Making Working-at-Home Work for You (Part 1)

In today’s still-shaky economy, it seems almost impossible for some mothers who desire to stay home with their children to be able to do so. Some families need extra income to be able to pay the bills and provide food on the table.

Yes, those families exist. My family is one of them.

My husband and I desire for me to stay at home with our children. (I am not criticizing if you decide to work outside the home. Each person must decide for themselves where God is leading you. Is there a way to make staying at home a reality? It may not always be easy, but, to use the old cliché: where there is a will, there is a way.

Why Work from Home?

For mothers, who want to stay home, yet cannot afford to stay home and pay bills, working from home becomes key. When I went back to work full-time when my oldest was 6 weeks old, it ripped my heart out. Thankfully, I only had to work until she was 6 months. I determined to find a way to stay at home–even on my husband’s income as a high school teacher in one of the lowest paying states.

When our oldest was still a baby, I started freelance writing for several newspapers. At the same time, I balanced a bi-weekly tutoring job and teaching bi-weekly Spanish lessons to a home school family. These side incomes were not only helpful but necessary for our family to stay afloat during this time. I continue to write for the newspapers, bring in some income through blogging, edit eBooks and work as a virtual assistant for another blogger.

Working from home has afforded me the potential to be the primary caretaker of our daughters–and save hundreds of dollars on daycare fees every month.

Finding a Work-at-Home Job that Works for You

My experience is in journalism, and even when having children seemed like a lifetime away, I remember thinking that my degree would be conducive to working from home. There have been times when I wished I was more crafty, so I could make something to sell to others. I also have wished I was a better saleswoman, so I could buy into a direct-sales company (like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef), but that’s just not me. I am a writer.

I urge every mother take a look at her skills–her gifting–while seeking out opportunities to work from home. Do you play the piano? Why not teach lessons from your home while your children are napping? Are you a master seamstress? Try your hand at sewing custom, boutique-style clothing and selling them on Etsy.

Some other work-at-home mom ideas include the following:

Next month, I’ll be tackling how to stay organized as a work-at-home mom. While working at home may seem like a dream (and, in many ways, it is), it is hard work. Sure, I may be able to do it in my pajamas while nursing a baby, yet it’s a tremendous balancing game and not for the faint of heart. But you can make it work.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite resources to get you started:

Do you work from home? If so, what is your work-from-home job? If not, what is holding you back from starting a work-at-home career?

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Erin is a follower of Jesus Christ and stay-at-home wife and mom of two little redheaded girls. She is passionate about her family, mission work and researching how to live a healthier lifestyle. She blogs about her far-from-perfect homemaking at The Humbled Homemaker and edits eBooks for best-selling, indie authors. She’d love for you to join The Humbled Homemaker’s Facebook community or to follow her on Twitter.

8 replies on “Making Working-at-Home Work for You (Part 1)
  1. Jamie (@va_grown) says:

    I’m interested to see your next post. I think being productive at home, whether keeping house, homeschooling, or working for pay, is all keyed in to having a schedule and a dedicated work space. When I do try to work from home, my biggest challenge  is that my “dedicated work space” is smack in the middle of the hustle-bustle of the house and it’s  unproductive to be there if anyone else is home with me.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Well written, Erin! As you know, our job is a combo of WAH and WOH, so organization (which I severely lack) is key!

  3. Anne Simpson says:

    I work from home, too! I blog, but I also teach piano. I’m not even a certified piano teacher, but I started with a student or two whose parents knew I could play, and my clientele spread word-of-mouth from there. I have as many students as I can handle now. It’s a great way to earn money from home! (Although I will admit sometimes unreliable! There are typically several cancellations in a month, so I have to consider that when budgeting.)

  4. Jenni says:

    Great resources!  I just got Tell Your Time and it was wonderful!  After I finished reading it, I was like “Now. why didn’t I think of that?” :) Her simple strategies helped me tremendously. 

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