How to be a stay at home mom

Apryl Duncan is a stay-at-home mom and internationally-published writer with years of experience providing advice to others like her.

Sean is a fact checker and researcher with experience in sociology and field research.

How to be a stay at home mom

Jamie Grill / Getty Images

There’s no one-size-fits-all definition of what life is like as a stay-at-home mom. But you can take a walk in her shoes to get a good idea of some of the many things she actually does in addition to taking care of the kids.

Who Is a Stay-at-Home Mom?

The basic definition of a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is someone who stays home to raise her children and manage her household. She may have one child or several children, and they can range in ages from newborn all the way up to teenagers in high school.

The modern-day definition of a stay-at-home mom is someone who may or may not have left the workforce to stay home and raise her children. She may be highly educated and left a six-figure job to stay home. She may be planning on returning to the workforce once her children are older. Or she may have become a stay-at-home mom before ever entering the workforce.

As the number of homeschoolers is on the rise, so is the number of stay-at-home moms who choose to homeschool their children.   And so is the number of stay-at-home moms who also add work-at-home mom to their title.

The contemporary stay-at-home mom is continually evolving and can’t be limited by a dictionary-type definition or a societal stereotype. Her contributions to the family are more than just being the on-site grown-up in charge of the children.

What SAHMs Do

A stay-at-home mom works many jobs throughout the day. They’re a nurse, chauffeur, chef, teacher, playmate, housekeeper, laundry attendant, accountant, and babysitter all rolled into one.

While there’s no such thing as a typical day, this sample schedule gives you an idea of what her day involves. The stereotype of a woman sitting at home watching soap operas while eating bonbons is a distant reality for the SAHM. Today’s stay-at-home mom is not your Leave it to Beaver image of a woman who stays home vacuuming the carpets in her crisply pressed dresses and pearls while waiting on her children to come home from school.

In fact, many stay-at-home moms aren’t home much at all because they’re running kids all over town to school, soccer practice, dance lessons, and doctor’s appointments, plus attending school meetings, grocery shopping, and running other errands.

And when she is at home, she’s doing everything to keep her house running smoothly, including managing the household’s budget, taking care of the house, and planning the family meals. Most importantly, she’s taking care of the children and their every need, especially when they’re younger.

A 24/7 Job

Many people don’t view a stay-at-home mom’s work as work because she doesn’t receive a paycheck for the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week she’s on duty. She doesn’t get a pay raise or 401K plan. There are no vacation or sick days.

While some may argue that a stay-at-home mom doesn’t contribute to her family, they’re strictly thinking about a financial contribution in the form of a paycheck.

A 2016 report from Salary.com shows that a stay-at-home mom would earn $143,102 a year for all the jobs she performs if she were paid.  

While some stay-at-home moms maintain their title all the way until the kids graduate high school and leave the house, others go back to the workforce, start their own businesses, or find new ways to stay home while earning income.  

Should You Stay Home?

Just like there’s no cookie-cutter day for a stay-at-home mom, there’s no cookie-cutter answer as to whether you should become a stay-at-home mom or remain in the workforce. There are many great reasons to become a SAHM but you also have to evaluate your personal situation with your finances and going from two incomes to one is a factor to consider.  

If you’re thinking of becoming a SAHM, talk with your spouse. Discuss the pros and cons of you becoming an at-home parent. Ultimately, you have to decide if the day-to-day activities, and, yes, sometimes mommy boredom, that comes with being a stay-at-home mom will be right for you and your family.

What do stay at home moms do?

Whether this is a derogatory question or one which requires a thoughtful answer, the truth is, it’s loaded!

I’ve had both good and bad experiences with telling others I’m a stay at home mom. Some people have no respect for a stay at home mom’s time. Others completely get that being a stay at home mom isn’t simple or a luxury.

If you ask my husband, I sit at home watching TV and eating bonbons all day. Frankly, that sounds boring. Though, after being a stay at home mom for 7 years, I could use a few more days like that.

When it comes down to it, what a stay at home mom does all day is completely up to her and her family’s needs. While there are many similarities for stay at home moms, there are probably just as many differences, too.

How to be a stay at home mom

What Do Stay at Home Moms Do, Really?

It’s important to know, whatever you see here is in no way an exhaustive list of what a stay at home mom does all day. There’s almost no way to capture everything as I’m only one stay at home mom that does the things that are necessary for my family.

According to Salary.com, though, stay a home moms are worth quite a bit based on the jobs and hours we put into our job. And yes, being a stay at home mom is a job.

