Updated: October 25, 2019
Do well-paying stay at home mom jobs really exist?
That was my ONE BIG BURNING QUESTION when I found out I was pregnant:
HOW to make money as a stay at home mom – so I can actually afford to stay at home with my baby?
I knew I wanted to stay at home, and I also knew I needed to work. There was no way around it… I was going to need a flexible stay at home mom job.
(And a legit one that actually makes REAL money. None of this 250$ / month stuff. This was not about coffee money. I needed pay-some-bills money, and I needed to earn it from home.)
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
Just because I wanted to be at home with my baby didn’t mean that we were financially able to make that happen. I see a ton of “how we lived on one low income” articles floating around… but the fact is that we live in a very expensive part of the country, and generally, “one low income” just isn’t going to cut it here. Also, I don’t WANT to feed my family on a budget of just 50$ per week. (I mean, that’s no fun AT ALL!)
The worst part of my situation was that I didn’t even have a great paying job to go back to if I chose not to become a WAHM.
If I went back to work and paid someone to watch my baby, not only would I not be with him during the day… I would literally be working for a couple hundred bucks per week (after daycare costs and transportation costs).
Hardly adding to our bottom line, hardly even paying for groceries. (There was just no. possible. way. I was going to let that be my reality.)
With that in mind, I realized I only NEEDED to make about $1000/month to justify my staying at home. (Don’t worry – you can make far more than that working from home with kids, it was just my bare minimum goal!)
How to make income as a stay at home mom was the question I needed to answer for myself, and for my kid.
So I set out to figure out, once and for all, how I could earn an income from home AND be the primary caregiver for my kid (- it’s important to me to be the number one influence on my children in their formative years.)
It was also very important for me to find a job that didn’t require me to have a phone set on my head all the time. (That just sounds AWFUL.)
And, as I said before, it had to be a real money “job”.
Taking surveys for money is not a “job”.
Using cashback apps is not a “job”… basically, anything that sounds too good to be true probably is. I needed to find a REAL job that I could REALLY do from home to make money.
Lastly, I hoped to find something that didn’t require too much education or investment.
(I was sort of short on time to go back to school and get a degree, and if I had 10,000 to invest, I wouldn’t be looking for a good stay at home mom occupation in the first place, right?)
Almost all the legitimate jobs on this list DO require some education and investment – because that is just how the world works – but none of them require you to take a one-year college course at night or anything like that 🙂
So, with those criteria in mind, I researched for months… and here’s what I found:
The best flexible jobs for stay at home moms:
1) Start a Blog (the best of all the stay at home jobs for moms, imo!)
Blogging tops my list because I truly believe that blogging is the most amazing stay at home mom job anyone could ever have! It’s what I chose to do, and believe me, this blog makes me more than enough money.
There really are a ton of job options for stay at home moms… but as far as I’m concerned, blogging is the best kind of stay at home job. It’s a be your-own-boss kind of job, an answering-to-no-one kind of job. It’s a my-kid-kept-me-up-all-night-I-will-die-if-I-have-to-work… so I just WON’T work today kind of job.
Missed a deadline?
Oh, well (I set the deadlines in the first place).
Up all night with a teething baby? Perhaps I’ll nap when he naps. (Or perhaps I’ll make a cup of coffee and work – because I am even more motivated by the fact that I can stay at home with my teething baby.) Like I said before, the benefits of working at home for moms are truly endless.
When I started researching stay at home mom jobs, I read about transcription, proofreading, virtual assisting. I read about reselling things on Amazon, flea market flipping, freelance writing, and starting a laundry service. (I will talk about all these things in more detail shortly!)
They all seemed like totally viable jobs, but none of them REALLY seemed like they were for me. (FOr a short while, I figured I might try transcription.)
But then I read about blogging.
I read A LOT about blogging. I read about how there are millions of blogs out there, and about how it can take years to grow a blog into a money-making business. I read about how many blogs fail. I remembered that once, a few years ago, I’d had a brief interest in blogging (when I’d read about a woman who made Pinterest her full-time job).
But, I also read, again and again, about women who had made it work – who had become successful in less than a year, moms who made more money working from home with no experience than they had ever made before in their lives!
And I thought… Why not me?
I looked at these big successful blogs, poured over every page – and saw ordinary women. It occurred to me that if it could work for them, it could work for me – all I had to do was learn.
