Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom: In the Beginning… (Part 1)

I am a firm believer that, with God’s blessings and lots of hard work, anyone can successfully work from home. However, I will be the first to tell you that working from home is just that–it’s work.
I’m by nature a positive person but I won’t sugar-coat the truth when
it comes to working from home: if you are not prepared to put in lots
and lots and lots of time and effort, working from home won’t work for you.

I’m sure many moms could look at me and want what I have–the
ability to make a good income while staying at home, choosing my own
hours, and taking care of my husband, home, and family first. I can
take a day off (or even a few days off!) whenever I like and
the money continues to come in at about the same rate because of the many
multiple streams of income I’ve set in place.

All this might sound really wonderful (and it is!) but what most people
often don’t add into this equation are the countless hours, days,
weeks, months, and even years I’ve spent working, learning, and experimenting to get things to the point they are at.

The effort has paid off and I’m now reaping the fruits of my labors
(though I’m still making lots of mistakes and I’m sure I’ll continue to
do so until the day I die!), but I won’t ever forget the struggles I
had to go through to getwhere I’m at or the mountains I’ve had to
climb along the way.

This series is my personal journey to Becoming a Work-at-Home Mom. I will be sharing what things have and haven’t worked for me, what I
wish someone had told me when I was first contemplating starting a
business from home, and how you, too, can become a work-at-home mom.

Let me start at the very beginning…

When my husband and I were married–over six and a half years ago–we knew we wanted to stay out of debt, live on a budget, and we wanted my primary place to be at home. I had no desire to pursue an outside-the-home career; I just wanted to be a stay-at-home wife and mother.

However, there was also this thing called money. We didn’t have a lot of it and my husband still had three and a half years of school left ahead of him. We were living on a very tight budget but we weren’t even making enough to pull that off. We knew that the only way we’d survive the next three and a half years was if we not only continued to pinch pennies, but if we also found ways to increase our income.

Before we got married, I worked an odd assortment of side jobs to produce a little income: I taught violin, babysat, tutored, and worked as a mother’s helper and a waitress. I continued on in some of these after we got married but when we moved to a new town where we knew no one so my husband could begin three years of law school, I found that my side job possibilities narrowed a great deal!

However, we prayed a lot and talked about a hundred different ideas. And then we got creative.

I advertised my experience as a mother’s helper in the local homeschool newsletter and soon was working for four different families each week. I enjoyed this work and it helped to pay the bills. We didn’t have any wiggle room at all, but by carefully squeezing every little thing we could out of every penny, not buying anything but basic necessities, and strategic grocery shopping, we were able to survive on $800-$1000 per month.

A number of months went by and one week I began noticing that I didn’t feel so well. I was tired and sick to my stomach much of  the time. I went about my usual routine, but I could barely keep up with my mother’s helper jobs. I continued to feel worse and worse and we couldn’t figure out what on earth my problem was. After about a week of this, I realized that the one thing I’d not considered was the possibility I could be pregnant.

We’d wanted to have children since we were first married but we’d struggled with some infertility issues and I’d finally just given up the hope that I’d ever be a mom. However, I had some pregnancy tests stashed away and that morning I decided–on a whim!–that I’d just take one. After all, it wouldn’t hurt anything.

Imagine my total shock when I took it and looked down a few seconds later to see two pink lines! No wonder I’d felt so sick and tired!

We were ecstatic, elated, excited, and overwhelmed all at once! We were thrilled to be parents, but we realized this was going to turn our world a little upside down. Never could we have realized at the time just how much having a baby was going to change our lives forever–for the better!

To be continued next week…

Just for fun: How many of you currently work from home?
Tell us a little about what you do. (And if you have a website, be sure to leave the link in the comments section.)

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Comments

  1. says

    I started my blog http://www.frugalinvirginia.com/ soon after my first child was born and have been able to make some income from that.

