As my maternity leave was slowly coming to an end, I am hit with the harsh reality that I need to start finding an income source again. My incredible husband is the primary bread winner of our home, but living in an expensive city like Metro Vancouver means unless he’s got a killer job that makes well over 100k a year – which he doesn’t – we better both be working.
I’m not gonna get into living expenses too much but Vancouver’s real estate prices have been on the rise non stop for years and is catching up to Hongkong in the Demographia international housing affordability Survey.
So naturally I start looking at various options for work. Although a traditional day job is always a possibility, but like many other moms out there, I want to try and stay with my baby for as long as I can. They will only be babies for so many years before they go to school full time and decide their parents are not cool enough to hang out with anymore.
Surprisingly there are quite a bit out there, but what works for each person will be incredibly situational.
Freelancing website for VA, graphic designers, writers, voice actors, translators and more: I.e. Upwork fiverr. These websites are like auction houses for employers and employees alike. Competition is fierce and bidding wars often happen with popular projects. The qualification process could be lengthy since a lot of it is done with bots and it can be hard to figure out just what the algorithm is looking for. These sites do offer a good diversity of work however, and can be extremely useful for those looking for works that are ever changing.
Teaching online: i.e. VIP KIDS, or Preply, Tute. Teaching online can be a very flexible job, since the lessons are short, and you set your own hours. To be successful and be able to find student however will take time and work. You not only need to have traditional teaching credentials, you also need to learn how to build your brand online since you have to attract students, and deliver sessions completely online. When teaching face to face, you are much closer to your student, and your expressions, your body language, all get received much easier than when you are within a very small box on someone’s laptop screen. This is a very good opportunity however for those that are experienced in teaching, willing to put in the hard work to learn online teaching, and in some cases, put up with the tedious qualification process, since the pay is very transparent and static, you will get what you put in.
Blogging/writing: views and traffic in this day and age are worth a lot in the eyes of large companies, and advertising as a profession is evolving thanks to the way the internet community is shaping into. A few years back blogging was something new and hip, and now it seems like everyone is blogging. This is something that require long term continuous efforts, and will yield almost no return in the first months or even year. If the family is in need of cash, this is not a good place to spend your time. However if you have time and your family isn’t in any kind of financial crisis, building a blog, a brand, an internet presence can be worth the time in the long run. There are many ways a blogger may decide to monetize their blog, such as Google Adsense, affiliation links or sponsored posts, or blogger developed products. No matter what way, quality content and readers that enjoy those content are the base for everything else.
Online surveys: I.e. lifepoints, Globaltestmarket, surveyjunkie, swagbucks. This pops up a lot under job category “data entry”, and is one I’m not sure about. Since there are a lot of success stories, and just as many horror stories. Upon trying some of these sites, I can tell that it is possible to get some perks out of them, but they really aren’t a source of supplemental income at all. As a stay at home mom, I did not qualify for any of the surveys offered on these platforms, and it took hours filling out those qualification questionnaires which yield next to no reward. Some site will give you a penny for trying but that feel more like an insult. To utilize these survey sites you need to fake it a little to get into a lot of surveys, or pretend to be your husband who has an actual day job or something.
Childcare/childminding: many stay at home moms in my community with older children will opt to take care another, or run at home day cares to get the extra income. They get to stay at home with their children, but it also come with a LOT of responsibilities. Personally it’s a gig I can never pull off. I remember many cases where Emilia had very scary bruises from her daily activities. If she was under supervision at a day care I’d seriously wonder if she got bullied or something. Often managing the parent relationship is an even more challenging task than caring for the children themselves.
Insurance brokers/investment brokers: depending on the type of broker specializations, it can take a pretty short time to get certified. An independent broker offer very flexible hours, but also come with various cost in the form of licensing fees that will continue to run whether there are good stream of revenue or not. Independent brokers may also be at a disadvantage when it come to rates compared to agencies, so it may need more work than what a stay at home mom can offer.
Baking and other crafts: this is time when your inner artist can really come to life, but require a bit of prior knowledge. Since learning a brand new skill with a baby or a toddler who may or may not have a routine yet is very challenging. However, being a baker or sell other crafts can be a great supplemental income for the family. Time is also flexible, and operating license tend to be a one time upfront fee rather than one that frequently reoccurs.
What other professions do you think would work well for a stay at home mom? What works for you? Leave a comment to let me know. 🙂