Basics

Stay at home moms, obviously meet their children’s basic physical and emotional needs.

This includes feeding, tending to health and hygiene, and establishing healthy routines and house rules. Even routines and disciplinary stuff are up to individual interpretation though.

But, stay at home moms are responsible for make sure the house and family life are run according to what their family requires. Doctor’s appointments, homework, and finding/shutting to extracurricular activities are also usually part of our regular duties.

Oh, and let’s not forget the laundry.

The never-ending piles of laundry.

And when we get caught up on laundry, we remember we’re never, ever going to be caught up on laundry.

The Not So Basics

Okay, so most stay at home moms do way more than just tending to matters with their kids.

Cooking

Many stay at home moms tend to the rest of the family’s needs, including their husbands (or partners) to reduce any further burdens on them. Personally, I make sure to have a healthy, home-cooked meal on the table most nights of the week. This isn’t a requirement and hubby has always said if I feel like I need a break from it, not to hesitate to request that he pick something up or take us out to dinner. I choose not to most of the time because we currently have two nights a week that I already don’t cook (one by choice).

Still, cooking dinner after a full day with kids isn’t exactly “easy” and I’ve known some moms who don’t do it. And, I’ve known one mom who let her husband cook for the family when he came home from work. I won’t say I wasn’t mildly jealous, either.

Groceries and Meal Planning

While these should count as part of the cooking process, it’s not.

ANY mom knows that meal planning for a family can be exhausting and frustrating. How in the world do you plan to feed the entire family and healthy meal when no one likes what you cook.

How to be a stay at home mom

We have picky toddlers, the big kid who will eat everything except boxed macaroni and cheese, and the husband who wouldn’t touch a sweet potato with a ten foot pole.

The grocery shopping?

No less frustrating. I refuse to grocery shop with either one of my kids, much less both of them, unless there’s a major emergency. Unfortunately, forgetting to put essentials on my list qualifies as an emergency and happens way more frequently than I’d like to admit.

I’ve found two things to help me with these tasks.

Meal planning with PlateJoy and letting someone else do my grocery shopping through Instacart.

Housework

I feel in most cases, even mild housework to keep the home livable is a must for a stay at home mom. This is, again something the stay at home parent and their spouse determine somewhat together to make each other feel comfortable.

How to be a stay at home mom

If a family has enough disposable income, some stay at home moms have a housekeeper. Again, I’m not so lucky. Nor have I met too many stay at home moms who have this luxury.

That’s not to say, that as technology makes our lives easier and becomes for accessible, financially, that stay at home moms don’t have some sort of housekeeping technology. I personally have a Samsung POWERbot to keep my sweeping/vacuuming to a minimum.

Yard Work

Some families determine that the stay at home mom do some yard work. This is something I don’t personally agree with, especially when one is tending to a baby or young toddler.

I have been known to work in the yard a bit. Still, I consider that bonus work when I do, because I don’t feel it’s something I can routinely do.

Educational Activities

I believe many modern, social media saturated moms are pressured to do more educational activities at home. While many moms throughout the years have spent some time teaching their little ones basics, it seems as though we’re more and more getting involved in early preschool routines at home to keep up with the rest of the overachievers.

Admittedly, I’ve been sucked into it too. But, I’m using a monthly subscription box called The Preschool Box to have monthly educational activities sent to me. This takes a huge burden off me for planning and locating supplies, because it’s all done for me.

Stay At Home Moms Work is Never Done …

But, sometimes we take a break.

Why is this kid crying again?

What do stay at home moms do?

Between meltdowns, tantrums, and cleaning the playroom for the 10th time in 30 minutes, we’re exhausted. If we want to take a break and eat a bonbon (or 10) that’s our prerogative.

Just because we take an hour to play at the park, a day to play at the zoo, or a couple hours to spend at the gym so someone else can watch the kids doesn’t mean we’re living a luxurious life.

We’re humans… really fucking tired and sometimes bored stay at home moms who need a break.

And when I say bored, I only mean that we’re tired of the same ol’ routine, the tantrums and over-the-top emotions, and homework struggles that we see day-in and day-out.

So, the next time you want to ask “what do stay at home moms do?”, you’ll probably find a less exhaustive (and perhaps slightly uncomfortable) list if you ask what we don’t do.

I don’t pee alone.

I don’t get enough logical conversation.

I don’t get enough peace and quite.

I don’t read mature books.

I don’t watch really cool shows, nor do I understand your references if it doesn’t have to do with Blaze or Blippi.

