So, you’ve just become a parent. Congratulations! Your prize is way too little sleep. Also, showers are now a luxury. Caring for a family is a wonderful thing, seriously, but it can make many things impractical – like a conventional 40-hour-a-week job. Especially when you’ve got an infant at home! Thanks to today’s technology and availability of remote work, however, keeping a job doesn’t have to be impossible – which is great, since single-income households are a privilege many of us can’t afford. And many people choose to work from home in order to enjoy their children’s younger years and avoid the high cost of daycare.
Luckily, there are tons awesome home business options available that are not only kid-friendly but might even get the kids involved and nurture that entrepreneurial spirit.
That’s where I come in. You’ve got more than enough on your plate, so I’m taking the hard work out of figuring out the best work-at-home jobs for new moms. Just check out my tips and resources below!
Evaluate Your Situation
Before we begin, you need to evaluate your situation.
What equipment do you have at home? Do you have a computer or only a laptop? Do you have high-speed Internet access? What about a regular landline phone? Do you have a headset in case you want to do customer service? Do you have a foot pedal if you’re a dedicated transcriptionist? If you’re a creative or writer, do you have access to the most common and useful software programs – like those from Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), G Suite (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides), and so on?
The answers to these questions will tell you what work-from-home jobs you have the resources to pursue. But we’re not just concerned with your tangible resources – what about your time?
Before going after that remote job, you need to be honest with yourself about your schedule and your energy bank. You’re schedule will of course be dictated by your baby’s feeding schedule, doctor’s appointments, naptimes, your partner’s schedule, and other factors. Understanding your personal schedule will let you know what hours you might have available for a job, and whether those hours are late night, early morning, or midafternoon.
Evaluating your energy bank is a little harder, since you’ll be trying to figure out how much focus and brain power you really have left over to dedicate to paying work. If you don’t have much, look for a job that has easy, repetitive tasks. If your energy levels are pretty steady even under new mom stress, look for something invigorating and a little more challenging to keep your brain engaged.
Also, a little pro tip: if you’re an expecting mom, it’s great to find a remote job during your pregnancy before your bundle of time-consuming joy arrives. This way, you’ll already have worked out an ideal schedule doing work you’re familiar with. Take leave when your baby arrives, and then return to your established work-from-home position or projects when you can.
Let’s get into some work-from-home job ideas, especially those that don’t mind if you’re in messy pajamas or have a crying baby in the background!
Pick Up Work
Some remote jobs are especially suited to pick up work, meaning you select the jobs or projects you’d like to work on when you have the time to do them. Only have 10 to 30 minutes to rub together at any one time? You can organize emails for a client, text a reminder to someone if you’re managing their agenda, or spend a few minutes tutoring a kid in China on her English. Many of these jobs will probably only pay modestly, but those fees can still add up to decent income.
Examples of these pick-up-work jobs include:
- Transcription. Once you’re registered with a service like Rev.com, you can pick up projects at will.
- Virtual Assistant. Some VA providers, like Time Etc, offer a list of available tasks their assistants can option when they have time.
- Teach English. There are ESL (English as a Second Language) companies out there like Cambly that let you tutor students when you’re available.
Work When You Want
If you’re in a position to handle more complex tasks, there are both freelance gigs and remote opportunities out there just waiting for you to take advantage of them. This is where you get into contract work – maybe you’re a web designer, so you work for a company or directly with a client to design their website. It doesn’t matter how the job gets done, so long as you hit your deadlines and deliver what you promised. So, again, be honest with yourself and don’t bite off more than you can chew! Income can be more unreliable, depending on work you have lined up.
Examples of remote jobs you work when you want:
- Writing and Editing. As a freelance writer or editor, you can find your own clients or join a content boutique like BKA Content for more reliable work. You could even write for yourself and start a blog, or write creatively.
- Designer. Do you have web design or graphics design skills? Then you’re in demand! You can recruit private clients, or look out for design jobs on sites like Remote.co.
- Translation. Do you speak more than one language fluently? You’re also in demand! Provide your services on a freelance basis with sites like WorldLingo.
If you have a set schedule with blocks of time available to you, consider a formal remote position with specific weekly hours. These will most likely be better paying, giving you a reliable income, and may even be employee jobs with actual benefits.
- Transcription. Yes, again! With flexible hours at hand, you can work with transcription services offering reliable work – like AccuTran Global.
- Customer Service. – There are many, many customer service jobs available online and from big-name companies, too – you could work for American Express, Amazon, U-Haul, and more.
- Search Engine Evaluator. The Internet is a large, wild place and search engine companies need help making sure their results are relevant – Internet-based research is a great choice for stay-at-home moms.
