How a single mom can stay home with her children

Is It Possible to Be a Single Work-at-Home Mom?

TDS Reader Solutions

Can It Be Done?

I am a single mother and I would like to stay at home with my children. Working all day and sending them to daycare doesn't allow me to raise them the way I would like. I am trying to become a work-at-home mom, starting my own business. I would like to see articles for single mothers who would like to stay at home. Everything I read on SAH moms supposes there is a back-up husband steadily bringing money. I think single mothers also have the right to become the primary caregiver of their children even if they are not married. There must be a lot of single mothers who want to be able to stay at home. This is an extra challenge, but I am sure this is possible.

I would appreciate any bits of knowledge and wisdom readers have to share.

Child Care is an Option

I too am a single mom with three boys who has managed to stay home for the nearly four years I have been separated/divorced. It does help to have adequate child support for one thing. I have also done childcare. Currently I do part time childcare and I also have a Mary Kay business on the side. (See readers' reviews of Selling Mary Kay Cosmetics) I make a decent living and this summer I have made it a priority to spend a lot of time with my children. It is actually working. If you enjoy children and don't mind your house being used by a bunch of kids, childcare isn't too bad. Not everyone enjoys it, but if you can get out with the kids instead of being stuck inside all day, give it a try.

As for my Mary Kay business, I am not bothered by having to have quotas met or a pushy director or anything like that. I meet a lot of people, help women look more beautiful, and make some extra money every month.

Admittedly, it is not fun being a single mom. I dislike it immensely, but no prospects in sight for marriage so I continue to plug away doing this alone. God bless your search for just the right thing to stay home with your children. It will mean so much to you and them and you won't have wasted all those hours away from them.

Related: Working for Avon or Mary Kay

Jobs For Single Moms That Keep the Kids Close

I was a single parent with two children under 6. I had to work when I divorced--or so I thought. After two years of paying half my salary for day care, I realized I could quit my full time job and work at several part time jobs for about the same income. I received no health care benefits but was getting DHS assistance with health care. If my employer had provided health care I might have stayed with my job.

So, here's what I did: I worked weekends cleaning offices and took my kids with me. The kids "helped", for which they received allowances. I delivered newspapers from 5-7am. The kids ate breakfast in the back seat while I delivered papers and we verbally went over their homework or told stories or sang songs. The pay for a paper carrier is poor; the tips are great. I offered to tutor adult college students in my home by posting an ad on a college bulletin board. I worked in a friend's shop where she fixed up a back playroom so I could bring the kids to work. I worked several nights in the local library and was able to bring my kids to that job, where they could play quietly in the children's room, read, get tutoring in math from the volunteer "homework helper" or help me shelve books.

I had many other jobs that came and went. Basically, if I could take my kids along and save the cost of a sitter it was worth any small amount of money. When the kids were in their early teens I went back to a regular job 3/4 time, then full time when they were in high school.

We lived close to the bone (a big treat was getting a small take out pizza once in a blue moon) but had a lot of fun and became a close family. Today my kids are adults and treat me like a queen, so I guess it didn't hurt them any! The down side for me was a lack of social life, though I formed many lasting "extended family" relationships with the people who provided me with work and supported my desire to be with my kids. If you can live with thrift shop clothes and making every nickel count, then this may work for you.

Incidentally, today I hold a prominent job with one of the best employers so this detour did not hurt my career at all.

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Clerical Work

If you have any clerical skills, those could be used at home in a lot of different ways. Either by doing odds and ends office work, i.e. data entry, typing reports, copying, typing letters, basically what a receptionist or secretary does. Or you could look into transcriptions. I did medical transcriptions at home when I was pregnant with my daughter. You can make a pretty good living at it, but it does take a while to build up a client list, and most people want you to have experience and training. But there are other kinds of transcriptions, legal etc. Some people will dictate letters and such to be transcribed.

Related: Jobs for Single Work-at-Home Moms

Consider Part Time Job

I know some people make a living wage from their at-home businesses right away, but most don't. Until you get to the point where you can support your family, you may want to do something part time, like a paper route in the early mornings or waitressing during the dinner hour (shifts can often run 5-9 p.m., and this is when you will make the most money). Hire a babysitter to stay with your kids for the few hours you'll be gone and work on the business during the day while they nap or play. Often, if you can find a responsible teen or even a family member willing to help you out, you can save a lot on day care costs.

Hopefully you have something saved to help with expenses until your business takes off. The site gives many business ideas for working from home and incorporates all types of work-at-home parents, even dads and single parents.

Sign up to receive work at home opportunities directly in your inbox. Enter "work at home" in the "What do you want field?" below.

Staying At Home Takes Planning

I am a mother of two, divorced and a providing stay at home mom. Fortunately, we had no debt when we divorced. Car was paid off. Mobile home owned outright. We pay land lease each month. Things are very tight but for personal as well as religious reasons I wanted so much to stay home with my two little ones. I have a master's degree in music performance and a bachelor's degree in music education.

Eliminate all extras. Use cloth diapers. Stop considering chocolate chips a necessity. Hang dry your laundry. Read the Tightwad Gazette. Shop yard sales and get organized about planning 2 to 3 years ahead on your children's wardrobe.

Get any credentials current. For me this meant recertifying for public school in this state as well as taking the class necessary to be a kindermusik educator. Even if you don't use them right now, they are leverage for any area you do work.

Assess your abilities. Write down everything you do well. Label them by how much pleasure you derive out of them. Start thinking how to market them. Put out the word and ask for help with your abilities.

Save the TV time for your kids for when you absolutely must concentrate on providing. Do not even think of watching TV when you are tired. Get organized and pray very hard and then be professional both about providing and about mothering.

Related: Surviving as a Single Mom

Housecleaning May Be an Answer

We have started a small residential housecleaning business. The demand is incredible. All of our business has come by word of mouth. We have spent a total of $100 in supplies and in creating a brochure with information about us on it. We started in April and are currently generating $540 per month each person. We have also done a few one time cleans for people, but our monthly income is from our regular customers. We have shared teenage baby-sitters for our kids and they think that is great fun. This is a low cost, high profit, and flexible opportunity.

Related: Starting a House Cleaning Business

Reviewed March 2018

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