I don’t have a clean house (no matter how much time I put into cleaning).

1. Recognize that there is power in your choice to be a stay-at-home mom.

How to be a stay at home mom

The decision to be a stay-at-home mom is important, and many moms who make that choice are stepping into new and unknown territory. Many women put their careers and other ambitions on hold so they can take on this new role.

When I was a new parent seeking other’s perspective, I heard many parents say “you find ways to survive.” Well, I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive!”

I’ve learned that a large part of our ability to thrive as a stay at home mom comes from having a positive mindset, energy, and ability to prioritize and manage time. With that in mind, here are the 10 steps.

1. Recognize that there is power in your choice to be a stay-at-home mom.

The choice you made to stay home, and the reason for it, is significant to you and your family. You will grow into your role and learn more about what you can expect as a stay-at-home mom. Each day will have ups and downs, and reframing your perspectives will help in the tough times. By embracing and owning your decision and your role, you’ll feel more empowered and in control.

2. When it comes to raising children, accept that there is only so much you can do and control.

You’ll have a lot of unanticipated scenarios come up, and you’ll be challenged to embrace uncertainty. It may be uncomfortable but go with the flow. SAHM life will require you to frequently stop what you’re doing to tend to your baby’s needs, even if you’re in the middle of taking a shower.

3. Be present because this time will go fast.

Many moms miss and reminisce about the days when their children were infants. Practice being present with your child, despite all that you have to do. Set boundaries and time limits to when you’re using your smart devices. Bring your positivity and presence into what you’re doing, no matter the task.

4. Set a schedule and time block your “must dos” and “nice to dos” around your baby’s schedule.

Moms go through 2-4 hour intervals in caring for infants. You feed, clean, change, put your baby to sleep and repeat. It’s most likely when your baby is asleep that you have the time to care of your “must dos” like cleaning bottles and stains, feeding and cleaning yourself, and taking a nap. Ideally, you also have pockets of time to take care of things that aren’t an absolute must. Without a routine, the minutes and hours easily get away from you.

5. Get organized and set up your systems so that you know what to do at any given time.

Find a place for every item you own and put things back in their place every time, or at a specific hour. Staying organized will become a habit. I personally take pride in the system my husband and I have for cleaning, sterilizing and organizing bottles. It got done during naps, no questions asked.

6. Identify the tasks that you should automate and delegate.

Just because you’re a stay at home mom doesn’t mean that you need to do every household chore. You only have so much time and energy in your day. Ensure that you spend it on tasks that are most important, like taking care of yourself and your baby. Can you have groceries and baby items delivered to your home? Where else can you get help? Can you hire a housekeeper and send out your laundry to get done?

7. Acknowledge that as a new mom, you’re living your purpose and being productive.

Your child is your number one priority right now. You may feel as though your primal instincts have taken over and that is exactly how it’s meant to be. Your purpose right now is to nourish your baby, and give your baby your love, human touch and connection. Now, I also believe that what you provide for your baby is synonymous to what you need as a new mom—nourishment, sleep, love and connection. Take care of these basic needs for you and your baby, and you’ll be productive on purpose.

8. Establish a morning routine that helps you kick-start your day with positive energy.

This may be challenging in the beginning but in time you will adjust to your schedule. Make sure that a screaming baby isn’t the alarm that gets you up. Wake up earlier than those in your household and immediately hydrate yourself with a glass of water and lemon. Carve out 10 to 15 minutes of sacred time in your morning to stretch, mediate, pray, write gratitude statements and positive affirmations.

9. Assign themes to the days of the week for you and your family to take care of household chores, and other needs.

You’ll feel more in control of weekly schedule. By structuring and streamlining what gets done, you’ll find freedom for spontaneity and all the other things. You may decide that Monday is a great day to prepare meals, or Fridays is a good day to invite family and friends over. The themes are up to you. The consistency will help you maintain order in your household and create habits for other important areas of your life.

10. Find a positive and supportive community.

Staying at home to raise children can feel isolating at times. Know that you’re not alone. Join a few mommy groups either online or in person. There are many inviting groups of moms who share their struggles, blessings, lessons and offer positive support to one another. Connect with other moms in those communities for play dates (if they’re local), or coffee/tea chats on Skype.

These steps will help you maintain a positive mindset, stay connected, and make the most of your time, which in turn will help you thrive in your #1 role as mom.