They were writing about saving money, about pregnancy, about DIYs, about homemaking. I thought; I can write that stuff too!
At the very least, I was convinced I had to try. I’d never know if I didn’t try.
And I am SO GLAD I did. I also had no idea at the time how hard being a stay at home mom is – and I realize now that this job allows me to actually enjoy being a stay at home mom!)
You can read more about how THIS blog (and all blogs) make money here, to see if it interests you.
If blogging isn’t for you – read on for other legitimate and flexible WAHM ideas. I KNOW these jobs are the real deal because I have met women who are doing these things successfully!
2) Buy Discounted Products And Resell Them On Amazon.com
This is literally what it sounds like – buying things cheap, and selling them for a little more money. If you love to find bargains and can’t get enough of the clearance aisles, then selling on Amazon may be for you! (And I think it sounds like sooooo much fun! haha.)
Jessica from TheSellingFamily.com was able to take her love of finding deals and turn it into a 6-figure side hustle in just 1 year.
You can grab a free 7 day email course right here and she will explain everything you need to know about how it all works and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. (I think this is one of the EASIEST jobs stay at home moms can do with no experience!)
3) “Flip” used items
I really did think this was more of a hobby than a job when I first heard of it… but it turns out there’s an art to “flea-market flipping” – and I know people who make 6 figures per year just buying and reselling used items. (I say “just”, but obviously, there is no “just” about it.)
When I say “I know” these people, I don’t mean I sort of talked to them online once.
I mean, I have met them in person and I’m friends with them on facebook, and I often see their posts about how they turned an item they paid 100$ for into a 600$ profit. This is the real deal – not some “hyped-up” luck game!
BUT, I think to really make this work as a stay at home mom you need to be willing to pack your kids in the car to go thrift stores and flea markets (although you CAN buy resellable things on Ebay etc.) It’s not like they find all the great deals from the comfort of their living room.
4) Become a Freelance Writer
I personally have paid multiple freelance writers – so I know that this one also WORKS.
Writing is one of the most flexible things you can do from home. These ladies make their writing time the same way I do – I write almost all my blog posts at nap time, or in the evening, or I stay up a little later and write while my baby sleeps. And I LOVE to write, so it doesn’t even feel like work. I happen to know MANY bloggers who hire all their writing done for them. Learn more about becoming a freelance writer here!
5) Become a Virtual Assistant
The more people working online, the more people hiring other people to help them work online.
I have a wonderful VA (virtual assistant) who manages my affiliate program for my ebook and takes care of my accounting, and another one who answers all my emails and helps me with small off jobs that just don’t fit on my to-do list. She’s a stay at home mom, who works from home or from a coffee shop. (And recently we’ve hired a second VA, to help my first VA. Seriously.)
This saves me heaps of time and I’m more than happy to pay someone else to do the things I don’t like to (or just don’t have time to) do.
VAs usually set their own work hours and can take on as many or as few clients as they like. Their work is rarely “need to be here NOW”, so it’s literally the perfect job for stay at home moms – they can work when the baby is asleep, or when daddy comes home.
Trained or experienced VAs earn more than those who just dive right in, so taking a quick course on Virtual Assisting is a good idea. Learn more about becoming a virtual assistant here!
6) Be an English Teacher
If you have a neutral English accent, a bachelor’s degree in anything (yes really), and have an interest in being a teacher – this could be a good fit for you. This job generally entails teaching English to young children in China and usually pays pretty well.
There are plenty of companies you can apply to (to find work). Apply to more than one to increase your chances of getting hired. Some of the most popular (and reliable) organizations include VIPKID, gogokid, HAWO, and EF Education First.
7) Start a day home (a very popular stay at home mom occupation!)
Just because YOU want to become a stay at home mom who works, doesn’t mean everyone will choose that route! Some moms really love to work outside the home, and those moms need trustworthy places to leave their kids for the day.
There are LOADS of women out there who will pay good money to have someone they can trust watching their babies.
Here’s more on starting a daycare in the USA.
8) Be a Photographer
For me, this will always be the “job that got away”.
I still take photos with my mom on the weekends. I just never could get up the nerve to really tackle it on my own. I’m not a particularly social person and going to weddings where I don’t know anyone makes me super nervous.