    I agree with you though, Crystal- it’s a lot of work! I love it and feel very blessed that I can earn an income while focusing primarily on my family, but the income doesn’t usually line up with the amount of hours I put in!. I’ve realized it’s going to take a lot of work and time to grow my blog business to the point where the pay is where it should be for the time I put in.

  2. says

    I love hearing about the ingenuity of women in their efforts to work from home, but balance the priority of motherhood and family as their first priority!

    I have worked from home since the 9th grade! I’ve taught piano lessons for 14 years, and now have a successful photography business (which takes me out of the home for about 2 hours to shoot the pictures, but everything else is done from home!) MY PHOTO WEBSITE helps generate sessions, as well as teaching opportunities, as I now offer classes and lessons in my home as well.

    I agree with you Crystal… it is WORK. And its taken me a long time to learn how to streamline and make my time as efficient as possible. It takes discipline to still set hours… often, working from home will take as much time as you will give it, and it takes a clear priority perspective to walk away from the computer and fulfill my other duties as wife and mother.

    If you can find the balance, or at least strive for it, it can prove to be very rewarding, both financially for your family, and also personally for your own progress and self fulfillment.

  3. says

    I too am very blessed to be a work-at-home mom. I am a registered dental hygienist and could be working making ALOT of money. My husband and I chose for me to stay home after the birth of my 2nd. I “stumbled” (God ordained of course) upon a breastpump rental business opportunity after the birth of my first after all the problems I had with nursing. I started it up when she was 6mo old and went “full time” after my 2nd. http://www.shop.mothersbestbreastpumps.com .It is flexible and I am doing something I enjoy and believe in. My kids can be a part of it as well. They love seeing the new babies and help me at the post office, etc. It doesn’t bring in alot of money but I don’t regret being home for a minute. I, of course, coupon, bargain shop, do rebates, etc. I thank God everyday for the opportunity to be home with my children and still help contribute to our family.

  4. says

    In addition to working my full-time job until we get in a little better spot financially, I also pick up some bookkeeping on the side and run my own small business. I make custom jewelry, note cards, invitations, graphic design and home decor items. I haven’t had the time to focus on advertising really yet, so I haven’t had much traffic, but I’m considering switching everything over to Etsy to be more visable. My current shop address is: divinecreations4u.weebly.com.

  5. says

    I am SOOOOOOO excited about this series! I am really wanting to start working from home to help with the budget, but just have no idea how to get started!!!!! Yay. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. says

    I’m so blessed to be able to stay at home with my 16 month old daughter while still making a significant contribution to our income with my Pampered Chef business. http://www.pamperedchef.biz/cookingwithshena
    Being in control of how much or how little I work and how much money I make each month is great! Flexibility is key. When unexpected expenses appear– (more often than not it’s car trouble!) or with birthdays and holidays around the corner–I know just what I need to do to take care of that bill.
    It’s great to be able to share money saving ideas and recipes with all the guests and show them that a sit-down family meal IS possible no matter what their skill or confidence level is in their own kitchen. It’s all about bringing the family together.

  7. denise epright says

    I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I’ve been a SAHM for 6 years and I love every minute of it.

    I have been a certified home child care and it wasn’t for me. It was a LOT harder than I thought and I ended up with a child with ADHD w/DD. I wasn’t qualified to care for a child like that and my daughter ended up with a broken arm that required surgery. In the end it cost us more money. Not to mention the guilt that I feel. I just wasn’t quick enough to stop it.
    So now I have moved on to reselling. I happen to be extremely gifted at shopping. =) I buy and then resell on eBay. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me. I make enough money for groceries and the kids after school activities. I’m at the point where my neighbors are asking me to cosign for them. Its a lot of harder and time consuming than people think. I also do everything legally and pay taxes.
    http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Chelseys-Closet

  8. Michelle says

    I teach online classes for a community college. The tough thing about online teaching is that some students expect me to be available 24/7 and that’s just not the case! The money I make from these classes goes straight into our savings account and we live off the small income we pay ourselves from our fledgling construction company. Teaching allows me to do something for myself and use my master’s degree, which I think is important, and also to stay home with our 3 kiddos 5yrs old and under. I have hopes of homeschooling, but am struggling. #4 is on the way and I really need to figure out how to better manage my time so I spend more productive time with my children. Thanks for this series! It’s supper interesting.

