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Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom: Introduction

As you probably know if you've read here with any consistency, my husband and I tend to be out-of-the-box thinkers. We don't like to be confined by the status quo.

Many people think of an 8-5 job as their family's primary or only source of income. We, on the other hand, only see Jesse's job as an attorney as one of our sources of income. And since the time we've been married, we've been on the lookout for additional creative ways to increase our income.

When first started trying to come up with things we could on the side,
we really had no idea where to start. Neither of us had much experience
or training and we racked our brains to come up with ideas. We read a
lot of books, researched many different things online, spent much time
learning from those who were much more experienced, and started trying
things. We had a number of total flops and a number of business attempts which will forever be listed in our "hall of shame" (most of these were my bizarre ideas!).

By the grace of God, though, we refused to give up–in spite of failure. Little by little, we started finding things which actually worked and we began to see some fruit from all of our labor. Over time–and with lots of research and effort!–we've found quite a few things which really can contribute a significant source to our income every month. These side incomes have not only
allowed me to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but they have also enabled us to be able to save a significant portion of money towards paying cash for a home.

I often receive emails from women who feel in a desperate situation financially. My heart goes out to you as I well remember how hard those beans-and-rice days were. But the things I've learned over the past six years of have my own businesses have taught me one thing: no matter what situation you are in–even if it seems very dire financially–you can get creative and find some simple ways to decrease your outgo and increase your income.

When there's a will, there's a way. Don't give up hope! It's a whole lot of work, but it can be every bit worth it!

**************************

I've received many, many requests on the subject of earning money from home recently so beginning next week, I'm going to share my own personal journey to becoming a work-at-home mom in a series here. I'll be talking about things I've learned along the way, and will also share a plethora of ideas of things you can do to earn from home. I hope it can be an inspiration and help for those of you who are interested in working from home.

As part of this series, I'd also like to include guest posts from those of you who are work-at-home moms. If you are interested in being featured as part of this series, please email me for further details.

Do you have any specific questions you'd like to see addressed in a series on working from home? If so, please email me or leave a comment on this post. I can't guarantee I'll be able to answer it, but I'll do my best to address it in this series.

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124 Comments

  • Kristie says:

    This come at a perfect time for me. It feels like I am the woman who you are talking about. My husbands job has many cutbacks and we have 4 kids. Times are more than tight. It feels hopeless as I try to hang on God’s word. I have been a SAHM for 8 years and over the years I have sold purses/jewelry, worked on ebay before the fees were outrageous, sold on other auction sites, sold avon. Ebay brought in my most income. Now I just can’t seem to lower outgoing and increase incoming. Any encourgement would be a blessing . Thank you, a mom.

  • Jennifer says:

    My husband is a teacher and with that come plenty of opportunities for him to earn extra money doing side jobs. He has done everything from summer school, to coaching, to reffing, to teaching driver’s ed, helping out at games, etc. You name it and he has done it, it seems.

    Since I became a stay at home mom, I too have looked for as many ways to earn money myself as I can. letting people know that you are always on the look out to earn money is a great way, because they think of you when something comes up. It seems I always have something going on the side to earn money and it has allowed my years as a SAHM to be much more relaxing since we use the money I make to fund the wants part of our budget (if there isn’t a pressing need). I look forward to your series and would also love to do a guest post.

  • jenbme says:

    Thanks for doing this. I can’t wait to read it!

  • Heather says:

    I would be interested in making even a few hundred dollars a month. I have two kids and so that limits what I can do, but idealy online work would be best for me.

  • Jenn says:

    Your contact (and other) tabs aren’t showing up on your header…I’d be interested in a guest post (well, I don’t know that I’d have enough for a whole post on my own). Anyway, email me if you need someone to fill a little space:)

  • Kristin says:

    I can’t wait to read this series. Thank you so much for doing this. As a new mom (just had my first 6 months ago) I have been desperately searching for ways to stay home with my baby instead of working outside of the home. So far, we just aren’t there financially and we have to come up with some way for me to have some sort of income. I am looking forward to learning more from you and hope to find the inspiration we need to make it work.

    I would be interested in reading tips for getting started on this process — what resources are available for those looking to transition to working from home? Also, how do you balance working at home with taking care of kids/family?