To start, you just need to take some basic photography courses, invest in a decent camera and PRACTICE. You can set up a facebook page or website to show off your work (so potential clients can see what you can do).
Photography isn’t about a degree or having a ton of experience – altho experience does improve your shots!
If your pictures are good, you will get work. If your pictures aren’t good, you won’t. It’s that simple!
You can also sell your photos as stock photos on the internet – but you do have to upload A LOT of photos (and they have to be excellent) to make a full-time income this way.
9) Sell something you LOVE + use yourself (direct sales)
I hesitate to put this in here because there are probably more failed MLM-ers than there are failed bloggers. I feel like when women first start asking how to make money as a stay at home mom, they can latch onto the idea that selling things is the only way… and really, it’s NOT my first choice of jobs for stay at home moms.
I don’t personally think that selling things MLM style is an easy way for moms to make money from home. In fact, I think it’s downright tricky – because you OFTEN have to count on your friends and family to be your customers.
That said I know ladies making a KILLING on Norwex and Tupperware and essential oils. I’ve met ladies who have earned cars and vacations by being top-level sellers. So there’s no doubt there are absolutely moms who do make a great income selling things they use + love.
I think if you want to make any MLM your work from home job, you should try to reach beyond the people you know to find customers. Try advertising, creating a website for your product, going to markets, etc.
10) Become a Proofreader
If you’re good with written English and want a job that you can do 100% on your own time, there’s an affordable course that’ll teach you how to do this in no time. (I know a woman who makes MINT doing this.)
This is similar again to blogging or writing or assisting – a perfect stay at home mom job because you can set your own hours and take just as much work as you can handle.
11) Become a Transcriptionist
There’s a course that’ll teach you how to do this quickly too.
I’ve often considered transcribing myself – before I found out how much I loved blogging. There are loads of opportunities for transcriptionists! It’s another one you can do 100% “on your own time” (nap time, or after bedtime, or really… whenever you can carve out an hour here or there!)
12) Start an Etsy shop – if you’re crafty
If you love to crochet, knit, bead, ANYTHING really, you can sell it on Etsy.
(I’ve often thought that fairy garden accessories would be awesome fun for making and selling on Etsy. If I ever get the blog a little more self-sufficient, and I find myself with a ton of free time… I think I’d try this just for fun.)
13) Become an Esthetician (do nails, hair, facials, etc)
My mom did hair and nails from home for 20 years. She is my inspiration to BE a work at home mom, and this is the thing that she did, from home.
I have a friend who took a nail course and has done gel nails from home for the past five years or so. Not only does she make good money, she also gets to see and chat with her friends on a daily basis.
This is a really great from-home job for moms who want to be social and not trapped on a computer all day!
14) Provide a Laundry Service (Wash / Dry / Fold)
Anyone with a washer, dryer, and iron can do this.
No special skills required, and you can do it while the kids are awake. (Bonus!) SO many other WAH jobs require you to have a bit of quiet concentration time, and that can be the hardest thing about working from home.
I recently spoke to a woman who makes 700$ PER WEEK just doing laundry from her home! (And really, the machine does all the hard work these days.)
15) Become a Graphic Designer
My sister does this! The learning was a bit more intensive (she had to take a 6-month online course – so still within the “baby is coming” timeline), but if you’re naturally graphically inclined – why not?
She has taken that graphic design knowledge she has and expanded it to creating custom apparel. (She learned screen printing and bought a heat press to do this.)
This is another thing I have hired people to do for me – I’ve had my sister (and other designers) make printable products for me to sell on the blog, format e-books that I sell, create infographics for Pinterest, and more!
16) Tutor (math, anything etc)
Lots of kids just need someone to help them with their multiplication – and their own parents are busy working at their day jobs.
17) Rent out Baby Gear
This is going to be most lucrative if you live in a tourist area, and you’ll need to invest a little upfront (like, if you have one single stroller to rent out, business might not be booming.)
One of the biggest hassles of traveling with kids is lugging your car seat / stroller / playpen etc to the airport, on the plane, in the cab… you know.
There are moms who rent this stuff out and make DECENT money doing it.
18) Become an Online Fashion Stylist
I definitely did not know this was a thing until I started researching jobs for stay at home moms.