  9. Lora says

    I work at home answering e-mails and “Live Help” inquiries for a company that I formerly worked for as an in-office employee. During the school year I also tutor. In the days before technology made telecommuting an option I did part-time transcription during non-business hours for employers that I had first worked for during traditional hours. I’ve been offered home-based transcription jobs at home but so far have not tried transcription from home. I previously was a certified medical coder. Early in this decade I and several colleagues found it difficult locating at-home work in that field. From the comments above, it seems that the situation has changed.

    While working at offices I’ve made it a point to learn the skills needed for tasks that can be done independently and to demonstrate that I’m self-motivated. I’ve viewed it as a plus if I could find tasks do-able during off-hours that my coworkers did not like to do! These efforts have paid off when employers and former employers have offered me at-home and off-hours assignments.

    I’m glad to be working at home, but I’ve found that it can cause making my home a haven to be more challenging. I tend to approach my job of answering e-mail as being ever-present. In a way my current situation reminds me of my grandfather’s work as a farmer. Lately I’ve been trying to restrict my work to certain times of the day and one room in the house. Another feature of my situation is that very, very rarely take a day off. I view this as a positive since I don’t like to get behind on things, but some family members who see me working while visiting them for holidays disagree. I’m able to reply to the e-mails and “Live Help” inquiries from anyplace as long as I have my laptop and an internet connection.

  10. Dani Churchill says

    I am really looking fwd to the rest of this series and I LOVE your blog. I became a stay-at-home mom, which I’ve always wanted to be, after teaching 2nd grade. Whenever we decided to have kids, it was at a crazy time because my daughter was born the month we moved across the country for my husband to pursue his PhD. We live in Boston on a graduate student stipend, while I stay home. I’ve gotten creative in finding ways to earna little extra dough, but nothing too profitable yet. I am REALLY looking fwd to reading this to get more ideas.

  11. Brenda says

    I do audio transcribing for an insurance claims company, seel Longaberger baskets and stay at mom with my three kids, 8,5,and 3.

  12. says

    I am a web designer and computer programmer. I used to have a “real job”. When my maternity leave was almost over, I wanted to go back to work part-time; unfortunately, my boss told me that wasn’t an option. “If you come back, we need you to be here full-time.” My husband had just started a new job that would pay the bills, so we talked it over, and I quit my job.

    Now I keep up my skills and earn a little money by free-lancing. I am blessed to have more saleable skills than a lot of SAHMs, but it is still a struggle to find work that I can do (and want to do – there is a lot of work I find that is unethical), and tough to find time to do the work without distractions.

    I tell others (and remind myself) that this is my “side business” – my full-time job is being a mom.

    AnitraSmith.Net

  13. says

    Hi! I am very interested in hearing your story! I am a WAHM. I have a virtual assistant business that I started at the beginning of this year. I was laid off while pregnant with my daughter who is 18 months old and I couldn’t imagine leaving her, so I spent a lot of time researching something I could do from home. I am not crafty (I always get in that crafty mood around the holidays, but that is not my strength!). I decided to open a VA business and I absolutely love it. It is a ton of work, but because I love what I am doing it doesn’t always feel that way. Plus I am home to spend valuable time with my daughter. The internet is an amazing opportunity for those willing to work and learn! I feel lucky to have my family in a time where the internet provides so many options. I am looking forward to hearing the rest of your story :)

    Devon
    http://www.vintage-va.com

  14. Kelly says

    I have a great job as a flight attendant that allows me to work 2-3 days per week or even less. The more I fly the more money I make, the less I fly, the less money, etc. If we need more money for something I can pick up extra hours or if I need to be home more, drop my hours to other folks. I’m gone two nights per week, but am able to be home most of the time and have a job that pays health insurance, vacation and travel benefits. I would not recommend this nowadays because you have to start at the bottom and be on call – not ideal if you have children. But i now have over 20 year of seniority and it is perfect job for a mom.