  • Stacey says:

    Thanks for doing the series! I am excited to hear about how you are making it as a work at home mom. Currently I am in an internship with moms talk radio network and can’t wait to get started with my own business. I look forward to your series and learning lots!!!

  • Laura says:

    I am so excited that you are doing this! I currently am teaching and will continue to teach until we have children. My husband wants to build us a house before we have kids. We have been saving like crazy, so that we can pay for it out of pocket, but it might still be another few years. I really want to be able to quit teaching after I have my first, but this could be fairly difficult, since my husband makes less than I do and his employer does not provide insurance. If I am able to come up with a way to make some extra income on the side, it might speed things along, and maybe in the future I can stay at home. Thanks so much for all of your help and encouragement!

  • Dawn says:

    I’ve been working from home for over 20 years and homeschooling for alot of that time. When the kids were little I was part of a homeschool group and was able to have my kids homeschooled by a very good friend of mine so I could get more work done. As they got older, they learned to let Mommy have lots of time to herself and not bother her unless it was an emergency or they had a question with their schoolwork they could not find anywhere else. This taught them how to be self-sufficient and patient. I only have one child at home now that I’m homeschooling and sometimes I miss those days of lots of little heads busy over their books!

  • Christina says:

    Thank you to everyone who has chimed in about individual health plans! I won’t post any more about it after this one because I don’t want to hijack the topic (but based on all the feedback, maybe it’s a possible topic???).

    Anyway, to answer Heather’s question (at 11:37 a.m.), yes, I should qualify for Cobra coverage when I leave my job (I’m still there at the moment). I have been leaning toward wanting to have a baby sooner rather than later so that we can do Cobra for a short period, have the baby on it, then switch to an individual plan. Then we’ll have time to get settled into a new plan before the next one (probably). My husband is just so absurdly weary of Cobra; he doesn’t seem to understand that it probably would cost less than individual coverage (possibly lower premium but DEFINITELY lower hospital bill–the cost estimator under my current plan would be about $3,000 which is about double what we paid for our son, but is nowhere near having only $1,000 in coverage towards maternity).

    I think I’m starting to pull him to this side of the fence. 🙂

  • Twin Mom says:

    I think in-home childcare is the most viable business for at-home moms. It’s a lot of work and commitment, but if you’re serious about a significant income stream, it’s the only one I’ve seen work for most people.

    Make sure your medical insurance covers NICU care. Our bill was over $100,000 for preterm twins and insurance covers over 85%. Think about the potential of a six figure bill BEFORE you let yourself get pregnant.

  • heather says:

    Yeah, I can’t wait! I just had baby #3 2 days ago. I am a registered nurse and can work just prn (as needed) but was really hoping to not go back at all. I would love to hear your wonderful ideas. You have been such an inspiration over the last year since I found your blog. We have gone down to just $60/week on our grocery budget thanks to all of your wonderful advice. God bless!
    Heather

  • John says:

    Great to hear you have 3. We have 6 and more people seem to have a part time hobbies on the net nowadays. One way we have found to monetise ours is with affiliate marketing. Thanks for the article… John… http://InternetMarketingWithJohn.com

  • colleen says:

    I found my current part-time job on the wahm.com website. This site is full of great information!

  • Marie says:

    I don’t know if what I do would interest any of your readers, but I teach piano/voice lessons out of my home. I have a music education degree and advanced certification in piano, but several very effective and talented teachers do not. I used to teach school and quit to start a family and to devote more time to my studio. It was a good decision, as I work almost 2/3 fewer hours each week and make more than I did as a teacher, and the personal rewards are great – building relationships with outstanding kids and being able to do what I love from home.

    I realize that this is a very specific skill, but I also think that anybody with a special talent or interest has the ability to turn it into an opportunity to assist in their family’s finances. If you are interested or would like me to share more about this let me know. I’d be happy to.

  • Crystal I really love your blog, while I’m in the UK so the coupons aren’t something I can use, I like your upbeat attitude and service to others! Such a great example to me!