How to make the transition from working mom to SAHM

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How to be a stay at home mom

You’ve decided to stay home with your kids. Congratulations on making a very important, yet often difficult decision. And welcome to your new role as CEO of a cottage industry called: Your Kids, Inc.

No matter how thrilled you are to be with your kids, going from the boardroom to the playroom can be a drastic change. “Much of stay-at-home mothering is harder than any other job,” says Shannon Hyland-Tassava, Ph.D., author of The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual: How To Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos.”Can you think of any other profession that has 24/7 shifts, no coffee or lunch breaks, and no vacation or sick days?”

We asked Robi Ludwig, Psy.D., a Care.com parenting expert and Dr. Tassava to offer advice for women making the transition from full-time professional to stay-at-home-mom. Here are their 6 tips – and why they work. (Tip: They may work for all you full-time nannies too.)

1. Set a schedule
Suddenly the day is over and you haven’t showered, left the house or had an adult conversation. It’s easy to get depressed. “Time can go quickly when there is no external pressure to get things done and you don’t have a deadline,” says Dr. Ludwig. You need to structure your time so that you can use it productively while still allowing for flexibility.
Why it works: A general schedule will make getting from 6 a.m. to bedtime a lot less stressful. “It gives some shape to the day and tells kids what to expect — kids love consistency,” says Dr. Tassava. You might like to leave morning activities open but have set times for meals, naps, art projects, a trip to the library, a visit to the playground and watching a special TV show. Whatever the timeframe, consistent blocks of time each day and week will work in everyone’s favor.

2. Network in your industry
It’s essential that you talk to others in your line of work to vent, swap strategies, have a good laugh and realize that you’re all in the same boat on good days — and bad.
Why it works: Both Drs. Ludwig and Tassava agree: Getting out of the house for any form of adult interaction will stave off loneliness and give you a support network. “Stay-at-home motherhood can be extremely isolating, especially when your children are babies, or when you’re brand-new to SAHM-hood,” says Dr. Tassava. She suggests: library story time, the playground, mom-and-toddler groups and classes, preschool drop-off and pick-up and school volunteering. Think about it like dating — and start “picking up” moms with the best thing you have in common – cute kids! (Read “How I Do It” stories from other moms ť )

3. Strive for good enough
Every professional has room to do better at their job, even moms, but you need to be realistic. Kids want TV, chicken nuggets and fries? Dr. Ludwig says go ahead — if it will make the next hour easier for you. If your kids are healthy, loved and taken care of, don’t doubt your ability. Work on being a great mom, not the perfect mom.
Why it works: “You’ll never be a perfect mom, because there’s no such thing; but chances are your ‘job performance’ is plenty good enough.” The more you obsess over the right and wrong ways to parent, the more time you waste that you could be enjoying your children or coming up with a new way to spend rainy afternoons inside (shaving cream wall art anybody?). If on most days you can say you truly love your job and your kids, then you really can’t do any better than that.

4. Hire a co-worker, aka, a nanny
It used to be that extended families all lived in the same house or on the same block. Childcare was just a holler away. Having MIL move in is probably not an option (or safe for your marriage). But neither is being a totally solo SAHM all week, and not giving yourself a break.
Why it works: At the office, you worked with a team of people to get a job done. The same goes for your home. With an extra set of hands, there is someone else to wash the bottles, make meals and go down the slide for the 100th time. And you finally have a chance to take a nap, go to the gym or run some errands, peacefully. Sweet joy! Whether you hire a part-time nanny, housekeeper, Au Pair or find a great babysitter, you’ll find that the break and extra assistance helps you be a happier mom. (Get steps for hiring a nanny, faster ť )

5. Socialize after hours
Step out of the role of mom: join a reading group, work with a charity, attend an art opening at the local library, or get a manicure with a friend. “Do anything where people expect you to show up and it will serve as part of your motivation for getting out,” Dr. Ludwig says. Sprinkle these after-hours activities across the week — like Monday and Thursday – to break up the week.
Why it works: Maintaining your adult identity outside of being a parent will stimulate your mind, body and give a boost to your self-esteem — all of which will make you a better mom and partner. You’ll connect with fulfilling people, create a role outside of your home (Zumba superstar, book club regular), and energize yourself.