  15. says

    I’m a fellow homeschooling mother and long-time follower of your blog.I work from home for a small, up ‘n coming dancewear and tutu company (Vala Dancewear/Class Act Tutu) as their one-woman Media Relations dept. My responsibilities include interviewing dancers, reviewing dance company performances (gotta love those Press Passes!), and writing newsletter/blog articles. I occasionally go into the office to help with shipping, etc as necessary. However, I’m able to bring my children along with me, which is an incredible blessing.

    In addition, I’m also seeking other freelance writing opportunities to further my skills and provide additional income.

    http://chaimommy.blogspot.com

  16. says

    I love being a stay at home mom but I love having work. Its something to keep my mind busy so I started teaching preschool classes out of my home on Tuesdays and Thursday. I love it and my kids love having their friends over! My preschool website is: http://activehandsandminds.com

    I have taught music lessons since I was in high school and I currently have a few students. Its not much but again its something I love that helps bring in just a little bit more.

    I also have come to appreciate how being a smart shopper can save hundreds each month so I signed a contract with grocery smarts (a free website that takes the store adds each weeks, ranks the sales, and matches current coupons) and now I teach classes on how to be a smart shopper a few times each month. I maintain a blog for this as well: http://lvsavingmadesimple.blogspot.com

  17. says

    I have been working on becoming a SAHM for 18 months now. I do some Web design on the side – feel free to email me for more information – ellaclaresmomgmailcom and my mom has started a home design and staging business that I help her with – http://www.sylviasspaces.com. I also have my own mommy-blog on DIY projects, gifts, toddler raising and some going green ides – http://www.mominthepink.blogspot.com. I also work full-time. I’m seem to be working harder at being a SAHM that I am at anything else right now!

  18. Jen says

    I am a SAHM and I work from home part time.
    I knew after having my first child that I would not go back to work. I did mother’s helper positions (which allowed me to bring my newborn with me)until we moved to a smaller town where I knew that was not an option.
    I was lucky to research medical transcription and talked to a woman who had way too many hours of typing. I asked her if she would be willing to give up some hours, which she was more than happy to do. I just had to talk to the owner of the podiatry clinic. I did and they were willing to give me a chance. I had no medical terminology background but with a practice that focuses on one thing….it is pretty repetitive. It was slow going to start but I quickly picked up on the terms.
    I had no training. I have internet and invested in a machine. I charge by the line I type so there is no question how much or how little I work. I work every other week and have 3 kids now.
    I am still looking for another project to earn more income. Maybe something internet based.

  19. says

    We are very much in the same situation – my husband is going to school and still has a couple of years left to go and we have two little girls (almost 3 and 9 months). We are struggling to pinch every single penny because we are trying to live off of savings, which isn’t much, and neither of us have “real” jobs (but we do have some side jobs that brings in a little here and there). I have set up an Etsy shop and I’m also couponing and doing surveys, etc. to make ends meet. Thanks so much for writing this – it’s so nice to know that someone else was in the same situation too!

    http://www.peainapod.etsy.com

  20. kristin says

    I tutor at tutor.com. About a year ago, I was frantically searching for anything at all that I could do online, I finally thought, I can teach! I was a math teacher for 4 years before I got married, then we were blessed with twins 2 weeks before our first anniversary! Now I have 2 almost-four-year-olds, and a 2 year old, and I am able to tutor while they nap and after they go to bed at night. AND, I don’t even have to advertise to get students to come to me, which is a huge bonus!

