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I have been a “stay at home mom” for about nine years. Two years ago, we realized that although we are living comfortably on one income, we have money goals that will require (significantly) more money than is possible to save with what we have coming in.
So, I started dabbling in ways to make an online income. And boy, oh boy! There are a TON of viable options. I have tried a lot of different “side hustles” and learned that most “side hustles” require just as much marketing/preparation as coming out and saying it like it is: you are starting a business. They are one in the same.
PSA: It is HARD to grow a business, especially when you have little kids around 24/7. You need a solid plan and the confidence to persevere even when the plan hasn’t shown any progress. And money. You are going to need to invest money sometimes LONG before you will earn anything back. It all depends on what you choose to pursue.
If you are in a place where you need extra money and want to stay home with your kids, there are plenty of ways to make income online. I just want to warn you that if you need money right away, looking into a survival job while you build your business is a good way to start contributing financially because your business will more than likely take some time to become profitable.
Starting a business as a stay at home mom is for you if:
- You are willing to work without pay for an undetermined amount of time
- You are able to manage your time and consistently accomplish your tasks and goals without outside help (at least at first)
- Money is nice, but you aren’t struggling and you can even manage to invest some into your business
- Your passion is easy to identify and share with others through a blog, e-commerce, or service
- You are great at making connections with others and are able to foster relationships easily
- You understand that you will be selling SOMETHING, whether it is yourself through a service, or your products, etc. Marketing is marketing my friends
Now, this list is NOT singling anyone out. If you aren’t great at making friends, you can always get better. If you don’t have the time or money -or patience!- to wait for money, then starting a business can be part of the plan, but maybe not the entire solution! That is where I have landed. Let me explain.
The Money Pressure
Over these last two years, our finances have pretty much been stagnant. I have spent almost a decade “affording” to be a stay at home mom. Yes, it can be done. And it can be wonderful! But, it can also be crushing. It can feel like a trap, and it will limit your options in life unless you are completely debt free.
We aren’t struggling to pay the bills like we did when we first started “adulting”, but we so desperately want to get AHEAD. We have a house that needs to be finished, consumer debt to pay off, and I want to do the FUN stuff like vacationing and going on family day trips-before the next decade comes.
We’re talking thousands of dollars in profit that are needed before we can reach a place where the financial pressure is off. Without extra income, those goals just aren’t realistic.
Because of this pressure, not making any consistent progress with an online business has become frustrating and energy zapping. Honestly, not making any progress is probably BECAUSE of this pressure. I have given up far too soon on several endeavors because I need results right now.
That is why my entrepreneurial journey has been one identity crisis after another. It’s why my blog niche has changed over and over again, and why I have tried so many different types of freelancing. I have an “idea” of where I want to go, but I have no idea which vehicle to hop into.
Without a solid vision, a clear path to the finish line, and the confidence to stick to it, I have found myself spinning my wheels and running in circles. Starting a business is not a money solution if you need money soon! If you feel desperate, it will affect your results!
I recommend dabbling in side hustles in order to figure out where you thrive, but don’t expect huge financial gains from it right away. Remind yourself that your business is the long game, and only commit when you have found what you want to pursue!
You might get lucky and find your place right away! I hope you do. I just want you to know that it’s okay if you don’t and that you will figure it out. Just keep learning and trying.
In the mean-time, consider getting a survival job, or something that you will enjoy to bring in some money while you work in the background building your business.
Time For A Change
I went with the second route, and I considered only options that I would enjoy. In under a week, I had submitted applications and landed a waitressing job. Yep, seriously. And it’s incredible because I am already feeling relieved.
I am basically setting my own hours because my manager is super flexible. I am working in a fun environment and interacting with people. I have the option to work doubles(long days) or single shifts (about 5 hours). It feels great, and frankly, I think it will be healthy for me and my family!
See, lately, it has been MORE stressful for me to be home than to go to work. My husband is getting burned out from working overtime and his health is suffering.
The stress of trying to make money through my business(es) has caused me to be a crappy mom, and I have been “working” unsustainable hours. I have the time, but my motivation is waning the more that my husband stresses.