6. Pay yourself
No, your kids won’t set up your direct deposit. And they won’t be praising you for your most recent project (finding that lost fire truck under the couch). So without a steady paycheck and an occasional sense of feeling undervalued, what’s to keep you from quitting? You need a “salary” — as well as positive reinforcement. “Remind yourself that you’re doing some of the most valuable work there is, even if you’re not getting paid for it,” says Dr. Tassava. She also states that “Feeling undervalued comes from inner ambivalence, or a lack of validation from a spouse or partner.”
Why it works: Any self-doubt is just making your job of SAHM more difficult. “You need to change the way you speak to yourself and start appreciating your own worth and hard work as a mom,” says Dr. Tassava. It will actually make your job more fun. Don’t feel shy in asking your partner as well as your kids for more appreciation — a hug, a thank you, breakfast in bed. Getting paid can help you feel better about spending money without “making” it. Remember, you are doing a job. Payment can also come as an occasional treat like a weekend morning to yourself, a new pair of jeans, an extra day with a babysitter — there are plenty of little ways you can feel rewarded.

Smart advice on how to make a smooth transition into your newest job.

How to be a stay at home mom

Given the abundance of opinions about working – or not – once a woman becomes a mother, it’s no surprise that I began wrestling with this decision long before I became pregnant. As is often the case when we think about topics we’ve yet to experience ourselves, I had plenty of opinions about what a woman “should” do.

I had a near-constant monologue running in my head that went something like this: “Your mom has always worked in a ‘big job’, so you should, too. Carry on the family legacy! Remember that neighbor who got divorced? Well, that wouldn’t have happened if she had a job. Look at Sheryl Sandberg – keep leaning in, Elizabeth!!”

Of course I would return to work once I had a baby, whenever that day arrived.

And then one morning, everything changed. Every single thing. My husband was still asleep when I nudged him gently to say “the test is positive.”

Once there was an actual baby to consider, the to-work-or-not-to-work debate both escalated and ceased in my head. On the one hand, I was now actually pregnant and considering actual, not imagined, circumstances. On the other hand, I had a growing sense that this new life would change me in unimaginable ways, and would satisfy and challenge me in ways that no job could.

I resigned from my job a few days before Ava was born. In the months since, friends have connected me with job opportunities which could be interesting, but something has stopped me from pursuing them. I’ve spent hours half-heartedly browsing job postings and even landed a few interviews, only to find myself longing for uninterrupted stretches of time at home with my baby. Sometimes I see women rushing to work in their tailored suits and heels, and feel pangs of envy about the lives I imagine them leading.

It has taken me almost one year to make peace with the fact that I’m now a stay-at-home-mom. If I’m honest, some days that peace is still elusive. And yet, as we celebrate my daughter’s first birthday, I truly would not change a thing. My journey has been nothing like I imagined, and the pros and cons of being a full-time mom certainly aren’t as black and white as I imagined so many years ago. In fact, it has been better, richer and more rewarding than I could’ve ever dreamed or hoped.

As you consider what your own life might look like once your little one arrives, I encourage you to be kind to yourself. Be patient. Be gentle. Offer grace. Think about the facts, consider your preferences and goals, seek wisdom from those around you, and be brave in making the decision that’s best for you, whatever that might look like. Whatever you decide, and however your journey unfolds, I salute you!

If you do decide to make the leap to life as a stay-at-home mom, here are few tips to ease the transition:

1. Build your mom network and make it diverse. As a new mom — or as a mom who is new to being at home full-time — you need other women who are in the same season of life as you. This will come in handy at 3 am when you are trying to rock your baby to sleep and are in need of some sympathy via text message, when you want to discuss the best ways to get your pre-baby body back, and when you want to discuss brands of diapers that don’t leak overnight. You also need women in your life who have been down this road before — women who will encourage you to savor the newborn moments, even when they feel so very hard; women who will share their experiences with pediatricians, preschools, and babysitters; and women whose own lives have settled down enough that they can breathe some energy and peace into yours. Finally, you need to hold onto those friends who don’t have children. Staying connected to your former self not only nourishes your soul but it can keep you from settling into a routine that is totally dominated by motherhood and parenting. These friends will encourage you to get your nails done, meet for a glass of wine, and ditch the ponytail for a night — all little ways of reminding yourself that you are a dynamic, energetic, interesting woman.

2. Decide what three things you need to do to feel good at the end of the day. That is, make a short list of “must do” items that, when completed, will help you to breathe easy at the end of the day, even if a lot of other aspects of your life are chaotic. For me, it’s reading the newspaper, exercising, and spending good chunks of time fully focused on playing with my daughter. The transition to being at home full-time can be challenging as the hours blend together, home-related tasks become your primary “work,” and no boss is telling you what to do. This can mean the day may end before you’re aware that it even started, and what is true in the office is true at home: articulating your goals and priorities makes them much easier to achieve.

