell a craft or handiwork. One of the keys to selling your work is having decent photos to showcase it. If you don’t own a DSLR camera, using a friend or family member’s could really help your product(s) stand out. With thousands upon thousands of others trying to make a sale, you’ve got to find ways to break through the clutter.
If your kids are in school, you could pick up a 4-hour shift at a library, bookstore, or other local shop during their school hours. Working with your children’s school could also be an option, such as being a tutor to students who are struggling in a certain subject.
A Note on E-Commuting
In our modern world, e-commuting is becoming more common. A few years ago when Johnny and I decided to move to New York City and away from my brick-and-mortar office, I approached my manager about e-commuting full time. After all, what did I have to lose? I was already allowed to work from home one day per week, so I knew the idea wasn’t completely far fetched. And it’s crazy what asking can do. My request was approved. And now three years later, everyone in my position within our department e-commutes full time. The times they are a’changin’.
If you currently work full time, and you’d like to find ways to spend more time at home, here are some options I’ve seen friends try successfully with their employers:
- Ask if it’s possible to work from home one or two days a week. Ask them for a trial run to see if it’s feasible for both parties. If it works out, ask for another stay-at-home day.
- Ask if changing to part-time work is possible, whether in the office or as a remote employee.
- If it’s not possible to maintain your current job and work from home, see if there are other positions within your company that would allow remote work. Hiring within is always easier for employers.
For the time being, I’ll be working from home full time with Baby Girl. But when the time comes for me to stop full-time work, I’m glad I know some moms who have found ways to still bring home a little bacon despite their “full-time mom” title.
Any moms or dads out there putting this into practice and making some side income? What other options have I missed? I’d love to hear of any creative ways you make a little extra dough while home with the kiddos!