5 Gigs for Stay-at-Home Parents Without Childcare

One parent feeding a baby in a high chair while the other works on a laptop on the couch.

Image source: Getty Images

Many people with children make the decision to leave the workforce temporarily, not because they don’t want to hold down a job, but because the costs and logistics of childcare make going back to work not worth it financially. Similarly, many stay-at-home parents would love to join the gig economy, but are held back by the fact they don’t have anyone to watch their kids.

Given the cost of childcare these days, it’s hard to justify paying $15 or $20 an hour for babysitting when the gig you’re working may not pay much more than that (in many cases, it might pay a lot less). The good news, though, is that there are many side jobs you can do from the comfort of home, and at a pace that might work for your busy child-rearing schedule. Here are five gigs worth looking into if you could use a boost in income.

1. Writing and editing

Many websites and publications need content, so if you have strong writing or editing skills, you may be able to line up work in that realm. Even if you only write or edit a couple of pieces a week, it might still make a difference financially over time. You may even be able to find a gig that lets you blog about being a parent — something you know a lot about.

2. Web design

If you have the skills to create and design websites, you might manage to earn a nice wage, while getting to work at a pace that’s doable for you. If you’re not sure how many hours you can handle, start with a single client and then work your way up as time allows.

Some small business owners aren’t that well-versed in social media and would rather spend their time running their companies than updating Twitter and Facebook. But if you’re a social media guru (or have at least used social media for many years), then you may be able to line up a gig that has you updating business accounts for cash. It’s also a gig that may not take up much of your limited time.

4. Virtual tutoring

If you’re well-versed in a specific academic subject or have general teaching experience, you may be able to sign up to tutor students virtually. You can set up those sessions to coincide with your children’s nap schedules. Or, if you have a partner, you can see about doing evening sessions so they can watch your kids while you meet with your clients.

5. Data entry

Data entry may not be the most exciting gig. But for the most part, you don’t need specific skills to do this sort of work, and it could be an easy way to score some cash when the occasional hour opens up in your day.

Managing any sort of job with young children at home is no easy feat. But if you’re able to spend even a few hours a week on a part-time gig, it could change your financial picture for the better. Earning even a small amount of money could make it possible to boost your savings, pay off costly debt, and have more wiggle room for bill-paying purposes.

Just as importantly, by working part-time, you can avoid the dreaded resume gap that sometimes hurts parents when they try to return to the workforce after an extended break. That benefit alone makes getting a part-time gig worthwhile.

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