I got several responses on my previous post about stay at hone mom vs working mom and most of the direct questions I had was finding things to do from home and still be able to get paid while doing it, looking after your little ones and finding that personal self-fulfillment through career and financial independence. You don’t want to be going to your husband every time you need a dime. Even if you have a joint account, you don’t want to be explaining yourself every time you buy something nice for yourself. So I have decided to share some few ideas of jobs you can do from the comfort of your own home while looking after your family full time. You don’t have to have an experience, a degree or accreditation. You don’t have to worry about childcare for your young kids.
1. Blog – This is one of the first choice for a lot of moms and my favorite, in fact there is the ‘influx’ of mom bloggers currently. I love this one so much because it not only provided me with little income, it has also become therapeutic for me as a full time stay at home mom. Sharing my thoughts and struggles has become so helpful and it made me a happier person and I made some connections that blossomed into friendship and I’m able to help other women. You don’t have to have any experience, you just have to enjoy writing and or taking pictures. However, you are not going to start raking in the money immediately. It takes time and patient so you have to love it. When I first started, I did not make a dime, I love blogging and making contents on social media. It is my creative outlets. I still can’t afford to do it full time even though that’s the dream (I live in Manhattan and that’s a pretty expensive dream) but at least I’m getting income now as supposed to when I first started. I can pay some of the bills with it.
2. Become an Instagrammer – Most people these days are already using social media, but there is a different way to use social media, become an influencer, content creator or creative director, whichever title suits you. One thing a lot of people don’t know is that you do not have to be a famous instagrammer or have hundreds of thousands of followers. So far you have good contents, at least a thousand followers and take good enough pictures. And your personality too. Brands look at how you connect to your audience. You are good to go. Be consistent. Your followers want consistency. You don’t have to post four pictures a day or even post everyday. As a busy mom even if you can manage 3-4 times a week.
There are macro, micro, medium and large influencers. Rome was not built in a day and remember even though we have big companies paying influencers with large followers, we also have small to medium companies using smaller influencers too. This days, even big companies are now appreciating the values of micro influencers. why pay thousands of money to just one influencer when you can have ten different smaller influencer promote your brand to a wide variety of audience. So don’t get discouraged because you have a few following. I remember my first gig with Google, I was like OMG! So big companies like that are noticing small contents creator like me? When I first started, I was very concerned about how I would be perceived. Show off, narcissist and being vain or needing validation were some of the things that came to mind. This is especially true for people from my culture and religious background. Even though I still struggle with some of that (I may come across as showing off and jokingly say it but that is so far from the truth), I know why I’m doing it. I love to share with the hope to inspire and encourage. If I wear this outfit confidently regardless of how I look, you too can. It’s nice to see clothes on regular people who are not models or perfect.
So be ready for that internal battle. But keep going anyway. Now that I get paid to create content, that feelings are not important to me anymore. I just remind myself, this is how I financially take care of my family. I’m doing it for my family. That’s who you are doing it for too right? So don’t worry.
And again, just like blogging, becoming a content creator takes time and patients. just keep on taking those pictures and creating contents in your area of interest. One day, you will have your breakthrough.
3. Become an Online seller – e-commerce is the way these days, I mean you buy things online right? people are selling through eBay, amazon and many more other channels of selling products. You don’t have to worry about owning a real shop, find out more about drop shipping, you don’t even have to have the physical products if space or start up fee is a concern for you. You can own a virtual shop and make money through it from the comfort of your own home.
4. Become an actor/model – gone are the days you had to look like a model to model. Thanks to inclusion and body positivity movements, anyone can virtually become a model, you just have to have the attitude and love for it. You can take acting classes (online if you don’t have childcare) And you can even take your baby along with you. I did a private modelling gig recently and I was lucky to be able to take all three kids with me and they were involved in the campaign too. More income and no worries for childcare. We had fun as a family and it actually made the final product better. Imagine using real families to play make believe families. Especially families like us that really have fun together and get along well.
5. Become a freelancer – Be it writer, photographer, proof reader or virtual assistant, you can sell your talents or knowledge on a part time basis for money and Still be in control of your time.
6. Become a product/services reviewer – get paid to take surveys. This is not sometime I particularly like although I have done it in the past, I find it quite time consuming and I do not naturally like filling out forms in real life and I get impatient answering questions over and over again. But if you are ok filling out surveys and answering questions then give it a go. You can also get store vouchers like Target for taking part.
7. Become a childminder – if you are home looking after your kids, why not add one or more kids and get paid doing what you are already doing anyway. Depending on your area and the rules and regulation of the state, you may be suprised that you can become a childminder from anywhere, meaning you do not have to live in the suburb with big gardens. When I was researching into doing this in New York City, I was pleasantly surprised that I could do it from my apartment and public parks counts as outdoor space too. No wonder I see kids all lined up walking to local parks. You can get paid as soon as you start with this one. Your kids get to have additional playmates. Start up cost is low because you already have toys for your kids and you have already childproof your house. There are grants too to help you with start up cost.