According to ziprecruiter.com, online fashion stylists / online wardrobe stylists work for online retailers or as independent contractors. They work with customers to find outfits that suit their style and budget. As an online fashion stylist, you can work remotely from home.
19) Be an Airbnb
Another one that will be more lucrative in tourist areas.
Renting out a room with airbnb is becoming a very popular way to make money at home. This particular idea would not be for me, because the idea of having total strangers coming into my home regularly is WAYYYY out of my comfort zone. (I also struggle with the idea of staying in an airbnb, for the same reason. But I recognize that I am in the vast minority here.)
20) Become a Travel Agent
Years ago, this was my DREAM job. I even took the training, joined an agency and did the work for a while! (And, with almost no effort, I made back all the money I spent on the training and more.) The only reason I stopped is that at the time, I didn’t know how to use the internet to market myself, and I wasn’t much of a go out in person and drum up business-er.
I SO wish I still had my agency affiliation and had kept my training up to date, because NOW – with what I know about using the internet to market myself – I could make a killing at this!
It’s also one of the most FUN jobs I ever had – with great perks (super cheap travel)! You can make hundreds of dollars in just a matter of hours on the right booking.
I personally went through this agency when I was an at-home travel consultant.
But all that said, I still think blogging is the number one most amazing way to make money as a stay at home mom.
I LOVE not having to answer to ANYONE else, not having to go out and find clients, not having to worry if I can’t work for three days in a row… all the other job ideas for moms pale in comparison, as far as I’m concerned.
21) Become a Bookkeeper
IF numbers are your thing.
Numbers ARE NOT my thing, so I, in fact, pay a lady to do my bookkeeping for me.
You can take a short online course for this if you have no prior experience.
How I created my perfect (and great paying) legitimate stay at home mom job – and how you can too
I was pregnant, and I could feel the clock ticking.
I had another 8 months PLUS a year of maternity leave to figure out the blogging thing… that seemed like more than enough time.
So I started.
(That’s the biggest most important part. You need to just dive in. Get things in motion!)
The learning curve was HUGE. Even TERRIFYING sometimes. It felt like learning a foreign language. I felt like I was in way over my head. (I never took a single computer class in high school. Seriously.) I had to google almost every nuance of every aspect of what I was trying to do. It was hard.
(Whatever you choose to do, it will probably be hard. There will be some challenges as you settle into and grow your new work from home job!)
But, I reminded myself, this was not as hard as not spending my days with my baby.
Not as hard as paying (my hard-earned money) for someone else to play with him, someone who might care for his physical well being – but certainly wouldn’t be able to care for his emotional well being the same way I did.
THAT would be truly hard.
Fast-forward (if you can call a grueling pregnancy “fast”) 8 months, and by the time I went into labor, my blog had just had it’s second $3000/month. I was officially making MORE with my work from home job than I was making at my desk job… and it took me less than a year to get there.
Turns out this blogging thing – or work from home thing – isn’t a pipe dream at all.
I’ll never be one of those “stay at home mom earns six figures” headline bloggers, but I don’t NEED to be. I’m making enough FROM home to keep me AT home, and that’s what’s important to me.
There are SO many totally legitimate and flexible work from home jobs for moms – you just have to want it bad enough to START and make it happen!
If you DO want to try blogging as a stay at home mom job – where do you start?
If you want to become a blogger, all you need are two things – determination and GOOD information on getting started. (Becoming a stay at home mom and making money, in general, isn’t something that’s ever going to happen without these two things!)
There is A LOT to learn. (Just like with any new job!)
I can’t help you with the first part – the determination part. That’s really down to you. But if I know anything, it’s that nothing is as motivating as wanting to make a stay at home mom job a reality!
I CAN help you with the second part. I know what it takes to make a blog succeed AS a stay at home mom. I WANT you to be able to work from home and stay with your kids.
I have created a completely FREE 7-day course that will walk you through setting up the foundations of a profitable blog.
I also want to invite you to join my Facebook group, where we talk about all things blogging and there are LOTS of other beginners.
Of all the stay at home mom jobs out there, blogging was absolutely the one for me. It might be the right job for you too!
(Or there are all those other jobs for stay at home moms I mentioned. Any one of them would work, and perhaps even be more guaranteed income than blogging. Check out this list of awesome jobs for stay at home moms here!)
What are your best suggestions for how to make money as a stay at home mom?