3. Get out. Get out with your child, get out as a family, get out with your husband. Just GO. Take a class, go to Starbucks, hop on the bus or subway to see an exhibit, try a new bakery or visit a friend. The tendency to stay inside — especially in the blur of the early days — can leave new moms feeling isolated and alone. This compounds the feelings of “who am I now that I don’t work/have a baby/am a mom?” Getting out of the house is the best way to remind yourself that there is a world out there, beyond nap schedules and burp cloths and late-night feedings. Be brave and try to plan a mix of small and more ambitious outings each week to keep your life — and yourself — fresh.

Stay-at-home moms handle a myriad of responsibilities around the house while taking care of their children. Many moms are excellent multitaskers and want the opportunity to work in addition to raising their kids. There are plenty of opportunities for moms to make money from home while still attending to their parenting duties. In this article, we offer an extensive list of ways to make money with kids at home.

Why moms want to make money from home

Many stay-at-home moms, and some stay-at-home dads, leave the workforce in order to raise their children. While some do so for personal reasons, others do so for financial reasons, like the high cost of child care. For moms who want the financial benefit of working and want a way to rejoin the workforce, making money while staying home with the kids is an ideal solution.

Ways to make money as a stay-at-home mom

If you’re looking for ways to increase your income and raise your children at home simultaneously, consider this list of 82 ways to make money out of your house. The jobs, gigs or strategies are organized by industry or skill to help you quickly identify ideas that will help you make money as a stay-at-home mom.

Writing

Writing is the ideal job for many stay-at-home moms. If you have strong writing, editing or proofreading skills, you can find freelance, part-time or full-time with work in a variety of industries. Some writers choose to write their own content and self-publish e-books or physical books through various online platforms. Consider one of these writing-based jobs if you have the skills:

  • Blogger
  • Author
  • Proofreader
  • Content writer
  • Recipe writer
  • Copywriter
  • Ghostwriter
  • Newspaper columnist
  • Virtual tutor
  • Copy editor
  • Resume writer

Education

Former teachers have a variety of work-from-home options available to them. Even if you aren’t trained as an educator, if you’re an expert in a field like music or art, you can teach students how to perform that skill. Online education and tutoring are becoming more and more popular, so finding exclusively digital opportunities is easier than ever. You can also consider giving lessons, homework help or formal tutoring out of your home. Check out this list of great education-based opportunities:

  • Course creator
  • Online teacher
  • Music teacher
  • Educational tutor
  • Art teacher
  • Dance teacher

Entrepreneurial

For the entrepreneurial-minded mom, you can take advantage of a variety of niche markets to build your own business. Occupations like wedding planning and party planning are simple to do from home with the help of a website and cell phone. Others might require clients to come to your home, like hairdressing or photography. Whatever your skill set, you can find a way to monetize your education and experience. Think about trying one of these jobs:

  • Freelancer
  • Photographer
  • Hairdresser
  • Travel agent
  • Survey taker
  • Odd job performer
  • Wedding planner
  • Dog walker
  • Product tester
  • Voice-over actor
  • Seamstress
  • Second-hand seller
  • Clothes ironer
  • Podcaster
  • Party planner
  • Dog sitter
  • Virtual organizer
  • Landlord
  • Affiliate marketer
  • Sponsored poster

Foodservice

Excellent cooks and bakers can make money by selling their delicious goods for parties or a la carte purchase. If you love to cook or bake, consider selling your creations through an online platform or at a local shop. A few food-based work-from-home job options include:

  • Cake designer
  • Caterer
  • Baker

Business

As businesses become more and more globally focused, the ability to telework and perform tasks during off-hours becomes more prevalent. You can handle many traditional business roles like sales and data entry from home. Search for remote positions like these online or consider getting in touch with local businesses to see if they need any part-time support:

  • Virtual assistant
  • Social media manager
  • Salesperson
  • Data entry representative
  • Real estate agent
  • Customer service representative
  • Head hunter
  • Medical transcriptionist
  • Email responder
  • Company trainer
  • Telemarketer
  • Transcriber
  • Translator
  • Customer service representative
  • Consultant

Information technology

Lots of IT and computer-related tasks are easy to perform remotely. If you have experience building websites, coding or working on social media, look into one of these excellent work from home opportunities. Some companies hire remote workers for positions like coder and programmer, while others are excellent freelancing options:

