How to Be a Single Stay at Home Mom: Complete Guide to Making it Work

There’s no question – being a single mom is tough. Figuring out how you’re going to make money and run a household while being there for your kids can be overwhelming, especially if you find yourself in this situation unexpectedly.

But, I have good news for you. It isn’t impossible.

Being a single mom doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of staying home with your kids.

It is possible to be a single stay at home mom. You need to find one of the best work at home jobs for moms, all of which offer flexibility and unlimited financial potential. Then mobilize a support network and shore up on skills of productivity and communication to make your dreams a reality.

You’re probably feeling like it’s more important than ever for you to do what you can to make money while you’re home for your children.

Luckily, it is absolutely possible to be a single stay at home mom (I even interviewed one who makes six figures a year!).

You’ll need grit, determination, and a whole lot of work ethic to be successful, but I’m happy to tell you that it’s totally possible.

Understanding how you can make this possible, starts with finding the right work-at-home job.

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Best Jobs for Single Stay at Home Moms

There are lots of jobs for stay at home moms, but not all of them are well-suited for single moms, especially if you’re one with young kids.

For instance, you can’t expect to be on phone calls during working hours of the day if you’re also managing childcare. You need something that’s flexible enough that you can work whenever you have the chance, especially if you don’t have a spouse or partner home to help.

For this reason, it’s usually best to start your own business as a freelancer. When you aren’t under someone else’s thumb, you don’t need to worry about clocking in and out at certain times, or being “on-call” during business hours.

If you’re going to make it work as a single stay at home mom, you need to be in charge of your own schedule.

All of the jobs listed below are flexible and have a great income potential, which is what you need as a single mom. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a good starting point to give you an idea of the types of things you can do. Let’s get started!

1. Freelance Writer

As a single mom, you’re juggling a lot. It can be difficult to have a job in which you’re expected to be “on call” during certain hours of the day.

That’s why freelance writing is so ideal.

As a freelance writer, you can work as much as you want, when you want. Even better? The sky’s the limit when it comes to how much you can make.

Seriously. There are many moms who make six figures working from home freelance writing. These success stories aren’t limited to moms who have a support partner at home. In fact, I even interviewed a six-figure freelance writer who is a single mom.

How would you feel if you knew you could command $300 just for a single blog post? That kind of income is more common than you think.

In fact, on several different occasions, I’ve made $1200 per article.

Freelance writing is a bit of a learned skill, but it’s nothing like all those essays and papers you used to have to write in school.

Each client will have their own preferences as to tone and style, but often you’ll be asked to write in an informative yet conversational style, just as if you were talking to a friend.

There are also many kinds of writing you can do, including:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • White papers
  • Email sequences
  • Product reviews
  • Web page content
  • Newsletter

Writing is great because you can get clients on retainer, which means that you perform the same work for them month in and month out for an agreed-upon fee. This is a good way to establish some steady income while you build up your client base.

Interested in learning more? Read my ultimate guide to becoming a freelance writer to find out more about the process.

2. Virtual Assistant

If writing isn’t your thing, or you want to branch out and offer more services, consider working as a virtual assistant. You can tailor the things you’re willing to do to the times when you’re available.

For instance, if your kids are in school and you want to work during the day, you can make yourself available to your clients during those hours. If you know your schedule, you can offer client-facing services like answering emails, providing customer service support, or making phone calls.

Virtual assisting is ideal for many people because you get to choose the kinds of virtual assistant services you’ll offer. Whether that means answering emails, scheduling Pinterest pins, or creating content outlines. You can choose what you want to offer and then do the work you love.

If you need more flexibility so that you’re not trying to work when your young children are around, simply create a virtual assistant package with things that are more flexible in nature. Content writing, keyword research, proofreading, and editing would all fit in these categories.

Like freelance writing, it’s easy to scale your virtual assistant services to grow your income. Book clients on retainer, offering them a pre-determined amount of services each month for an agreed-upon fee. This helps you batch your tasks and streamline your process as you grow your income.

Learn more about working from home as a virtual assistant in these top articles:

3. Freelance Web Designer

It’s no secret that every business needs a good website, so it’s surprising how many there still are that have a poorly-designed site, or no web presence at all.