  21. says

    I work part time on the weekends as a nurse, but I’m also a WAHM during the week. I started selling Discovery Toys earlier this summer and it has been a great blessing. With minimal hours a week and great incentives for new consultants I’ve made a few hundred dollars a month with only one or two parties a month. The great thing is that the possibilities are endless! If you don’t want to do home parties, you can sell baby toy baskets, do personal shopping consultations with grandmothers, do toy fundraisers with daycares and preschools, etc… I also now have over $800 in toys in our home for my own children that were free. It’s going to be a great Christmas!!!

    http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/michelle

    I also do as much money saving as possible through couponing, budgeting, thrifting etc. I look at it as though my time is valuable and if I’m saving money that I’m not really earning by having a full time job, I’m actually making money!

  22. Alice says

    I am a SAHM and we are in our 2nd year of homeschooling. I don’t have any income other than my husband but wish that I did. When my children were in public schools…I was there with them volunteering wherever they needed me. I LOVE Volunteering. I worked in an area food pantry for almost 4 years. I was truly blessed! I enjoy volunteering because it is the BEST PAID JOB you will ever have! No money…only blessings. Which would you rather have? Me? I’ll take the blessings!
    We make enough to get by with a few extras every now and then. God is good and always provides. I LOVE your blog the best because you seem to be so down-to-earth. I love learning about all the ways to save money by cooking and freezing things. I am still very new in the coupon game and can’t afford to do the CVS,Walgreens,Rite-Aid scenarios yet, but I hope to one day and be able to donate all the items I don’t use to the Ronald McDonald House. They always need sample-size toiletries and lots of food. Thanks for what you do. I look forward to the next part of your story.

  23. Susan says

    Thank you for your post!

    Beth Schultz –
    I’d love to hear more about the medical coder. My husband and I are looking for start a family next year and my life dream is to be a SAHM or at minimum WAHM. Problem being, my corporate job makes up over 70% of our income. While my D.H.’s career will take off some day, I need a at home job.
    Please any info and tips on the medical coding would be such a help!

    Blessings and Hugs all!
    S

  24. Christy says

    I am a stay/work at home mom and have been for the last 14 months. I used to be a school teacher and have always known that I wanted to stay home with my children one day. My husband and I worked diligently to pay off debt and were anxious for the day to come when we were financially ready (or so we thought) for me to quit my full time teaching position and stay home. It hasn’t been as easy as I expected it to be, but I love it. I wouldn’t trade these days at home with my daughter for anything. Since being home, I’ve started a website http://www.cutestlittlethings.com that showcases my painting and sewing talents. Since it’s still fairly new, it hasn’t brought in a steady income yet, but every little bit helps for sure!

  25. says

    I work at home as well. I never thought abotu what I was doing as work until recently and have decided after much prayer and contemplaiton that it became hard recently because I was focused ont he wrong thing. I became obsessed with money and how much we were earning. I was worried abotu every cent. then I realized that if I am living the way the Lord wants me to live and taking care of my families needs then the work will find it’s time and I wont be as stressed. I have started doing that and am finding a lot more enjoyment in what I do. I love helping others and hope to be able to bring in enough ont he side to help my husband get through Law school with no debt. My family all think I am crazy for even thnking abotu it, but I really believe that We will make it if we work hard and save as much as we can and live as frugally as we can for the next 4 years.

    My website is http://www.sassysupersaver.com

    come visit me!!! Leave a comment and let me know you came from this site! I love new people visiting me!!!

    Thanks for all you do Crystal. You have inspired me in more ways then I can tell you!

  26. Joyleigh Alkire says

    I don’t know if what I do counts as working at home, but it is really close. I have a pet sitting business I started about 5 years ago. It allows me to bring my daughter with me to work and I get to run the show. It started out slow and I worked a regular job for the first two years. When I had my daughter I quit my regular job and have been just pet sitting since. I now have an employee and am thinking about adding another.