  • Website designer
  • Video editor
  • Social media evaluator
  • Programmer
  • Coder
  • Webinar presenter
  • Online video channel
  • Online community manager

Finance

If you have financial training or a great sense of numbers, you can take advantage of a variety of money and finance-based job options. Some, like accountant and bookkeeper, are attractive options if you want to work part- or full-time for a company, while investing is perfect for those who want to make money independently:

  • Accountant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Investor
  • Cryptocurrency trader

Childcare

Watching kids formally or informally is an outstanding way for stay-at-home moms to make some extra income. Since you’re already home with kids, it’s a relatively simple task to include a few more. Some choose to babysit friends or family occasionally while others run formal, licensed daycare centers out of their homes:

  • Babysitter
  • Daycare provider

Art and design

Illustrators, artists and graphic designers can make extra money at home with the kids by designing and selling artwork. Logo design for businesses and creating custom scrapbooks or journals are great options in this field. If you’re a skilled artist, consider one of these positions:

  • Printable designer
  • Infographic designer
  • Crafter
  • Scrapbooker
  • Journal designer
  • Graphic designer

Industry expert

For those moms with a penchant for leadership and training, a from-home coaching business can be very lucrative. Many individuals seek out advisors for business and personal guidance in the form of coaches. Think about one of these jobs if you have the appropriate skills:

  • Life coach
  • Parenting coach

Commerce

Selling online or in-person is a very straightforward way to make some income. Look around your home for things you no longer need to sell online or create a business in which you refurbish goods and sell them at a profit. Commerce job options abound for stay at home moms:

How to be a stay at home mom

When you become a stay-at-home parent, you ultimately give up a wide variety of things, and one of the things that you may no longer have is financial independence. Many parents who choose to stay home have a spouse or partner who is financially stable and willing to make the necessary financial sacrifices for a single-income family. Sooner or later, though, there will come a time when you begin to miss and even crave that independence you lost when you became a stay-at-home parent.

Address the Issue of Why You Need to Be Financially Independent

When you decide that you need to be financially independent, it is important to address the issues that are causing you to feel that way. If one parent is staying at home, it will only work if everything becomes “ours” and you work as a team. A “yours” and “mine” attitude will not work in a relationship where one partner is dependent on the other for daily expenses and expenditures.

Some stay-at-home parents find themselves in a situation where the other partner becomes controlling and closely monitors the spending, which makes it difficult to find money to buy things for themselves or others in the family without the approval of the other spouse. If this is the case, you may want to set up a category where you each get money that you can spend without being accountable to the other partner each month. If it’s proving difficult to come to an agreement on this matter, it also may be a signal that it is time to get some outside counseling help for the relationship.

Another reason is that the stay-at-home parent or their partner may feel that they are no longer contributing to the well-being of the family. Often, stay-at-home parents can save a significant amount of money in childcare costs and other ways through using coupons and cooking at home. Though you’re not specifically earning an income, this is still ultimately contributing to the financial well-being of the family since it saves the family money overall. If this feeling exists, it is important to sit down and talk it through. Create a budget for both scenarios and determine which option is best for your family as a whole.

Look for Work at Home Options

If you want to become financially independent, you will need to find a way to generate income. There are many options that allow you to be at home with your children, but still bring in income to support your family. These options are not always easy and you will often need the support of your spouse or partner to make them work, but they can help you become financially independent.

Start an At-Home Business

One option is to start a business that you can work on from your home. This may be watching other children or it could be a service that you can provide others from your home. For example, some hairdressers will convert a garage or basement to a salon and offer services from their home around their children’s schedules. You could also restore furniture for people or offer catering or cooking services for families that do not have time to cook.

Make Money With the Internet

Another option is to find a business or job that you can do online. For example, you can open an Etsy store and sell items that you make online. You could also use eBay to sell items that you find. Another option is to build a specialty website where you sell items that you purchase at a discount. There is also the possibility of blogging or vlogging and monetizing it to make money. Many of these projects can be done during your children’s downtime and work into a decent revenue stream over time.

Find a Work-at-Home Job

There are a number of jobs that you can do online from freelance writing to answering phone calls to data entry. The key is to look for legitimate opportunities and companies that you can trust. Some call center jobs will train you locally at a center and then allow you to work from home. Depending on your line of work, you may be able to transition your office job into one that you do primarily from home. There are online only teachers and professors as well as accountants and other jobs. You can work evenings or nights and still focus on your children during the day.

Apryl Duncan is a stay-at-home mom and internationally-published writer with years of experience providing advice to others like her.

