- Jun 14, 2018
Before I became a mom, I thought I would go for jobs that deal with babies as a full-time career. I wasn’t sure if it was as a pediatrician, as a baby-needs supplies seller, or as a daycare teacher. All I knew was that I just loved the thought of smelling baby-fresh scent every day, working with tiny tots gurgling and cooing in the background, and taking care of their health and happiness while making sure they look angelic in their pristine white onesies and immaculate, stain-free bibs.
Then I became a mom thrice over - and boy, did I get a rude awakening. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my kids But being around them 24/7, from infancy to toddlerhood through to their pre-teen years, I realized that it takes a special kind of person to actually choose to do this as a full-time career. The gurgling and cooing quickly turned into screaming and crying, and the white onesies have fused with the pureed carrot-stained bibs. So if any of you ever had or currently have jobs working with children, and would still choose it over any other kind of work again, I salute you!
Over the years, however, I was gifted with the lens of motherhood, tinted with patience, and forged by both frustration and delight, that I figured out how to work from home with kids in relative peace. I also realized I would choose this kind of work over an office-based job any day. Because at the end of the day, kids are delightful, and so is this list of five work at home careers dealing with little ones which I am considering.
1) Designing children’s wear
Now, this is a dream I never totally let go of even after the kids have grown. See, I especially got excited when my daughter was born, because it meant lots of dressing up and matching accessories and shoes with all her baby gear. With a bit of know-how on the sewing machine and some original design ideas, I ended up creating a lot of her babywear. I also sought inspiration from vintage pattern magazines sent over by my mom. Most have the kind of classic, unisex designs I loved (not so frilly and frou-frou like the store-bought ones when my daughter was an infant) which I thought would appeal to other moms, too.
Of course, babies have a way of growing out of their clothes pretty quickly, and with no other kid to hand it down to (my daughter being the youngest), I found myself with a stash of OOAK (one of a kind) baby clothes that were worn exactly once. A fellow mom suggested selling some of them as well as new ones via Shopify or Etsy, those meccas for unique finds which a lot of mompreneurs (moms that are entrepreneurs) turn to for a second source of income. Now, I am seriously considering setting up shop on these e-commerce platforms because I think I actually have something unique to offer to other moms and their babies!
2) Events planner for kiddie parties
Have you ever noticed how new parents seem to like celebrating every small milestone in their precious little one’s life nowadays? Like with monthsaries (seriously, what is up with that?) leading up to their first birthday, or holding a gender-reveal party, or just about any other reason to throw a shebang for their kid? Not that I’m complaining (I’m just a frugal frau, for the most part), I just find it bewildering and fascinating at the same time.
Then I realized, this phenomenon of over-celebrating is something I can consider cashing in on. Many parents today don’t seem to mind pulling out all the stops when it comes to celebrating their kids’ milestones - whether it’s the first, 7th, 15th, or 21st birthday or just about any occasion in-between - that it’s helped build the lucrative industry of party and events planning in the past couple of decades.
I’ve been reading up a lot on party planning, and admittedly, a lot of events require the kind of professional service borne from years of catering and a carefully curated network of florists, musicians, waitstaff, wine suppliers, and tent and table rentals. A lot of formal events also require credentials, at least five years of experience as a party planner, a certification or endorsement, and a degree in the hospitality arts or something similar.
In my case, I wanted to start small and simple and work with the network I already have - AKA my neighbors’ kids, and my co-parents from my kids’ school. We would meet informally at PTAs, soccer matches, and even outside at the school parking lot while waiting for classes to be dismissed. We realized we can help organize each others’ kiddie parties using a simple party-planning system (mine, with the help of some apps like Wunderlist and Pro Party Planner). So while I don’t have the kind of party planning pedigree others have, I am at least familiar with my kids’ friends’ tastes, and what they are currently into (and not into). A big plus is that my co-parents and neighbors trust me
I am currently working on a two-month timeline for a swimming party, with a checklist for date/time, venue, theme, the number of guests, menu, “staff”, and a budget. Once that checks out, it’s time to scout for equipment and other party suppliers. I will let you know how this sophomoric kiddie party planning project of mine works out as soon as we reach the second week leading to the event!
