Many families decide, after having a child or two, that it is best for one parent to stay home.  As the number of children you have increases, so, too, do the routine chores such as laundry, doing dishes, cooking, helping with homework, shuttling kids to events and caring for sick children.  Many families are able to juggle two parents working and taking care of the routine chores, but for many families, having a parent stay home when the children are small helps them to enjoy more family time and to cut back on expenses by limiting childcare expenses.

However, the stay at home parent, often the woman, may slowly lose important job skills and may feel a lack of creativity because she misses her job.  One perfect way to combat this is to freelance while caring for children at home.

I began to freelance when my youngest child was 6 months old.  I was still on a generous leave of absence, and I was looking for a way to get more mental stimulation and bring home a bit of extra money to supplement my husband’s pay.  My little freelance business grew enough that I was easily able to quit my day job when my leave of absence ended.  My husband and I both anticipate that my work at home salary in 2012 will be higher than his salary at his day job.

There are several benefits for a stay-at-home parent to begin to freelance from home:

  1. Earn additional money to supplement the family budget.  Often one income families operate on a fairly tight budget.  The extra money you bring in as a freelancer can help pay for some “luxuries” you may not otherwise be able to afford such as extracurricular activities for your child, family vacations, and contributions to your retirement.
  2. Maintain your job skills.  According to All State, the average American women who quits her job to take care of her family spends an average of 11 years out of the workforce.  Many skills can be lost and much can change in the work world during that time.  A stay at home parent who works on the side from home will more likely retain her skills and continue to grow as her field does.  This will hopefully make it easier for her to return back to the work force when she is ready.
  3. Run your own business.  Other stay at home parents may decide, as I did, that they like to work for themselves and can successfully be self-employed.  The time when you are freelancing and caring for young children can be when you set the ground work for your business; as children enter school, you can increase your self-employment to full-time work.
  4. Stay engaged in your career field.  Many stay at home parents also need stimulation from the outside world.  If they are able to juggle some part-time work from home as well as care for their family, they may feel more fulfilled personally.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may benefit from finding a few freelance jobs to do from home.  You can find self-fulfillment in doing something you love as well as bringing in some extra money for the family.  In addition, you can retain your job skills and perhaps begin to create your own business, if that interests you.

Melissa Batai

Melissa Batai

Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1), blogs at both Mom’s Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and paying down debt, and Fiscal Phoenix where she writes about rising from the ashes of your financial mistakes.