    Working independently and being a homemaker and a mom is really hard work, but I think it is completely worth it. My website is tallahasseepetsitter.com

  27. Anna says

    I quit my full time teaching job to stay home with my first daughter. I worked part time as a substitute teacher, but found out that I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter! I had to quit subbing since it just working out well for me…it didn’t bring in enough after paying for daycare for the days I subbed. I decided to open up my own daycare/preschool. I got my license for a small family childcare home and I do a full preschool program with the children I watch. It is a blessing. Everything I do for my daycare, blesses my children, too (now 2 and 3 yrs. old). I would like to try for one more child which seems absolutely CRAZY because really we can’t afford for me to take a maternity leave/lose the kids in my care to another daycare, etc., etc. so I would like to see if I could start bringing in income in other ways…looking forward to reading your future posts.

  28. Julie says

    I have worked from home for 16 years. First doing daycare and now as a health coach with a weight loss and optimal health company. (Yes, I was a client first! I went from a size 14 to a 4 and my family has lost 1,700 lbs,)

    http://www.julieadams.tsfl.com

  29. says

    What a terrific series. I am very thankful that I can stay home, but it certainly isn’t because my husband has a plush income. Most would say that we are near poverty level; but God can do amazing things! I try to do a variety of things to supplement my husband’s income (even if they are small ways) by completing writing projects, joining affiliate programs, selling clothing and toys at consignment sales, and even helping as a wedding planner. I also believe that a life of frugality is essential for a homemaker, so that she can literally stretch out her husband’s hard earned money! An ancient philosopher once said, “Do not people realize how great an income is thrift?” Staying home allows me to save money by planning meals, hanging out laundry (in warm weather), homeschooling my children, etc.. Thank you for this terrific series.

  30. says

    Crystal,
    What a wonderful post. Can’t wait to read more of your story.

    Your comment “if you are not prepared to put in lots and lots and lots of time and effort, working from home won’t work for you.” is so very true, and the primary reason why I coach those who ask me about working from home to know their why.

    Knowing why you want to be at home, work from home, along with God’s grace, gives you the strength to stay the course.

    I’ve been home with my four kids for most of their lives. Only my older two remember me working outside the home for a short (and very long) two year span. In those two years, I had to work hard to get back to being an “at home mom”. In total I’ve worked at home for 10 years, officially homeschooling for 9.

    It’s a journey, like you said, to find your place, to allow God to work in your life and provide the opportunities if you are willing to work them. Not always easy, but defintely, so very defintely worth it.

    I work primarily on a referral basis as a communication consultant/writer, and as an editor of a technical trade magazine. And when I’m not doing that (for it pays the bills), I blog about Life at Home as a Work at Home, Homeschooling mom at http://workathomehomeschoolingmom.com and more importantly, enjoy the time hanging out with my kids and getting to know them and their hearts in ways I could never do if I worked outside the home.

    So glad I found your blog. I’ve seen your work elsewhere, but am enjoying your site here. Look forward to the rest of your series.

    …Shannon

  31. tina b says

    Hi!! I’ve been a stay-at-home wife for a little over six months now, and we are expecting our first little one in March! So, I’ll soon add “mom” to that title :) I hadn’t been working through the summer and early fall, but God brought an opportunity to my door a few weeks ago. So, now I work part time (about 20 hours/week) out of my home for my pastor and church as the secretary/administrative assistant. I have officially worked for the church for only about three weeks, but it has been such a blessing to, like you said, still be able to take care of my family first and take time off if I need to, but still be able to make some income and serve the Lord with my abilities!

  32. says

    I am a lawyer and dream of working from home, so I can’t wait to continue reading this series! I currently have a Blogger template design business (http://www.madebymadeline.com) that could bring in enough to cover my student loan payments (which are huge!!!) but that is as far as I have gotten….

