Being a mom is a wonderful gift. It's also stressful and nonstop and there aren't any paid vacations. But even if you're lucky enough not to be the main earner in your family, you might find yourself needing to drum up some extra cash without having the lack of flexibility of a nine-to-five.
Having a job can feel rewarding too and offer you a chance to talk to other adult humans or flex your creative muscles. With that in mind, we collected the top jobs that are flexible enough for moms that can also get some extra money in your pocket fast. Most of them allow you to set your own schedule and won't require endless amounts of time and effort.
Take a look and see which of these would fit your life best.
1. Realtor or appraiser
Real estate agents set their own schedule but typically must be available on nights and weekends. This is ideal for women who have husbands who work 9 to 5 and do not want their children in day care. An appraiser determines the value of a property based on comparisons of similar homes and an evaluation of the property itself. Though both jobs require certifications, both are extremely flexible and offer competitive pay and benefits.
Ideally, you’ll need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting but can always start out as an assistant to someone first. A career in accounting is one of the most-stable careers you can have — which is a top consideration for working moms. With accounting, you can work for yourself (for example, preparing clients' taxes), work for a company, freelance or work part time.
3. Hair dresser or makeup artist
Since beauty likely won’t ever disappear, there’s always going to be a need for beauticians (hair dressers, makeup artists, aestheticians and more). Beauticians can work from home, work out of a salon, take time off when needed, set their own hours and work as much or as little as they’d like. They can also specialize in weddings or other formal events, which typically pay higher rates than strictly working out of a salon.
Maybe you’re looking to get out of the house for a bit and earn some extra cash. If so, consider being a waitress or bartender. Both make money instantly in tips, and the pay is significantly higher than minimum wage. Also, most restaurants are always in need of weekend servers, so you can plan on being home with your family during the week and picking up shifts on the weekends.
5. Virtual assistant
Have serious organizational skills? Consider being a virtual assistant. Tasks can include sending emails, organizing travel and other administrative tasks for entrepreneurs and executives. Pay varies and tends to average around $15/hour.
Next: Retail associate
A version of this article was originally published in January 2014.
6. Retail associate
Maybe, as a mom, you just need to get out of the house for a few hours per week. Sometimes, a short break every now and then is just what we need to parent to the best of our abilities. If this is you, consider getting a part-time job in retail. You can work for a small candle shop, a jewelry counter in your favorite department store or at a local coffee shop, for example. Though the pay isn’t necessarily the best, the flexibility and the time away from home may be priceless.
7. Fitness instructor
If working out is one of your top priorities, consider becoming a fitness instructor. You can teach as little as one class per week or become certified in a specialized field, such as Pilates, and teach private lessons along with group classes. Group instructors can average $20 per hour, and private instructors can charge significantly more per hour depending on credentials, location and types of clients.
8. Small business owner
Are you crafty and have a passion for baking, making jewelry, or blogging? Zone in on your talents, and open up your own small business out of the comfort of your own home. Etsy, for instance, lets you create your own little handmade shop on the worldwide web. You can also sell your services via a personal website, advertising and referrals.
Whether you do it locally or remotely, tutoring can be a great way to earn extra cash. There are several places you can tutor online, including Chegg, K12 and Tutor.com. Tutors earn anywhere from $10 to $20 an hour.
If you’re at home with your own kids all day (and love it), consider being a nanny for someone else’s kids or starting your own at-home day care. Both options allow you to stay with your own children and bring in some additional income as well.
Freelancing goes beyond writing or editing, which are what most people think of when they hear the word "freelance." Freelancing is simply working for a company without a long-term commitment. Basically, you work as an independent contractor, usually from the comfort of your own home. You may be hired on temporarily to complete a project, assist in grant writing or bookkeeping and more. While it isn’t the most stable of jobs, it is one of the most flexible, and freelancers often make more than $20/hour.