    I have a question that pops into my head every time I see friends get jobs to work from home, that I hope you don’t mind my asking you.
    Where I struggle is, as moms and wives first, is there a contention with the idea of wanting to earn more money? I can 100% understand it when you are trying to go from 2 parents working outside the home, to having mom home, or getting out of significant debt, or when you first have a baby and feel your place is in the home. I guess where I struggle is, once a family has enough to pay their mortgage (if they have one), bills, have an emergency fund to get by for a year with no income and of course tithe, then why would a family want to earn more? Why would a mom want to spend an hour or two or three (+) a day doing things away from serving, taking care of her husband and children? I know that many do it over nap time and when the little ones are asleep, but I’ve always wondered if less time on the computer and working would allow for more family time, less stress in the family, more time serving others? This is 100% not a criticism, it is just something I see a lot with friends whose husband’s incomes more than provide and yet they feel the need I guess to work from home and not totally just be home with their children?
    Thank you for your lovely blog!

  • Wow I can’t believe the number of comments you got on this subject. I am really looking forward to you and others sharing their experiences as work at home moms. My husband has a full time job and I have been out of work for 18 months now and really would like to continue being home for my 6 and 3 year old children. I’ve worked hard to reduce our expenses but am now trying to build ways to increase our income in a flexible manner. DH has spurts of OT and I hate the idea of leaving my family at home each weeknight while I head out to a job – plus if it meant DH couldn’t get OT then that would be a financially dumb move.

    I like the idea of multiple streams of income and am curious how many people have them and how they juggle those ‘business ventures’ along with being mom and wife.

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this, I can’t wait to here your advice!

  • Sophia says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series! I’m going to be married next spring, and I’ve always had an income stream of my own. For the last several years that has been babysitting and caretaking. My man said he didn’t mind me continuing with those jobs after we were married until kids come. Neither of us expect that to take very long, so I’m very interested in finding ways to keep an income stream going even when I have to be at home to look after little ones.

    The things I’d be most interested in would be:

    Lots of creative ideas to try out!

    How do you manage the tax aspect? a lot of “work at home” jobs aren’t exactly traditional.

    What about balancing family time? Especially with more than one little one!

    In the same line, how did you manage to keep the income stream going when you had your baby? wouldn’t a lot of “work at home” things (such as the blogging) automatically dwindle when you can’t pay close attention?

  • kelly says:

    I cook meals for 3 working moms that I know. This makes me between 50 and 75 dollars a week income. This is not much, but it is helping me save for a van without touching my husbands income to do it. I love to cook and use new recipes so for me this is fun.

  • Katy says:

    This is such a great topic to write on! I can’t wait to read your thoughts and suggestions! I would like to be a stay at home mom when my husband and I decide to start a family. We both work full-time, and I am having troubles figuring out just how it will work. We follow a budget each month, and I’m trying to find some “on-the-side” things to do for a bit of extra income. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

  • Great idea! I am a SAHM who has had to come up with creative ideas to bring in extra money each month. I’d be happy to share some of these with your readers.

  • I can’t wait to see this series! If you still need a guest poster, I’d be happy to write about teaching online for local colleges. Let me know. Either way, I can’t wait! 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Just want to share some thoughts for those who did get laid off, etc., and need a little extra cash. When I worked full-time, I also was raising three children alone. One Christmas, I was working non-stop & needed some cookies for Christmas; a friend who worked part-time offered to bake them; I paid her well; she got extra $s; my family enjoyed the same Christmas treats as when I had time to do them myself.

    I also hired part-time housecleaning help (windows, floors, etc.) when I could not get it done – holidays, birthday parties, etc. Extra $s for the person I hired.

    Also I hired babysitters (both teenagers and adults) to help w/the children when it was necessary. Stay-at-home Moms babysat my eldest daughter when I worked. I had a reliable babysitter and they got paid well. When the girls were both in orthodontics, I paid someone to take them occasionally when I simply could not take off work to go.

    If I were unemployed unexpectedly, I’d let people know what I am open to doing, and for how much. I would not only search the job listings, but let everyone know I am willing to help the busy households and how I could help. And sometimes, these contacts can let you know of job opportunities you may not otherwise know of.

    My daughter today pays $15 an hour for a babysitter when she has to go run errands and go to the grocery store. That occasional $30-$45 for her is worth it – she gets her errands and shopping done in minimal time. The little ones stay home; their routines and naps are not interrupted.

    These ideas may not be for everyone, but if you get even one idea from all this – then you are on your way to creative ways to make $s. This economy is tough, but America was built by our “tough” ancestors. People helped one another then and by helping each other, people will get through this as well.

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