How to Make Money from Home and Save on Childcare
At HireMyMom, we work with mom professionals at every stage of their motherhood journey. We have moms with newborns considering their professional options and mothers with kids entering college who love working at home and can’t imagine any other way of working.
One of the most common questions we hear from mom professionals with young children considering working from home is: can I work at home without childcare? And, we get it! Childcare is expensive, it can be tough to arrange, and using it can be a source of stress.
The answer is that it depends on lots of factors. Let’s dig into what’s possible, based on our experience working with thousands of mom professionals as well as employers who seek them.
A General Rule of Thumb
If you have young children who aren’t old enough to go to school, you can probably work about ten hours a week without childcare. Any more than that is difficult because your kids need your attention just like your work.
Without childcare, squeezing in those ten hours will take creativity and discipline. Many moms who work from home with little kids rise early to knock out work before their family wakes up. Others burn the midnight oil, and some are committed to working every second of nap time. Some moms establish routines that include specific hands-off kid activities that allow them to work while the kids keep themselves busy.
The great news is that HireMyMom offers many part-time opportunities that can work with this schedule. But, if you find that you want more hours, you can likely find a part-time childcare situation that meets your needs and your budget.
Finding Part-Time Childcare
The prospect of finding high-quality, full-time child care can be daunting. But, there are several ways to find part-time child care, perfect for work-from-home moms. Here are some ideas:
- Ask nearby family members if they are willing to commit to helping a few hours one or two days a week.
- Share childcare duties with another work-from-home mom who has similar needs. Take turns on kid duty a few hours each day or every other day, giving each set of adults a chance to work kid-free and the kids a chance to play with friends.
- See if local churches offer a mother’s day out program where you can enroll your children and establish a regular work time while the kids attend the program.
- Consider a preschool program that your kids attend a few mornings a week. Many pre-schools offer a session that meets from 9 to noon. Usually, you can pick the number of days your child attends, choosing between two and five-day programs.
- Enroll your kids in a sports camp that meets a few times each week and work while they attend.
- Look for a local high school or community college student who could provide a few hours of support each week. Community college students often have a few free hours midday between classes, which can be ideal if you are looking for mid-day care.
- Ask a neighbor to consider swapping tasks with you–trading a few hours of child care for a service you’d be happy to provide like shopping, cooking, or organizing.
Need More Childcare?
If you need more hours of child care than these ideas provide, consider partnering with another family (or two) to hire a shared nanny. This is an excellent solution if you both need a fair amount of childcare but don’t want to use a child care center or commit to a full-time child care provider.
There are many ways to split the nanny’s time. One option is arranging different days/hours but ensuring the nanny will have a set number of work hours each week. Or, you could arrange to have the nanny take all the kids to alternating houses throughout the week. This type of setup makes it easier to find a professional, full-time nanny without having to shoulder the expense on your own.
If you go this route, do the work upfront to make the arrangement successful. Start by agreeing on a general framework for hours and days at the outset. This type of arrangement works better when everyone is on the same page in terms of schedules. But, be prepared to be flexible, as schedules and needs can change.
Also, talk with the other family about general expectations for kid behavior and activities while the nanny is in charge. For example, will kids watch television with the nanny? Do you expect the nanny to supervise while the kids play or actively engage them in activities? Many nannies provide light housekeeping services like dishes and laundry. So, map out expectations in those realms, too. Discussing these topics in advance can ensure a smoother partnership.
Another idea: Invest in Yourself
Many moms with young children use the time when their kids are tiny to take training classes and launch a virtual assistant (VA) business. As a VA, you take care of many tasks, including email response, appointment setting, travel planning, and calendar management. These businesses are flexible and can be scaled as your family life changes and your children grow.
VA work is catching on quickly. You can work as a general VA who does a wide variety of tasks or become one with a specialty in a particular industry or need. It’s a great business model because it solves a problem so many people have — squeezing more tasks into a day. It’s also an excellent lifestyle for moms who want to control their own time while keeping professional ambitions alive.
At HireMyMom, we’ve partnered with four different training programs to help our members learn more about this business opportunity and acquire the skills needed to launch a VA business.
No matter how much you love your kids or how much you love your job, it can be tough to be a working mom. Join our Community of moms working from home and share your struggles, ideas, or best tips for managing child care and connecting with other moms like you.