You’ve decided to stay home to look after your children but you need more than just changing diapers and wiping drool from your shirt. I know from experience that staying home often can make you feel that you are not contributing to the household finances, even though you are doing the very important job of raising your children. Sometimes, working from home to earn a bit of money can make you feel that you are contributing and adding to your household, as well as lifting your self-esteem.
I know I struggled with this my first few years of being at home. I stayed home permanently when I had my third child because the cost of daycare would be too high for three children. My mother-in-law was looking after my two oldest children and, although she would never admit it at the time, it was getting harder and harder for her to keep up after two boys. Once I had my daughter, the decision was made to stay home on a permanent basis. Eighteen months later I had my fourth child so staying home made even more sense. I did struggle with feelings of not contributing which, when I look back now, was ridiculous. I may not have been contributing monetarily, but looking after four children and running our household was contributing in a big way. Even so, I always felt better when I was working on something or working toward something. Today, there are so many online avenues you can take in order to earn a little bit of money. From selling your crafts, to transcription work or virtual assistant work, to selling items on ebay or other retail sites.
There are multiple ways to earn money online.
Sell Your Crafts on Etsy
If you are crafty and love making things, think about selling your products on Etsy. There is quite a community of people who sell so many things from paper cards and stationery to candles, wooden toys, clothing, knitting, skin care, jewellery, and the list goes on. It’s amazing what outstanding things people make and sell. Etsy provides step-by-step instructions for setting up a shop and many tutorials on how to photograph your items and how to sell. I sell knitted pieces on Etsy myself but have not done too much lately with my shop as I am trying to concentrate on blogging right now and have begun a course on becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant, but I have so many ideas that I would like to eventually turn into knitted pieces to sell. I seem to have sold more custom-made items offline to people I know after they have seen my shop and the items I have posted there. So, if you have a passion for making things, try producing some and putting them up in your own Etsy shop. In this regard, take a look at Renae Christine’s videos on YouTube. She is awesome, or as she says “awesomesauce”, in teaching how to start a handmade business, how to use Etsy, and how to sell your products, and she does it in a fun, comic way. I’ve been learning a lot from her videos which makes me want to get back to selling more on Etsy.
Become a Virtual Assistant
If you are a good typist, this is another work-from-home avenue to try whether it be data entry, transcribing, writing, or administration work. I have worked for a company called SpeakWrite for almost 5 years now. I began my working career as a legal administrative assistant but stopped working after I had my third child. SpeakWrite has allowed me to keep my mind active with legal work but I am able to stay at home. This work helped me tremendously, and even though my kids were grown by the time I started working for them, I was then looking after my father and my mother-in-law had moved in with us so I was helping to take care of her at the same time. Working for SpeakWrite, I am able to schedule when I am available. They have a 24-hour clock so you can work at any time of the day even in the wee hours of the morning. Pay is minimal – you earn half a cent per word but if you can type fast you can earn up to $10.00 per hour. Realistically, I earn about $6.00 to $7.00 an hour but it adds up and helps with paying for groceries. This site will require you to do an inital typing test to determine your speed and accuracy. Once you pass their speed and accuracy test, SpeakWrite requires you to type different forms of transcription that you would come across as a transcriptionist before they accept you as an employee.
There are many transcribing websites such as Rev.com, Tigerfish.com, and TranscribeMe.com. However, do your homework and research any work-from-home company before committing your time to them. Make sure they are worthwhile and will give you consistent work and pay you for the work you do. Many sites will only pay you if they feel the work is correct. I started training with another transcription site and during their training realized they would only pay if they felt your work was completely correct. I then researched them and found out many complaints online that they always find some mistake with your work and then don’t pay you for your time. I stopped my training right away. Of course, you have to abide by their policies when doing the work, and you want to do the best work possible, but you should be paid for your time.
I’ve just begun Gina Horkey’s and Kristin Larsen’s course on becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant . This is another avenue for work at home. I’ve just begun Module 2 of their course so I’ll let you know how this course develops, but I wanted to take this course as another way to earn income and start my own business. Apparently, you can make quite a good income from being a Pinterest virtual assistant and I’m also an affiliate for their course too. You can have a quick look at what it means to be a Pinterest virtual assistant with Kristin’s and Gina’s video here.
Of course, all of these work-from-home sites need to be thoroughly researched before you spend any of your time working with them, especially if you have little ones to take care of. Take your time – don’t rush into anything that is not worth your while.
When I first began to stay home with my children, starting a home daycare was the first option I felt would make sense for me to earn some extra cash. I was already looking after four children so it made sense to add a couple of more children to my home. My youngest was three when we moved to Ajax where we have now lived for 18 years. I then began looking after my nephew and niece who were school age so they came to my home after school, and their younger brother, my youngest nephew, I looked after twice a week while my sister-in-law went into work 2 days a week. I then added a friend’s daughter to the mix and looked after her full time. It was a busy household, but it did add to our household income. Since I was in the thick of things looking after my four children, I felt fine with adding more kids to my daily schedule. With this type of income, you definitely have to be comfortable with looking after multiple children. Kids don’t always do everything you ask them to and you need to prepare multiple activities to keep them busy. It can be a long day when you babysit and even though the kids you babysit go home at the end of the day, your day doesn’t end as you still have your own to look after. It can be tiring but having the kids around kept me very busy and the days passed quickly.
There are a number of opportunities to work from home. The Happy Herbal Home is a blog that has a post about some more great ideas about working from home. Just remember to research and not rush into any site that claims you can make an income. Make sure you do your due diligence and thoroughly check them out and look for reviews on Google. Having that little bit of extra income can not only help your household financially but will also lift your self-esteem and give you the ability to learn and grow too.