Great Work-from-Home Jobs for Moms
Non-Phone Customer Service
While most at-home customer service jobs are phone-based and require you to have a quiet home office, more and more companies are including customer support via chat… which means there’s a new need for chat agents. When you’re a chat agent, it doesn’t matter what the background noise is because the only one hearing it is you! Some companies that hire chat agents include Needle, Apple at Home, My Live Pro, and Uber.
It isn’t all corporate stiffs and honeymooners looking to rent spaces on sites like Airbnb. Families are also looking for friendly spaces to occupy on vacations. And they want kid-friendly spaces.
Kid & Coe is a listing site specifically for homes that are kid-friendly. This service provides books and toys for play during downtime. Some accommodate babies and toddlers with the availability of high chairs, strollers, and cribs. As a host, you can also help guests find the best family-friendly tourist spots. If this sounds like a good side gig for you, sign up here.
Blogging is a family affair for many. Lots of moms are making a darn good living through their personal writing spaces today. There’s great money to be made, all from the comfort (and schedule) of your own home.
What’s even more fantastic is that it’s rubbing off on the kids growing up in these blogger homes. We have a whole new generation of young bloggers coming online every day. While some opportunities are only open to those 18 years of age or older, others only require parental consent. And PayPal accommodates minors to help take care of those blogging expenses and income. Student Accounts are available to those 13 years of age or older.
Search Evaluation and Website Testing
These are two at-home gigs you can work in your spare time even when you’re completely fried (though some will have weekly or monthly minimums). The pay isn’t the best you can do with an at-home gig, but it’s income. Search evaluators will look at search results and rank them for quality and relevancy, and you can look for these gigs at Lionbridge, Appen, and Leapforce.
Website testing can be really fun, though you’ll be making audio recordings so there can’t be much background noise. It’s a great thing to do in the evenings or during nap time if you have small children at home. The work isn’t steady, but it’s quick and interesting. Learn more about website testing and look for opportunities here.
Crafting & Handmade Products
Phallin Marie makes homemade soap from home to sell in her Etsy shop, www.foursistersfarmsoap.com. Her kiddos help out with packaging orders, cutting tags out for products and the little ones enjoy taking the packages out to the mailman. She shared a few more ways her kids have helped out the family home business, as well as some other ways kiddos can pitch in.
“Finger knitting scarves. Once you teach your child to make these, you can whip these out pretty fast. Your children can even model them for your products pics. You can sell these on Etsy, eBay, flea market booths or your own website.
“Designing and making hang tags. If graphics are not your thing you can even purchase pre-designed hang tags online. Then you cut them out and use pretty ribbons, bakers twine, or lace to tie them off. Embellish with buttons and bling. These are especially popular closer to Christmas. But you can make them for all seasons. These sell well on eBay and Etsy as well.
“Make homemade dog treats. Kiddos love helping to cut out the dough with dog bone shaped cookie cutters. It can be a fun family event. And now that vegan and grain-free treats are especially popular consider a niche market in that aspect. Come up with a cool name, get a logo from Fiverr and you are all set for a fun, kid-friendly family business.
“Sell children’s clothes on eBay. Whether you are cleaning out your own children’s closets or purchasing from yard sales or thrift stores, these are great to re-sell. You can use a mannequin or your child as a model. Clothes also sell well in group lots on eBay.”
Lisa Williams had this to say about owning a kid-friendly home business: “I’ve owned a shop on the website Etsy since 2008. I started when my children were little…3 and 5! They weren’t able to help with much when they were small, but they are 9 and 11 years old now and love to help me out! I sell vintage items and scrapbooking supplies/paper crafts and my girls go with me to estate sales, etc. and help me pick out items for the shop. They also help create some of the paper crafts I sell. My husband and I also have started an in-home bakery business. We are small-time right now and just concentrate on selling items at farmer’s markets since my husband is still employed full-time with another job. The girls help out so much with the bakery business! We truly couldn’t do it without them! We split up the work and have our oldest help my husband with the prep and baking, while our youngest helps me with clean-up duties. It’s a lot of hard work but fun too!
If making stuff by hand isn’t really for you, you might want to consider transcription. As a transcriptionist, you can “strike out on your own” and solicit transcription services as a freelancer, but there might be a better way to get started: working as a transcriptionist for a company like Rev.com, CastingWords, Quicktate, or Scribe. If you have (or would like) medical knowledge, you may be interested in Career Step’s coursework medical transcription. You won’t make as much money working for a site as you would on your own, but you also won’t have to do any of the marketing (because the sites bring the clients to you).
