The heart-wrenching pain of having to drop your teeny-tiny newborn off with someone else (you may not even know!) for EIGHT or more hours a day is powerful enough that you’ve landed here. Doubt may be overwhelming you; can I work from home and get a stay at home mom job? Do these jobs really exist? Is it really possible for me to make money on the side AND raise my baby?
I’m here to tell you it will be okay and more importantly, dropping a brand new piece of your heart off all day long does not have to be an option.
MANY strong and amazing women drop their babies off at daycare. I’m not saying you can’t do this. I’m just saying this wasn’t an option for me. I had a friend go to daycare to drop her newborn off for the first time. The workers had to pry her baby away as she sobbed.
I didn’t want to check the box on the daycare form that said, “Do you want us to tell you when your child has their first experience (first word, begins crawling, walking etc.) or not?”
Here are the steps I (and other women) took to ensure that they could earn a decent living and raise their babies. You really can work from home and be a stay at home mom if you’d like to.
How To Work From Home And Make Money On The Side As A Stay At Home Mom
Step 1: You must take a serious look at your current finances
The first step to working from home is analyzing your budget and starting a spending routine like the cash envelope system. I know this isn’t what you came here for but I just had to include this step because it is SO vital. I cannot emphasize this enough.
This step ALONE allowed me to come home and for us to move to one income. Why?
Because after going through our spending line by line for a few months (dividing it into what we spent for bills, grocery, gas, eating out and extra), I felt relief. After subtracting our fixed expenses (bills) from my husband’s income and seeing what was left, I knew we could make it. I needed to bring in a little extra and we needed to rein in the spending but it was doable.
After we put together our budget, the debt we had and the spending was under control. In fact, we got on a path to become debt-free. This saved hundreds of dollars in payments per month.
Learn the basics of 101 budgeting here and learn how to do what we did: Budget + FREE Printable, For Beginners
For the rest of the pregnancy, we practiced the new cash budget system and spent only what we needed to spend. It wasn’t easy and I am SO glad we practiced before our baby got here. It allowed us to understand our spending habits and through trial and error, we got on the right track. We also successfully put almost my entire paycheck in the bank every single month for the whole pregnancy.
It worked VERY well in order to save up for the cost of having our baby (which ended up being around $6K or so) and prepare to leave my job if I wanted to. Of course, the moment I saw that beautiful little face, I knew that I couldn’t leave her.
Step 2: Understand you CAN work from home and raise your baby
Google and Pinterest will show you that stay at home mom jobs do exist.
Now, the next part is making a list of jobs that YOU could do and most importantly, have the determination that you will make it work in order to stay home. Don’t bypass jobs you could do or those that require hard work. If you want to do this, you can, momma. This is possible for you.
When I was researching how to work from home and raise our baby (while a few months pregnant), I looked into jobs for call centers, virtual assistant work, survey companies, transcription jobs and more. I seriously considered being a transcriptionist. I even took a free basic course but I wasn’t sure these were the best options for me. The bottom line was, I would do whatever to stay at home with our new baby.
In the end, I landed on doing some freelance graphic design work and primarily: blogging.
I had followed serious bloggers like Michelle from Making Sense of Cents for years. She was making over $100,000 A MONTH blogging. Others I followed made 20-30K a month.
Why couldn’t I?
Step 3: Consider blogging
(If this is a no-go for you, skip to step 4. If you are even a tiny bit interested in how I made it work, read on.)
When anyone is looking to make money on the side, work from home or stay at home with their kids, I recommend blogging. I make a full-time income from my blog and it took about nine months to get there.
I feel like blogging is the perfect work from home mom “job”. You can work at your own pace, in your own time and learn as you go.
You are your own boss.
Now, I’m not saying it wasn’t easy. Just like stepping into any brand new path with a different set of skills, it took time, hard work and determination to learn.
But for me, learning how to blog wasn’t nearly as hard as it would have been to put our little newborn into daycare.
