Thursday, January 13, 2011

All or Nothing

As you're considering potential changes in your family's life, please know that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't have to work OR stay home, you can do both-and in fact most of the mothers I know fall into this category. When I stopped teaching after my son was born, it was hard for me to get used to not earning a paycheck for the first time in 12 years. A friend suggested that I tutor high school students after school, but I didn't have much "extra" time and I wasn't sure how to get started. It also felt like a step down from teaching and I didn't like the idea of going backwards, but in the end decided to at least give it a try. I knew I didn't want to make a big investment, and I also wanted to make my own hours. After ordering some business cards online ($30 for 5,000-although I only needed about 200), I dropped them off in the mailboxes in our neighborhood while out on walks with my husband and kids. Between the cards and referrals, I soon found myself booked and referring students onto someone else. It was the perfect solution. I watched my son during the day, then 2-3 nights a week I handed him off to my husband five minutes before my first student arrived. At $40/hr it was definitely worth my time, although I did charge less than other teachers in my area because I wanted the flexibility of working from my home instead of travelling to my students' houses. Watching my students find confidence and succeed was so rewarding, in addition to the relationships we were building. What a great opportunity I almost missed because I was afraid of trying something new!

I know moms who give lessons online, provide childcare (in their home or at local meeting places), cater one night a week, are group exercise instructors or sell make-up/kitchen products/bags/toys etc.  I have also met moms who find good deals and sell them online (usually eBay) to make some extra cash. Different ideas work for different people, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Whatever you decide, make sure you choose something you love to do so that it gives you energy as well.

Please feel free to share a part-time job idea in the comments below!

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