3) Private tutor
This is perhaps one of the most popular and reliable ways to launch a career working with kids because children will always need help with their homework. Nowadays though, there’s that added allure of doing it in the comfort of your own home. Whether it’s a one-on-one face-to-face kind of arrangement where a kid goes to your house to get the day’s homework done and lessons reviewed or one with a telecommuting twist where you need to be online - I think it’s definitely a worthwhile career to consider.
I’m good at literature and history subjects, so I’ve had my fair share of giving remedial lessons to my kids and their friends after school hours (especially when it’s examination week). The kids’ parents and I have a financial arrangement for these remedial classes, and it’s been pretty good so far...except it’s usually a seasonal thing and not something I would call a secondary stream of steady income.
Now, I’m seriously considering going for an online tutoring position at StudyPool, which promises up to $5K a month for helping students with their assignments. Being a StudyPool tutor seems easy enough, as I can browse through dozens of subjects and questions (I scrolled through the list and some of them are pretty interesting!), help students answer homework questions, and then get paid.
4) New-parent support blogger
A few paragraphs up, I mentioned the newly-emerging trend that is the gender-reveal party. No matter how you look at it, parents, today love celebrating their unborn kids in ways that are endearing and awkward at the same time. And then there are the baby showers that come after, plus the other milestones that require the soothing presence of other people who have been there and done that. It’s like the new parents themselves need reassurance that they’re doing the right thing, and want to know that you - their family and friends - have got their back.
I totally get it. As a new mom back then, there were more times when I did not know what to do, say, or how to act around my baby and thought I was the worst parent in the world! Now I can just laugh at my mistakes and be thankful for the support of family and friends who were there to patiently teach me how to change nappies properly, burp babies so they don’t end up staining all their clothes (and mine), and keep a generally organized and neat household - even with the presence of baby things to stumble over and a steady background noise of crying and yelling.
If you’ve gone through all that and survived as well, consider putting up a new-parent support blog on WordPress to help other newly-minted parents. You can talk about your own challenges when your kids were still infants, and the challenges you still face now with grown-up kids - and that it’s okay not to know what to do all the time.
Parents need all the help and support they can get from each other. Heaven knows I would have benefited from a new-parent support blog during all those times I panicked when my son first lost a tooth, or I bought the wrong size diapers for my toddler (hint: it wasn’t for babies at all).
5) Kids’ and babies’ supplies seller
Retail-based careers with kids don’t have to require an expensive overhead budget, or even you going out of the house (at least not every day, or too often, if staying at home really is your cup of tea). If you love baby and kids supplies and want to sell them to augment your income, there’s really no reason to stop you. Along with selling unique, handmade items, you can use e-commerce platforms to sell consigned children’s clothes, accessories, toys, books, and other supplies so you can have a one-stop shop of carefully curated baby items. Consider the kind of market, branding, and theme you have always wanted for your own kids, and translate that into your online boutique. You may not have a brick and mortar baby store right now, but a virtual shop for all things baby-related could just be the next big work-at-home step you will make.
The list of home-based jobs with children involved is a long one, and I predict, will get longer as children’s needs get more complex through the years. Kids are a good target market for your career because parents need help with a lot of aspects of their upbringing. If you are a parent yourself (or a teacher), you already have these resources to offer them. It only makes sense to consider making a career out of assisting them, right?
What I shared with you today are things I’ve already tried (and will try in the near future), and while I can’t vouch for the kind of income these jobs can give you, I can certainly vouch for the fun and learning opportunities they will bring.
Are you currently working with kids, or have a career that’s geared towards children as a home-based job? Is it something you can see yourself doing as an extra income generator, and maybe even as a full-time career? If you have any tips and advice to share with us, we’d be glad to hear all about them.