Learn how to create your own blog here with my easy step-by-step tutorial. You can start your blog for as little as $3.95 per month, plus you get a free domain name if you sign up through my link. I would also recommend you enroll in the free 7-day email course: Blogging For Beginners. This way, you get started on the right foot in order to launch a successful blog that earns you money.
Step 4: Consider these work from home mom jobs
There are many work from home jobs you can consider. Here are a few I consider legitimate. Many of these ideas are here because I have friends who work from home with their kids with these jobs!
CHECK OUT WORK FROM HOME JOBS ON INDEED.COM
First I wanted to add a great resource for looking at companies hiring work from jobs specifically. You can see if there are additional jobs in your location (or not) listed as “work from home” on Indeed.com. I found that some aren’t but there are quite a few that are.
WORK FROM HOME FOR APPLE CALL CENTER
I have a friend who started out working for Apple, answering calls with a script. He made a surprising amount of money above minimum wage. Pretty quickly, he moved up with even higher pay and more flexibility. His girlfriend mentioned to us that when they had kids, it was the perfect work from home job.
A friend of mine from college runs a little daycare from her home in order to be with her kids. She had many good friends and close acquaintances who dropped their kids off at daycare, so she decided to ask if they’d be open to dropping them off at her house instead. She had so many people wanting her to take care of their little ones that she had to turn some away! Parents.com has a great post on the pros and cons of starting a daycare and the how-tos. Check it out here.
This was one of the work from home jobs I seriously considered. Basically, you receive audio files and type them up. There are certain formats desired by companies, so it’s good to take a basic class. If you are great with grammar, this is right up your alley. If you aren’t, you can definitely learn in order to work from home with your baby. You can work at your own time and at your own speed. I would recommend taking a class, getting your feet wet and setting aside scheduled time during your pregnancy to learn and work on this every week. You will likely start out at about $15/hour but can make much more than that. Check out Michelle’s fantastic article (Making Sense of Cents) on how to become a transcriptionist here.
Virtual assistants tackle tasks that online entrepreneurs can’t get to, which may include answering emails, social media management, or editing blog posts. Michelle again has a fabulous post interview on how Caitlin makes over $4,000 a month writing and being a virtual assistant. That interview talks also about freelance writing but she also has another post that’s specifically on how to become a virtual assistant. Check it out here.
This does take a little bit of a skill set but you can definitely learn. You’ll need to know Adobe Suite and design basics. I received a BFA with an emphasis in visual communication and design – which just means graphic design and stuff. With that degree, I worked with major ad agencies, household names and did freelance work. Which sounds all sorts of awesome, but what I’m really trying to say is I did the route you are “supposed to do” for a career path but you absolutely don’t need to do that.
Determination, one or two basic courses, a computer and Adobe Suite will get your feet wet enough to work with clients. In the end, experience (and continual learning) will produce fabulous work. I would recommend just taking some basic graphic design 101 online courses or YouTubing the basics. You will also need a decent computer that can run Adobe Suite like a MacBook Pro. But all of these things are obtainable (and tax deductible) if you want to pursue designing as a side gig. Also, there are a TON of websites where you can get work. The list is endless. Make sure you have a contract, and always treat clients like they know best.
Note that graphic design is almost never going to be a job where you design for you. The client almost always dictates what you do, no matter your experience.
IT WORK & CODING
I added this category because these jobs pay A LOT and you can negotiate to work your own hours or freelance. People can HATE dealing with the technical side of things, so they’ll pay good money for someone else to figure it out. I know several “IT guys” who work from home, running their own business. They help online entrepreneurs with their technical website needs.
Coding is also a fantastic and high paying work from home job. I know a few people who do this: coding websites and/or other more in-depth code. There are a variety of different coding languages you can learn. A great online resource to learn code is Codecademy. There are many other online educational resources for coding as well.
I recently heard about the idea of doing other people’s laundry for profit. Sounds crazy, right? Well, maybe crazy awesome. A few women I know do this and earn about $500 or more a week. That’s not a bad side income! Also, I stumbled upon an absolutely FANTASTIC article by Carly Campbell interviewing a gal who makes $700 a week doing this. Check it out here. You can also sign up through her business and they’ll take care of all the billing and scheduling. Pretty cool, huh?