8. Partake in Paid research and studies – when I first heard of this I was thinking, “I am not becoming some scientist guinea pig” but that is so far from the reality. Some of the studies involve what you are already doing, someone will just come and be observing you interact with your family or a medication you are already using. I get worried when you are asked to take something new. Anytime you are asked to put something into your body, that should be a no. You don’t know if it has been approved or not and I am very protective of moms or primary care givers because God forbid something should happen to you, who will look after your kids. But if you are already using the medication or cream for example, then that’s great.
If you want to know how to find good ones, I was approached while waiting at the kids clinic by a teaching hospital in New York City. They also place adverts including Craigslist . Although I haven’t done any yet just because of time and other commitments but I was promised $250 by the university and for just 45 minutes of our time. I think that’s pretty good deal. Imagine doing just two a week for a month.
9. Become a teacher – you do not have to go to a teacher training college to become a teacher. Are you very good at making things, open a youtube Chanel and teach people how to do it. Teach people how to do makeup, style their outfits, bake, cook African dishes for the family (some non Africans are married to Africans and may want to learn). Start an online master classes and let them pay you to come and do what you know how to do all while looking after your kids. Create your own online course and people will pay you for it.
10. Become a photographer – You can start small, buy a decent camera (doesn’t have to be a new fancy one). Start practicing on your kids or pet or nature. Anyone can pretty much learn anything these days thanks to YouTube. Then start with friends and family portraits or events. Do you know that you can sell your pictures too? Stock photography. Or become a brand photographers. Small brands/companies are looking for small photographers to take pictures of their products for marketing. And they will pay for it. Have a portfolio of what you have done. Don’t let that scare you. Just have a folder of all the beautiful pictures you have taken, when you hear portfolio you immediately think they meant paid previouse job, who says it has to be paid. Tell your family and friends you are willing to do free shooting for them because you are building your portfolio. Go print them out and buy a photography folder and voila you are ready.
Lastly I want to encourage you to be patient and know this, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. It may not seem like it or make any sense but trust me when I say this and I say it with a 100% conviction, you are where you are supposed to be in life. I used to have anxiety over what to do while taking care of the kids. Something that doesn’t affect my values like becoming an escort, (you going to need childcare for that), or sell my kidney or my right arm. But joke aside, what can you do while still taking care of my babies. You start comparing yourself with your mates who started together or went to school together. That lady is building a beautiful house, she travels all the time. She wears expensive nice things.
My husband did not understand why I worried so much, money wasn’t the problem for us. But I felt like I was missing something. Even though I knew I made the right choice (I will never have it the other way) my anxiety was for the future (I don’t know why we worry so much about the future when all we are guaranteed of is just today). I always thought, what will I do when the kids are older and start school full time? After staying at home for some years, you lose your confidence. Will employers take me back? How about that “previous” employer issue and references. Do I need to re-train or go back to school just to catch up.
Whatever you are doing right now (or not doing, as it may seem), it will prepare you for your next move. You just keep going. It will all make sense eventually. You can also combine these 10 ideas. You can blog, become a photographer, a model and have a YouTube channel for example. For security and personal reasons I will not (yet) disclose my new business venture, it is not on the list but one thing I learned and that gave me the confidence to assure you that you are where you are supposed to be was that, everything I unknowingly learned while ‘waiting’ is what has been helping me. My instagram knowledge about taking clean, pictures. Sending emails and negotiating contracts with brands that want to use my platform to promote their products. My relationship with my followers (I genuinely think they are all my friends and I love and respect them as such), is my customer relationship skills. Typing, writing and talking with other bloggers (team working). Everything has been useful to me.
When you are a full time stay at home mom, you are learning valuable management skills and that is priceless. You may not even know it. You are a master of conflict resolutions (if you have more than one kid you would have learned this skills). Negotiations skills (how do you leave both parties happy at the end of the day). Multi tasking (I finished working on my day business, kids are sleeping and I’m here blogging while enjoying a nice glass of wine and some Nina Simon playing) talk about multi-tasking.
The best skill for me is learning to work under pressure. As moms we just get on with it. No time to be moaning and complaining. We handle things even when we are freaking out or when we have no idea what we are doing. When it comes to our kids, we are lionesses. I have taken that into my entrepreneurial business and I must say I surprise myself sometimes. I deal with an issue and remembers when I had to deal with similar issue as a mom, wife or as a content creator and I smile to myself. I bring that knowledge into my business.
If I could go back and advise my younger mom self I would say “just relax Irene, everything will be alright. It will all turn out fine and you are on the right path”. I remember questioning my move to America and I smile because if I didn’t, I won’t be where I am today. I won’t have this joy and fulfillment I feel today. So I’m telling you the same. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. You made the right decision. You may not see it. But you did. Trust the process.