Not only that, but my kids are BORED at home. They need the play time that daycare offers. We can’t justify going on lavish outings regularly, and I am at the point of struggling to be a fun mom. We live in a tiny town, so kids are rarely in the park when we go. I can only handle visiting our local park so many times in a month without losing my sanity.
My husband needs help, my kids need to get out, and I need relief from the pressure of it all. A job outside of the home just feels right for my family.
However, there are options to work from home as well! If you are only wanting financial gains, check out Flexjobs! They curate job opportunities from around the web and double check all for legitimacy. You won’t have to worry about scams one bit. Check out Flexjobs here.
Making Changes When Feeling Burned Out
At first, I thought that I would do something from home. I can build websites, create email funnels, schedule social media, you name it. I have an entire slew of skills sets that are valuable in the online space. I have a few virtual assistance clients, and I freelance on occasion. These skills can all be turned into businesses over time.
But I’m at the point where I need an escape, and I am OUT of time. I am TIRED of trying to “define my brand”. I just want to show up and smile at work.
I want to write on my blog as an outlet about the things that matter in my family life at that moment. I don’t want to wonder if they fit my business plan(that I re-wrote last week for the eighth time).
My decision really came down to this: My husband needs to see something other than my face in the laptop. He asked for REAL help, and I can’t be a positive minded wealth-attracting-being when I feel guilty any time I sit at the computer, or he complains that he is tired.
He needs to see me doing something that he can comprehend, and I need the step back to reassess what kind of a business I really want.
Until I know, I will keep blogging about my journey, and go to work four days a week to visit with other adults. Sounds like a win to me.
I have talked about making time at home in order to make time for goals. I have shared how I manage to blog, and freelance, and do MORE than play with my kids and clean my house as a stay at home mom.
Now, we are putting all of this to the test! It is a personal challenge that I am embracing. Will these strategies work for any mom? Even a working mom?
Because I know that they work for part-time work at home mom, and for a stay at home mom!
I am excited to see how this change will affect my family dynamic, and if it will reignite my fire to share my story! That is the core of blogging, and I think that it is time for me to just start spitting it all out. The good, the bad, the ugly things that I don’t want to be defined by. They are all pieces of the story that matter.
I’m going to be talking about:
- Enjoying your family! Fun things to do together, and ways to embrace motherhood rather than struggle through it. Hint: so much of it is MINDSET and ACTION.
- Money honey! Our goal is to use my income to pay off our consumer debt, finish our construction-zone home, and then get completely debt-free. Money touches our lives in so many ways. Let’s stop ignoring that fact.
- Time management strategies and organization! I am super excited to see if my home systems are going to be as hands-free as I expect. Running a family of five takes a lot of work, but I do believe that it can be an after-thought and not the main event if we are intentional. I have worked hard to put my home on auto-pilot. Let’s see if it holds up!
- Fumbling through Mompreneur Life. Because I’m not ready to give up, but I am ready to start talking about my journey. I have realized that I don’t have to be successful to talk about the things that I have learned so far, and honestly, it might be even better if I’m not. I have tried a LOT, and that comes with quite a few lessons to share.
- Who knows! I mean, that’s what this is all about right?!
Getting a Job isn’t Giving Up
I know that this blog post was mostly self-serving, and I’m sorry about that. I have a lot of bottled up emotions-because that is what happens to stay at home moms if we aren’t careful!
I just want to shout out that if you have the urge to get out of the house, that doesn’t mean you are a failure as a mom. It doesn’t make you better or worse in any way. Don’t give up on your dreams, but don’t let yourself get stuck either!
What matters most is that the decisions that you make are calculated and thoughtful, helping you to craft a happy home and a healthy family. That is the ultimate goal and there is nothing wrong with taking drastic, unpopular, action to achieve it.
If you are resonating with these topics, I would love it if you followed me on Pinterest. I feel like I have so much to share now that I’m giving myself permission, and I want to help as many people as possible break their barriers and get closer to their dream lives.
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If you have resonated with my story, I’d appreciate a share on Pinterest! Thanks in advance. 🙂