This was also another work from home business idea I seriously considered. If you are even the least bit crafty, you can do this. You could even do handmade baby stuff since you are having a baby like handmade clothes, car seat covers, toys, blankets, bedding etc. People go all out for that kind of thing. I did! Other people I know do monogram stuff, knitting, printables and more. Check out Etsy’s article on how to set up shop.
I must admit that I don’t have a ton of personal experience with tutoring but I know a few people who do! You can do this online, from home and negotiate your schedule or freelance. Work At Home Adventures has a fantastic article on how to get started tutoring and the requirements. It’s definitely worth checking out!
FREELANCE PROOFREADING AND/OR EDITING
If you are even a little gifted with spelling and grammar (or not!), consider proofreading or editing. You can work with companies or freelance. Also, along with many other work from home jobs, you can take basic online courses to improve. Proofreading and editing can be used interchangeably but they are actually different. Proofreading is pure spelling and grammatical correction while editing actually take a deeper look at how the ideas and information is presented for your audience.
And of course, Michelle of Making Sense of Cents (the master of work from home jobs and side hustles) interviewed a gal who made over 43K as a freelance proofreader. You can check out her amazing interview here and get an inside look at proofreading.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER OR BRAND AMBASSADOR
Basically, if you have a large social media following (or desire to create one) you can become a social media influencer or brand ambassador and get paid to advertise products. I bet you follow someone on Instagram that has a large following. Have you ever noticed the subtle reference to a particular brand in the photo and the hashtags #ad or #partner in the description? Google will give you great resources on how to become an influencer and how to reach out to brands. You can also apply to work with companies like Viral Nation who will connect you to companies.
MAKE A LITTLE MONEY ON THE SIDE
I was always a little iffy about those survey taking reward companies but the more I followed other bloggers who sang praises, the more I was open to the idea. I finally caved and looked into it. Swagbucks is great. You basically earn points for doing things you already do or by taking surveys. You can get some pretty great gift cards through it as well. Check it out here.
Basically, if you are going to do some shopping already, just go through Ebates and get cash back. It’s simple and easy. I love it. If you want to save a little money here and there on stuff you already buy now, then seriously check this out.
Become A Reviewer
Review social media ads, products, books, websites, Amazon items etc. Just Google or Pinterest what you’d like to review and I bet you will find it! I have a friend who reviews Facebook and Instagram ads on her phone in some of her spare time. She said her last paycheck was $250.
Step 5: Try working at your top chosen job(s) while you are pregnant and test your budget
Alright, girlfriend, it’s time to make that list.
Write out which jobs interest you even if they do not get you excited or if they step far away from your current career path. Are they jobs you could do? Would it be worth it to work from home, raise your baby and make income in the jobs you wrote down?
The question isn’t if you can do this, it’s if you truly have the desire to make it work.
You can do this.
Look at your top 1-3 selected job categories and start digging. What would your day-to-day look like? What salary could you expect? Which companies would you need to reach out to? Do you need to receive any online education first? If you are not sure, go ahead and contact some of these companies and ask them.
Choose your top companies and apply while you are pregnant. Start working on the side of your current job. Or start putting together your business plan (if you are going to work for yourself in an area like blogging, freelancing, laundry servicing etc.) and get going.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Figure out how much you want to make, how many hours you’d like to work and how much time you’d like for maternity leave (I would recommend at least a month minimum and three if you can swing it because at least then, you can train your baby to sleep through the night by that time).
Staying at home with your precious new baby and NOT handing them off to a stranger is 100% doable as long as you take a serious look at your finances (do a budget), have the determination to make this work and push yourself to believe you can do this. An important step is to consider blogging because I believe it’s the best work from home business and also, take a very hard look at the work from home options out there. Make a list, test the waters with your top choices and work on your budget while you are pregnant.
When you begin to take these steps, you will find that this dream is possible. Even more importantly, you will make it happen and that little snuggle bug of yours will always have a mommy that cheered and cried for his or her firsts. Life is all about those little moments. You will not miss them.