Selling Children’s Books
Barefoot Books, an independent children’s book publisher, is a company created by and for families with an emphasis on community building and growth for both parent and child. Founded as a home business in 1992, Barefoot Books empowers passionate individuals to build their own businesses in the same manner. Our versatile Ambassador program enables stay at home moms to own a business that is flexible to her own schedule, family values, and interests. Beautiful, diverse children’s books can be sold at home parties, community events and through a multitude of online medias. Barefoot was designed to give Ambassadors the chance to grow a phenomenal business while also making a difference in children’s lives.
Ambassadors can sell and advertise how they like when they like and are free to make decisions that best fit their lifestyles – ranging from a few hours a week to a full-time job (bringing in a salary that matches)! In addition to being family-friendly, Barefoot Books often actively involves children in the process. “My daughter is truly my partner in my Barefoot Books business…we set goals together, I pay her a commission on sales she makes, we celebrate success together – usually with her favorite dinner of burritos! We make a great team!” stated Liz Hughes, a Barefoot Ambassador since 2010. Our mission concisely affirms not only our goals but also how we operate: “Connect families. Share stories. Inspire children.”
Reselling Online and In Person
Reselling can be a lot of fun and something you can absolutely do even if you’re chasing kids all day. Between shopping, listing, and packaging your items, it can become as much of a family affair as you’d like (or not one at all). Be aware of how much space you have available for inventory — this plays a role in the types and volume of reselling you’ll be able to do.
The main ways to resell items are on eBay and with Amazon using the Fulfilled By Amazon program, and in Facebook groups. There are perks and drawbacks to all of these, so take a closer look and decide what’s right for you.
If you just have an eagle eye and enjoy scanning Craigslist, neighborhood forums, and yard sales, you can start a modest reselling business without taking up a ton of time or space. Reselling large items locally, either directly or through consignment, can be a nice way to bring some extra cash in. Smaller items like clothes and small toys may do better online. One way to see if reselling is for you without losing anything except some time is to keep an eye on the free listings on Craigslist. When you see something of any value, snag it and see if you can turn around and make some money off it.
Origami Owl is a direct selling company that provides individuals with customizable lockets. The company currently has over 60,000 Independent Designers across the United States, Puerto Rice and most recently Canada. Independent Designers sell Origami Owl through several means, including at-home parties called Jewelry Bars. Each Designer is an independent business owner and has their individual Origami Owl branded web page for customers to purchase items through.
Through the Owlette program, Independent Designers are invited to partner with their son or daughter between the ages of 12 and 17 for a unique bonding experience offered only by Origami Owl. This exciting opportunity was built from 18-year-old Founder Bella Weem’s passion to inspire youth to develop life and business skills at an early age.
I also love Stella & Dot as legitimate social selling jewelry opportunities.
This is one (interesting!) gig I couldn’t NOT mention. Ever heard of Yardi Matrix? They’re a company that works with real estate agents to do market research, property research, and more. What’s important for you to know is that three times a year (for 6-week spans) they hire at-home workers to make phone calls to do rent surveys. It’s a phone job, but they invite people with background noise because it makes you seem like a “real person.” Your role is to ask questions about rental properties, posing like you’re interested in renting them. It’s almost like mystery shopping, but you can do it from home. Learn more and apply here.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: freelancing is a great way to make money from around your schedule, and you can do it even when the kids are around. This is a great “prong” you can add to your business if you’re interested in blogging, or you can just offer freelance services and not even mess with running your own blog (or just have a blog without freelancing!). Any way is perfectly legitimate.
The go-to freelance business to offer if you don’t have a solid background or interest in things like web design or writing is virtual assisting. Virtual assistant services are in extremely high demand, the barrier to entry is fairly low, and you are probably more qualified than you even realize. You find and take on as much client work as you want, you can set your own rates and hours, and your business can grow and change just as you do.
Those are some of the perks. The major downside to freelancing is that if you aren’t willing to grow and expand your skills, you may be stuck in relatively low-paying work (think the $10-15 hour range). All it takes is some dedication and good training. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my course on How to Be a Blogger’s VA.
That’s Not All
These are but a few examples of all the possibilities out there to make income for your family even with a babe in arms. I didn’t even touch on becoming a consultant (like a Stitch Fix stylist in certain cities), or starting your own direct-selling business. Still, you should have plenty of ideas now and feel a little less overwhelmed – by finding a remote job, anyway. I can’t do anything about baby worries!
Take a deep breath, do what you can, and drop me a note when you have some time – I’d love to hear how these tips helped you find your own work-from-home job!
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