  33. says

    I have been home for over a year now and am just trying to figure out ways to earn money from home. I recently started blogging and while it obviously isn’t earning much I am enjoying writing and am slowly building some readership. If nothing else it is giving me some creative outlet and stretching my brain muscles. I have no desire to return to ‘corporate america’ which booted me out after 20 years. I would love to do more with my blog, do some freelance writing and find other avenues to earn additional income from home. I’m very interested to see the rest of your series Crystal.

  34. Liz says

    I can’t wait to read the rest of this! I love hearing other ideas about how to create revenue streams from home!

    I am very blessed to be a WAHM. I work as the Show Manager/Conference Coorindator for Apologia – the creation-based science curriculum. I love what I do! I help put on a conference to encourage homeschool moms spiritually. I get to work with the speakers and the attendees. I really enjoy it (did I mention that already). This is a link to what I do: http://www.Apologia.com/LIVE

    I have a mommy helper who comes 9 hours/week while I work. My other work is done during naptimes. I work a total of 20 hours/week.

    I am also in the process of starting a web business, but it is going to include me learning about some web programming, so we’ll see how it goes. =)

    Thanks for all the encouragement and ideas!!

  35. says

    Hi I’m a long time reader of your blog…love it very much. I, too, am a work at home mama of three kids (2-10). I’ve worn many hats in the scrapbook industry over the last 8 years, but am changing gears a bit now. I was putting in too many hours, burned out, overwhlemed and my family was suffering…which was just absolutely no good. The key to working at home is “balance.” –which I’m trying much harder to find and keep now. But going in a new direction…it’s a little scary. Luckily though…like you said, I worked all these years to get to this point and have a great network built up through my crafting gigs.

    So, I’ve switched gears…refocused. I’m taking a leap and faith and opening an online shoppe to sell my Whimsy wares– handmade goods…I know God will provide for me, provide what I need. I just have to continue to work, keep my priorities straight and go for it! Stop in and see me sometime…opening soon…
    http://www.whimsyshoppe.com

  36. says

    I’m anxious to read more! I have been a stay at home mom for three years now and I’ve tried a couple side businesses, but they never produce real income for me. I need to find something I can do to contribute financially. I’d love to hear more about how people are making money blogging??? That sounds like something I could do!

  37. says

    Challice, I too have thyroid issues and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with MS that we decided to turn to a holistic MD for help. I have found a lot of natural ways to find the energy to keep up with my three year old son. The bills aren’t cheap though. I sympathize with you!

  38. Yvonne says

    I have been wanting to start my own house cleaning business. I still have a 3 year old at home that only goes to school twice a week for half a day and I’m not sure if this is something I should wait to do until after he’s in kindergarten. If someone else is doing this with a child at home any advice would be helpful. I was also thinking of going back to school on line to become a translator spanish/english so if anyone is doing this too I would like to hear any feed back.Thanks so much Crystal for this wonderful opportunity to share our dreams of being a stay at home/working mom. :-)

  39. says

    My husband and I have been married for 3 years and have a son who just turned 2 last month. Before our son was born I was a second grade teacher in one of our public schools here in CA. However, as much as I loved teaching, when my son was born I knew it would just kill me to leave him everyday.

    Fortunately, a huge blessing came into our lives and a family friend knew of a friend who was working primarily from home as a teacher with a public charter school. I looked into this, submitted an application, and was offered a K-8 Teaching position.

    This past August I started my third year with California Virtual Academies. Most of the time I work from home and then every 9 weeks I meet with all of my students and their parents for a conference over a period of 2 weeks. I usually schedule myself for 3-4 hours at a time for a total of 5 days. Another blessing is that I can leave my son with my mom who lives near by.

    It hasn’t always been easy and I still have days when I would love to temporarily “retire,” but most days I count my blessings to be bringing in a steady salary with full medical benefits and to be home with my son.