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Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

Being a stay-at-home mom gets a bad rap. Most people think you’re living the life of luxury with no job, no boss, and no workplace stress. Know the top 10 benefits and downsides of being a stay-at-home mom before you make the transition from working mom to stay-at-home mom.

How to be a stay at home mom

Always There for Your Kids

Being at home with your kids is often the primary reason you have chosen this path.

  • Pro: As a stay-at-home mom, the chances are good that you will always be there when your child needs you as opposed to being stuck in a cubicle at work.
  • Con: Always being there can sometimes feel like you’re trapped. You may love being a stay-at-home mom, but there will be times when you wish you could steal some moments for yourself.
  • Balance tip: Me-time is important to any parent. Your mental and physical health depends on getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and just plain relaxing.  

Never Alone

You and your child won’t have the daily pangs of separation.

  • Pro: Your kids are with you almost every hour of the day. You’re there for everything—first steps, first words, first skinned knees.
  • Con: You’re never alone—most of the time you can’t even go to the bathroom by yourself.
  • Balance tip: Even with your kids, you need to set some personal boundaries.   It is okay to establish limits.

A Different Kind of Work

Now, your job is taking care of your kids and home.

  • Pro: You can focus 100% of your time and energy on your children because you’re not worried about work deadlines, what your boss will say, or workplace stress.
  • Con: You may miss the interaction you had with your co-workers, the satisfaction of doing a good job, bringing in a paycheck, and even getting dressed up for work.
  • Balance tip: You can get satisfaction and connect with other adults by volunteering at your kids’ school or with community organizations. You may also be able to earn an income through a part-time, work-at-home, or freelance job. If you have a crafting hobby, you may be able to sell your work.

Full Responsibility

You are intimately connected with your child’s development.

  • Pro: Your children are with you a majority of the time so you won’t feel like a daycare worker is raising them. You determine what they eat, their schedule, and the values they are taught. You also are fully responsible for their safety.
  • Con: It’s easy to create a bubble and isolate yourself as well as your kids from the outside world.  
  • Balance tip: Get together with your mom friends and schedule playdates to make sure you are exposing all of you to social environments as you raise your family.

Master of the House

Household management is the at-home part of being a stay-at-home mom.

  • Pro: You run the house. Paying the bills, cooking, cleaning, getting the kids everywhere they need to be, and keeping the family schedule is all under your control.
  • Con: You may feel like it all falls on you. Even if your spouse is the world’s best teammate, there will be times you feel super-stressed trying to keep up with it all while raising kids.
  • Balance tip: You can still be in control and delegate some of the tasks to your kids. You will be teaching them important life skills and responsibility if they help with laundry, cleaning, and cooking. Form carpools and trade babysitting with other parents, or accept help from relatives. Even a stay-at-home parent can benefit from hiring out some chores such as lawn care or a thorough housecleaning every couple of weeks.

An Employment Gap

Your resume will no longer show that you have been continuously employed.

  • Pro: When you want to go back to work, employers now seem more open to stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce than ever before.
  • Con: You will still run into employers who see you as someone who quit her job and put a halt on climbing up the corporate ladder. Another drawback is that you will now be competing with people much younger than you with more recent experience for the same position.
  • Balance tip: Review your resume every few months. Cover your employment gap by listing volunteer work and any freelance work you have done while at home.

Financial Considerations

Your contribution to the family income is now greatly reduced.

  • Pro: Staying home can be a more economical choice for some families than having to pay for childcare, gas, car maintenance, dry cleaning, wardrobe, lunch out, and salon costs.
  • Con: That two-person income just got cut down to one paycheck. The economics of coupons, budgets, and cutting costs may no longer be optional.
  • Balance tip: Writing and sticking to a family budget can help keep you on track, reduce your stress, and make economic choices easier.   You can involve your kids in couponing and find deals, giving them valuable skills for when they leave home.

Different Stress Levels

Workplace stress may be gone, but life always brings some amount of stress.

  • Pro: If you love every aspect of parenting your child and can even smile on the inside when your toddler is in full meltdown mode, then your stress level will probably be much lower than if you were having to raise your family while working outside the home.
  • Con: Kids can be more than a handful with whining, fighting, and misbehavior. You can have additional stresses due to reduced finances.
  • Balance tip: When you are feeling stressed, use stress-management practices such as breathing exercises, quiet time, or meditation. You can also teach these to your children so they learn to manage their stress.

A Changed Social Life

Your social life will see a big change as you have a new focus.