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How to be a Stay at Home Single Mom
Most women will have a decision to make when they become a mother. Stay home or go back to work. As you hold your newborn, it is hard to even fathom handing them off to someone else, but some have no choice. I thought that I was the latter, single mom, never figured I could be a stay at home mom as well. But as my grandmother always told me, if there is a will, there is a way.
So my way was a road that many may be afraid to travel, I was a bit myself. I went back to work immediately, as in 6 weeks later and the void was something I couldn’t live with, so I decided to become an entrepreneur. By many considered unemployed and yet I have lived in this state for almost 3 years now and have never been happier. I truly believe that everyone has talents and finding out what those skills are and honing them, is the best job you can have. Find what you love and do it.
Not many people can live without the assurance of a paycheck every week, it gives them a false sense of security. Some people come to realize though, that there is no real certainty and the need to make a paycheck should not be the only drive that wakes you in the morning. Imagine waking up and being excited for the day. After years of sub par jobs that many will not even accept, I decided that things had to change.
So I quit my job, just like that. I can still feel the suffocating panic of not having a job, a young son who wasn’t even walking yet. I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to spend my life paying for the daycare that I dreaded sending him to. No help from the father and very limited family, I knew that I had to find a way.
Budgets and Advertising Your Skills
At first daunting, I started to relax and enjoy my time with my son. I started about to find ways to make money, from home or something that I could take my son with me. With spring coming, I fell back on my landscaping and horticulture background to pick up various side jobs. By putting ads in free papers, graphic signs at local grocers to word of mouth and previous customers, news spread of good work. The work poured in for several months and I put aside anything that could be spared.
I did a budget and I realized I had to at least make 10 grand a year to live a frugal, yet comfortable life with my son. The budget was complete with normal bills, a little reserve fund and extra expenses like holidays and birthdays. This seems like not that much to live on, but I think that lifestyle is absorbent, I live a fairly normal, yet simplified life.
Beyond the brief months of spring and summer that landscape work is available, I also advertised for housekeeping, babysitting and really any odd jobs that could be found. I had reservations at first about places like craigslist, however they have also been good sources of jobs.
Beyond physical labor that I have years of experience in, I also do taxes around tax time for extra money, I can usually rustle up 20% of my yearly income this way. Tax time is very stressful for many, so if the process comes easy to you, why not help others while making some money in the months of February and March. You can also work for a company like H and R Block, being certified through their program, however that would not work if you want to stay home.
Surveys and Offers
Most of you have seen survey sites claiming to make you all this extra money, however most are scams or do not give cash at all, but equivalents in points of gifts certificates to certain stores that are usually all internet based. Sifting through the rubbish, I found a website that actually did what it claimed, made you a little side money from home. Cashcrate is a great site that pays actually money, I actually usually get a check every month from them. Under fifty dollars, but to me, everything adds up. Answer some surveys, fill out some offers for about 5% of my yearly income, nothing to sneeze at.
Content writing has been something I have dabbled with for a couple of years, started to improve my writing skills and maybe help me stay home by providing an extra source of steady income for the many months of winter when side work drops off dramatically. Hubpages was a site I started with for a while, but long before the new HubPages ads, Google was not the most profitable way, so I gave up after a few months. A month or so ago, I looked at this content source again and started writing, signed up for Pinterest and a few other sharing sites and finally signed up for the new Ad Program offered. It took two months till the first payoff of 50 and earnings are gaining, traffic has risen 5 fold in a month. I read of problems with other accounts, so I am not comfortable thinking of this as a permanent or even reliable source, however I will enjoy whatever money is obtained. I write for other sites of more erotic nature like Oyster and Chocolate, that pay for short stories and novellas.
Websites to Advertise and Sell
There are also online websites that offer a platform to sell your skills of writing, editing and computer knowledge. Sites like Elance, are a great way to upload a portfolio and search and send proposals for jobs that payment will always be guaranteed. There are many other sites, however I find enough work on this one to not have or need any further knowledge on the rest.
If you are a crafty, artistic type, a site like Etsy may be for you. This is a platform to upload pictures of your ware and connect you with customers from around the country. I have used this site many times to sell the baby blankets and other crocheted items I make in the colder winter months. If you paint, draw, knit, sculpt, this is the place for you to find those who will buy and love the crafts you make. The crafts made while you stay at home with your child, watching and teaching them at the most important time of their growth, the first five years.
Other forms of income and savings came from gardening on my small front porch balcony. I do not have much space in the city in an apartment, however adopting micro farming techniques I was able to put a substantial dent in produce of growing months, as well as sold some as cash crop to the locals. That is just out of a container garden on a very small porch, although I will admit to years of gardening experience and a dark green thumb.
Last Thoughts and Ideas
I know that some of the things that have worked for me, will not work for most. But the actual means is small when compared to the state of mind of being able to trust yourself and whatever skills you have. I write this for single mothers or for any mother in any walk of life. If the desire to stay home and raise your children are thought to be out of the question, think again. Brainstorm the actual cost of working to begin with, then think of money making ideas that relate to your talents. If you are really feeling brave, maybe learn while you are at it. I took almost 88 credits last year while at home with my now three year old and I hope to take more this year, taking advantage of flat rate prices to lower my education bill.
My original goal was to have my Bachelors before he went to school, now I am sure I can fulfill that goal and have added another to buy a house before that time. Foreclosures are all around us and with 10 grand or so, a fixer upper can be purchased. Imagine life with no rent? My income has already surpassed the year before and my new goal may be accomplished at the end of the year. Not bad for an at home single mom and if I can do it, anyone can. You just have to decide what you really want and go for it. Staying home with your kids is not for all, but for me, it has been the most rewarding decision I have ever made.