While many stay at home moms do already work at home, others don’t. The reason is pretty simple: It’s hard to commit yourself fully to your family if you have to work all the time. And if your family doesn’t need the money, why use up all that time?
But things can change, and working from home may be a more pleasant option than giving up on the stay at home dream altogether. Fortunately, it may be manageable if you plan ahead and are realistic about your own capabilities.
So when should a stay at home mom consider a work at home job?
If Your Family is Carrying a Heavy Debt Load
For this, I generally mean beyond a mortgage. Most people carry a mortgage on their home for quite a number of years, and that’s not a bad thing so long as it is manageable. But credit card debt, student loan debts and so forth are more of a problem.
Working at home is a way to get some of that debt paid down a little more quickly. If you don’t need the money for other purposes, use the new income to pay off your debts.
Take a look at how much you pay out each month on credit card or student loan debts. Think about how much more comfortable your family would be if that money didn’t have to go there. If you’re dealing with these debts, it’s probably a good time to consider a work at home job.
If your family is struggling to pay the mortgage, it’s probably time for the stay at home mom to find a job. Working at home is one way to do that without entirely giving up having one parent at home. You may have to get help watching the kids while you work, but if the hours are flexible enough, you can manage pretty well.
To Give Your Family A Financial Cushion
Jobs can be lost for so many reasons. Layoffs and medical issues come immediately to mind.
If you don’t have several months’ worth of income saved up for such a crisis, your family can be in deep trouble if the only wage earner suddenly isn’t bringing in much money, or is bringing in significantly less. Unemployment benefits don’t pay the same as a job, and they don’t last that long, not when you consider how long many job hunts last. And there’s no guarantee that a new job will pay what the old did.
If you start working at home you can bring that cushion up. It can be protection for your family in case of difficulties. Much better than living month to month.
The fact that I work at home has kept us afloat many times. When my husband was laid off years ago, my income meant we could still handle many of the bills. Credit card debt still hit us, but not nearly as hard as it would have if I hadn’t been working.
Even with two incomes, it’s not uncommon to live month to month. Lots of families earn barely enough to get by with two incomes. Your work at home job may or may not be enough to keep your family from living month to month, but it’s better than you not working at all.
Just Because You WANT To Consider A Work At Home Job
Sometimes you just want more from your life than taking care of home and family. Especially as children get older there’s only so much you can do, after all. Working at home gives you the chance to still be there while pursuing one of your own interests.
We have a huge advantage over mothers who worked at home in the past. There are a lot more options. We can go beyond the traditional options of daycare and network marketing and follow still more of our own interests.
You can start a blog. You can be a remote worker for all kinds of companies, doing tech support, medical coding, customer service, transcription or many other remote jobs. You can hire yourself out as a freelance writer, programmer, designer, whatever suits your skills.
Don’t give yourself a hard time if you find that you wish you had a job when you’re a stay at home mom. It’s perfectly reasonable. There are a lot of benefits to your family. The right job or online business will allow you to keep being the stay at home mom you want to be while you earn an income.
So What’s The Catch?
The catch, of course, is that not everyone will succeed in working at home. It does take from your day. It takes effort. It’s flat out difficult for many people to find opportunities that aren’t scams. And yes, if you start a home business you may even lose money. It’s not risk free.
If you decide you want to work at home, don’t be in a rush about it. Don’t allow hype to catch your attention, or worse yet, your wallet. Take your time and do your research. Ask other people about it. The work at home community is generally very willing to help new members figure out what is legitimate. While you can’t trust everyone you meet online, getting more eyes on what you think will be good can help you to spot potential problems before you’re paying for them.
The last thing you want is to fall for a work at home scam and make the situation worse. It’s hard enough to earn money from home for many people – you don’t need someone stealing away much needed money.
You should also be aware that many work at home jobs aren’t as flexible as some think. Some are very strict about work hours or work conditions. Pay attention to the requirements of the job as you go through the application process. A customer service job that requires a complete lack of background noise, for example, won’t go so well if you have a screaming infant nearby while you work.
Take your time as you consider a work at home job. Make sure you know what you want from it and what employers are likely to want from you. This will help you find something that is a good match to your financial and scheduling needs.