It can be difficult to figure out how to earn extra cash when you're a mom taking care of small kids. "As a mom," says Maggie O'Neill, founder of real estate consulting company City 2 Upstate and mother of two, "whether you work full time or you stay at home, whether you have a partner or whether you don't, everything falls on you."
A lack of time and flexibility are two of the main challenges moms face when it comes to finding part-time work, says O'Neill. But there are a number of flexible side hustles that you can squeeze into short windows of time while the kids are at school, for example, or even when they're asleep.
Here are seven side hustles for busy moms.
From blogging to copywriting for advertising and creative agencies, there are lots of ways to get paid to write. And the nice thing about a lot of writing gigs is, despite the deadlines, there tends to be flexibility around when and where you can work.
If you have a flair for stringing words together, consider creating a profile on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, where experienced writers charge as much as $150 per 500-word blog post, or Upwork, where writers charge as much as $150 per hour. Parenting blogs like Freelance Mom can pay between $75 and $100 per post, and you can find more freelance writing opportunities on Indeed and in Craigslist's "gigs" section.
Virtual assistants provide an array of services to businesses and individuals, from data entry to research to travel booking to calendar management. Depending on the job, virtual assistants can work remotely and just a few hours a week, so it's a good option for anyone trying to squeeze in some work.
If you're adept at organization and on top of logistics, and if you have some experience in business administration, virtual assisting may be for you. On Upwork, virtual assistants charge anywhere from $18 to $50 per hour. You can also find job postings for virtual assistants on sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter.
Photography does take time and a financial investment, between buying and getting to know your equipment, learning the job through on-the-ground training, building a portfolio, and amassing some name recognition.
If you're savvy with a shutter, though, you might consider it as a side hustle. It's "a great motherhood job because you can bend it to what you need," says Ali Smith, award-winning photographer and mother of one.
The average hourly pay for a photographer in the U.S. is $21, according to ZipRecruiter.
There's often money to be made renting out rooms in your house, if you have space and can set up a profile, communicate with renters, and ensure that the area remains clean. If local laws allow, consider listing a room in your home on sites like Airbnb. As many as 38% of Airbnb hosts make between $100 and $499 a month, according to data from lending platform Earnest.
Consulting is a varied field, with consultants covering everything from content creation to IT to business development. If you have a particular expertise, consider listing your services on sites like Upwork or applying to be listed in LinkedIn's ProFinder, which matches client asks with relevant professionals.
"Any kind of consultancy can be great," says Amri Kibbler, co-founder of HeyMama, a social network for working moms and mother of two. "There's a lot of flexibility in doing things digitally or meeting after hours."
The average salary for a freelance consultant is about $30 per hour, according to Indeed.
Fluent in English and love teaching? Sites like VIPKid and GoGoKid pair English-speaking teachers with Chinese students for 25-minute slots. Both companies provide lesson plans and let teachers book slots at their convenience. According to their websites, GoGoKid teachers earn $14 to $25 per hour, while VIPKid teachers earn an average of $22 per hour.
Companies like TaskRabbit list jobs as varied as mounting a mirror, making a delivery, and planting flowers. If you're the kind of mom who likes to pick up a simple gig when her schedule allows, consider creating a profile on TaskRabbit or sifting through the "gigs" section of Craigslist.
On TaskRabbit, for example, you can earn as much as $147 per project assembling furniture, up to $50 per project making deliveries, and up to $18 planting flowers, according to the website.
"I think moms are incredibly well-equipped for a side hustle because they are so efficient," says Katya Libin, co-founder of HeyMama and mother of one.
Kibbler agrees: "I think that moms just feel the need to deliver on things."
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