This is a list of flexible jobs for stay-at-home moms, and I’ll acknowledge that for some women, none of them will be a fit. It’s not a list of flexible jobs for women who are lawyers, pilots, pharmacists, or product managers. The idea here is that there are some opportunities to leverage technology to earn a little money, from home, while watching a baby.
I’m a total believer in outsourcing childcare while working, for the record. Hence, my children are at camp as I type this. However, many moms seek at-home work they can do during naptime, or after bedtime, and flexible work does exist. Some jobs can even be done while pushing a stroller. Seriously.
1) Dog watching. Rover.com matches dog owners who need pet sitting with pet lovers who want to help. Create your profile and set your prices. Must be in a city populated enough to find business, but the potential to earn hundreds of dollars per month is there. (Blogger Heather in Seattle nets $500 to $1000 per month this way.) DogVacay.com does the same thing.
2) Running errands and other odd jobs. Users of TaskRabbit.com post any task they need help with, ranging from data entry to delivering balloons from a shop to a home. TaskRabbits bid for the jobs and get paid upon completion. I have hired a “Rabbit” to deliver a truck full of diapers to a charity event. My friend Lynn hired a tech-savvy Rabbit to create a themed playlist for a baby shower. If you can handle doing someone’s grocery shopping while you do your own, this could be for you.
3) Tutoring. My friend Jenny tapped into a high-income community and used her teaching background to earn $40/hour helping with homework. The real money came when she bundled three kids together for group homework sessions, charging each family $25/hr. That’s $75 for an hour of work that can be done while your baby naps. Or, while you pay a teenager $10 to watch the baby in another room. Since Jenny did not pay taxes on this income, I will tell you the truth: Her name is not Jenny.
4) Secret Shopper. Big companies need real consumers to walk into a store and see how their product is displayed on the shelf. A couple of apps — Rewardable and Gigwalk — enable moms to complete those tasks for a few dollars. Yes, really, set your expectations that it’s just a few dollars, but hey, maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Or maybe you were going to Home Depot anyway, so snapping a picture of the Rustoleum display for $4 is no skin off your back. Expect to get paid via PayPal.
5) Office and technical work. Odesk and elance are marketplaces for computer-driven work. If you’re a master of Photoshop, Powerpoint, data entry, or other office skills, you can pick up work as you have time. Note that many of the other workers are overseas which drives down the prices.
6) Not-so-secret shopper, aka Stylist. If you love fashion and love to pick out clothes for other people, StitchFix can use your talents. You’ll use an online system to create boxes for customers based on their fashion profiles.
7) Sales. If you have the type of enthusiastic personality that rubs off on other people, you might be a good candidate to sell something you love. Companies like Stella & Dot (jewelry) enable women to get a business of the ground really fast. (Bonus: if you sign up with Stella & Dot with our affiliate link, you’ll get $350 in free accessories while the offer lasts.)
8) Meaningful work for progressive employers who want to retain moms. Not kidding. MayBrooks is a job board for flexible positions for moms in select cities. Most positions listed do require childcare, ie a Content Producer for a Venture Capital firm is “demanding” and “competitive” but “most of the work can be done remotely”. MayBrooks also lists some part-time roles, as well as “returnships” for women looking to get back in the workforce after an absence.
image: arrow necklace from Stella + Dot