If you, as a homeschool mom, find yourself in the position to need some extra income, there are many factors to consider. I discuss some of them in Can You Work AND Homeschool I Do and Four Principles of A Family-Friendly Job.
What can you do without joining or rejoining the workforce full time or permanently? These are only a few ideas, and, of course, there are a number of circumstances unique to your situation that will affect what you can and cannot do.
First, take stock of your talents and skills. Do you have a degree or a hobby or a skill in a certain area? I know of women who help working moms with home cooked meals by simply making extra of whatever they are cooking. Can you tutor students in a subject, or am I the only one who makes friends with science geeks? Two of our previous piano teachers were stay-at-home moms.
Second, who do you know? If you previously worked in a professional environment, do you have any contacts who can use you in a part-time position? For instance, I helped my husband’s boss do his personal and professional bookkeeping for a few years. I mostly just paid bills and told him when he was running out of money so he could transfer it into the necessary account. I was acquainted with his CPA, and a few years later when the CPA had a client who needed a part-time bookkeeper, guess who he called?
Third, do you want to go somewhere to work or work from home? There are pros and cons on both sides of this option. Going to a workplace gives you the opportunity to have adult conversation and go to the bathroom alone. However, you may need to invest in a suitable work wardrobe and hire a babysitter. Those expenses can quickly eat up any extra income you were hoping to make.
Working from home sounds a lot better than it really is. You may find yourself working at odd hours to get quiet, uninterrupted time. No one thinks you’re “really working” when you’re still in your pajamas. You may need a dedicated phone line and high speed Internet, more expenses that may or may not make the tradeoff worthwhile. On the other hand, if you setup an after school daycare, you have very little extra overhead, and what’s a few more kids running around?
Fourth, set a realistic goal for how much you need to make. By knowing how much you need to make up in the budget, you will know if a certain job will work for you. It’s far too easy to suddenly find yourself paying for the “privilege” of working instead of earning the money you need. Likewise, decide if this is a long-term commitment or a short-term stop gap measure. If you need to help make ends meet, then consider jobs that make this necessity pleasant and requires as little disruption to your family life as possible. One of my friends likes to take the night shift with a companion service for elderly or disabled people. She usually just has to make sure they are safe, don’t wander for dementia patients, and meet a few basic needs, like going to the bathroom during the night.
On the other hand, if you know you need a certain amount of money to pay for a large purchase or bill, then you may find a temporary position that just meets this goal as quickly as possible. Another friend substitutes teach. She can work as much or as little as she needs.
When faced with a budget shortfall or an unexpected purchase or bill, running out to find the first job you can get is usually not a wise choice. It’s the out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire scenario. You might find yourself in worse shape by taking a job that isn’t convenient, doesn’t pay enough, and causes more stress than you need. Instead, consider your options carefully and pray fervently for the right solution.
What part-time work suggestions can you share?