Being a parent is the best job in the world. But anyone who has been a mother or father for even just a short while knows it doesn’t quite satisfy every personal need. Not to mention it pays nothing. For this reason, many parents seek to resume their careers after having kids.
However, many find that after being at home with the kids for so long, it’s difficult if not impossible to return to a traditional working environment where you need to be away from them for eight hours or more per day. Plus, the costs of childcare keep rising, and it can often make much more sense economically for one parent to stay home.
Working from home provides a nice balance. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to be able to tend to the kids, but it also gives you the chance to flex your professional muscles and grow in your career.
When most people think about working from home, they think about working online, as its the best way to do it. And while there are many different ways to work online from home, not all of them are ideal for parents. So, to help you find the right opportunity for you, we’re going to discuss some of the options out there that can help you combine your work and family life in the best way possible.
1.) Start an Online Business
First things first: this is easier said than done. Anyone who sells you on the idea that you can get an online business up and running in no time is deceiving you. It takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work. However, because of this, it’s also one of the most rewarding work-from-home options.
A popular choice for starting an online business is to open an online store. You can sell anything from your own arts and crafts and inventions, or you could put together a collection of products much like you would at any other brick and mortar retail store.
Another option is to go into the coaching and personal development market. These businesses are great for working from home because you can meet with clients virtually and do everything online. On your website, you can sell eBooks and other material that people can use to grow and improve.
But in the end, when starting an online business, it’s important to pick something you know and enjoy. Your success will depend on your ability to build a brand based around your passion and knowledge, and this is stuff you can’t fake.
2.) Sell Stuff Online
Another good way to work online is to sell second hand stuff. This isn’t quite as involved as launching a full-scale business, but it will be quite challenging, and when you make it work, it will be quite rewarding. Plus, there’s quite a bit of money to be made.
One great option is to sell some of your clothes. You’d be surprised how much of a market there is for secondhand clothing, and if it’s designer apparel, you can fetch a pretty good price for what you have. And this is a great way for you to clean out your closet!
There are a lot of apps out there that make it very easy for you to find buyers and ship out the items you sell when you find someone who is interested. Some of the better ones include Poshmark, ThredUp, and The Real Real.
Other ways to sell include using LetGo or Craigslist to sell things besides just clothes. And if you want to sell more niche/collector’s items, eBay is still a great place to make some money.
Start by selling what’s in your home, and if you find it goes well and you like it, you can turn this into a small business. Hunt down great clothes at thrift shops, or look for other items you can sell. The markup on these types of transactions can be really incredible (such as: buy a shirt at a thrift shop for $5 and resell it for $35), which can turn this hobby-selling into a real money maker.
Working as a freelancer is rapidly becoming the norm in today’s economy, and it’s easy to see why. You can pick how much you work, and you can also choose your own clients. Of course, in the beginning, things aren’t going to seem all that great; you need to spend time building up a reputation so that you can charge premium rates. But once you get there, the perks are well worth the time spent growing your freelancer career.
As a parent, working freelance is a great option because of the flexibility. There will still be deadlines, but you will have the freedom to work when it makes the most sense for you. For example, if you get some quiet time (yeah, right!) in the afternoon when the kids are down for a nap or to play, you can hit the computer and make some money. Or, even better, you could use this as a way to carve out some time for yourself, and it will get much easier once your children reach school age.
Part of the reason this is such a great way to go is because it allows you to develop a skill. There’s a lot of work to be found as a freelance writer, graphic designer, marketing consultant, web developer, etc. Learning one of these will not only make you some money now, but it will also help you grow as a professional in the event you wanted to take on a full-time role at some point in the future.
Working from home when you’re a parent really does give you the best of both worlds. You can make money and grow your career while still being around during those precious moments when the kids are still young. These options discussed are some of the best, but there are many more you can choose from. The internet has opened so many doors. However, fear tends to slow most of us down and prevent us from starting something new. But once you work up the courage to start, you’ll see a whole new life awaits you.