    My husband will finish his teaching credential in May so God willing he receives a high school teaching position I am planning to take some time off from teaching until our son (and future children) are much older.

  40. Deby Malan says

    Beth….what is medical coding? Everything I type comes back with no results. I must be wording it wrong. Do you have a web site or a starting point you could send my way? Thanks, A California friend, Debi

  41. says

    Prior to having children, I had a brief encounter with direct sales, and my husband & I gave MLM (multi-level marketing) a try. We learned a lot & made great friends, but neither turned out to be an income vehicle for us & left us with debt. Shortly after our first daughter was born, I dabbled in a different type of direct sales. However, I was a much better “shopper” than a “seller” & just increased our debt load. I took a short break from business ideas, but after our second daughter was born, it became apparent that if we ever wanted to get out of debt, we needed more income.

    After praying over it, I started a graphic & web design business last year (I have a background in graphic design and advertising). Shortly after I launched my business, I found out I was pregnant with #3. While I was pregnant [& now that I have 3 kids (under 3 yrs.)], I am only able to give part-time hours to my business (most of which is done at night). However, God has blessed my business and for the first time, I have a profitable business! God is Good!

  42. Elizabeth says

    I love this series you have started and look forward to reading each one…
    I am a stay at home wife (Lord willing one day a Mom) and I love making things. My problem is I am not good at selling. In the past I tried to sell Creative Memories and ended up selling everything to myself instead of building any type of customer base.
    I now make cards and other things and really enjoy it however I am not a good sales person… I have a website http://zizziecards.com/ and I am starting to use etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6197951 but if I really sit down and look at the overall picture… I do this more as a hobby and not really get any income out of it.

  43. says

    My husband is wanting to go back to school for his engineering degree in the next year or so. We have two kiddos under the age of 2 – I am keeping my eye out for ideas to help supplement our income which will probably be decreasing quite a bit from home! I’ve made several $1000 over the past few years with mystery shopping. Having the two kids has cut back on my ability to do that quite a bit.

    As we enter this new season of our lives, I’m constantly needing to remind myself that God is in control and He WILL provide as we seek to follow Him!

    I’ve just started blogging, too – http://www.domesticcontessa.blogspot.com

  44. says

    I love your site! I too work at home managing a company my husband and I own but with the economy the way it is I am always looking for other sources of income.
    I have just started my own blog because so many of my friends and family are always asking about the great deals I get, So I thought I’d put them all in one spot, I call it Saving, Surviving & Thriving
    Thanks again for all the inspiration,
    Melissa
    http://savingsurvivingthriving.blogspot.com/

  45. says

    Great series! I have stayed home since my almost thre year old daughter was born. Now with two kids, I try to find ways to supplement our income as well. I am lucky to have a bachelors degree and have been able to pick up a little work here and there in the field I worked in before. I’ve also just signed up to do some substitute teaching. I sell some on Ebay. I also have been blessed to have many crafty talents. I’ve started an online children’s shop on Etsy: http://pumpkinsboutique.etsy.com
    Its hard to get it going, but slowly it is getting there! I love to craft and hope to find even more ways to make money with my skills.

    I do have one question: How do you make money with a blog? I’ve started one: http://growingupcarlley.blogspot.com and right now its a mixture of personal, business and random stuff. How might I use it in other ways? Thanks so much for the series and can’t wait to read more!

  46. Jen Olson says

    For certified teachers in many states, there are lots of options for teaching online from home. It’s easier if you’re certified in secondary ed, but there are options for elem students too. A few virtual schools (elem and sec) – Connections Academy, K12 inc, Sylvan, Knowledge Learning Corporation. You can search on job search engines for virtual school, online school, virtual teacher, etc. If you search virtual schools on Wikipedia, they have a list by state, though it doesn’t include all the schools out there. Generally you have to live and be certified in the state where positions are open. I am in the process of interviewing with an AZ school and am excited about the possibility of working from home!