A 2020 report on small businesses by Fundera showed that only 64 percent of small businesses have a website – that means a whopping 36 percent are without this important online presence.

What’s especially telling is that 91 percent of customers visited a store because of an online experience. Businesses who don’t have a website are leaving money on the table!

All these statistics mean one thing for you – there is a real need out there for freelance web designers.

If you have a good handle on web design, this can be a great way to make a living.

Sure, there are places like Squarespace and Wix that make it easier than ever for businesses to create a web presence, but many business owners are still either too busy or too technically-challenged to take the plunge and try to figure this out on their own.

That’s where you can come in. As a freelance web designer, you can charge for not only setting up a site, but also for adding content, keeping it fresh and relevant, and providing regular maintenance updates.

Finding clients might even be easier than you think. The best place to start is in your local community. You’ll likely find restaurants or small service-based businesses, like plumbers or contractors, that have no website. Or, they’re relying solely on social media like Facebook to be the only face of their business. This is always risky, because they truly have little to no control over their web presence.

Working as a web designer is an excellent job for any single mom, because you aren’t tied down to any specific schedule. You can work when you have the free time and still be home for your kids and to throw in a load of laundry when you need to.

4. Graphic Designer

Have an eye for design? Take advantage of that talent offering freelance graphic design services.

This is another ideal job because you can target both businesses in your local community and clients over the web.

Graphic design takes many forms, from creating posters and pamphlets to logos and infographics.

While it’s true that many graphic designers do have some background in learning how to create beautiful things, don’t let a lack of education stop you. There are plenty of self-taught moms who make a full-time income doing this from home.

Plus, with online teaching platforms like Udemy, it’s easier than ever to find the classes you need to help you hone your skills.

It’s also fairly easy to find your first clients on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

There’s no shortage of places to find work. If you have the know-how, put together a portfolio and then start reaching out to potential clients today!

5. Social Media Manager

Are you someone who regularly spends a lot of time on social media? If so, why not get paid for your efforts?

A social media manager oversees and operates all the social media accounts for various businesses and entrepreneurs.

In today’s world, social media is a big job, especially for businesses who want to make themselves known. As a social media manager, you can expect to spend a lot of time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, posting relevant content, connecting with consumers, and fielding customer service questions.

Working as a social media manager is great because it’s something you can do completely behind the scenes. You’ll never show your face or personality in your interactions – instead, you’ll act as the face of the business.

You can have more than one client as a time, which can really boost your earnings, and there are many scheduling tools to help you prepare posts ahead of time so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

6. Transcriptionist

Transcription admittedly isn’t a job that works for everyone, but if you find yourself with a stretch of quiet time each day you can make this work for you.

Transcription is listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. This isn’t the best for every single mom, because it’s usually too tricky to concentrate on the audio when you have young kids around, but you could also do this late at night or early morning.

It’s definitely possible to make money on this too. Just ask Janet Shaughnessy, who makes six figures a year as a transcriber.

There are even different types of transcription jobs out there, like general transcription and legal transcription. Legal transcription requires a bit more skill, but you also stand to make more money than with general transcription jobs.

Transcription is the type of job that requires some training and practice before you get it right. At first, it can be slow-going, especially as you figure out how to type things as quickly as you hear them.

Overall though, this is a very good work at home job option for a lot of people. And there are transcription training courses that can help you learn everything you need to know about getting started with this job.

7. Sell on Etsy

Don’t love the idea of working all day on the web? If you open an Etsy shop, you won’t have to.

While it’s true that Etsy itself is an online platform, you’ll spend very little actual time on its website. Instead, use your time creating handmade items or goods to sell.

If you’re unsure of what you can offer, simply head over there and take a look yourself. There are such a wide variety of items, it’s impossible to list them all. From hand-crafted pottery to printable worksheets to makeup to t-shirts – if it’s something you can create, you can make money selling it on Etsy.

8. Photographer

Just because you’re a work at home mom doesn’t have to mean that you work at home all the time. In fact, if you’re skilled at photography you could easily turn it into a career with a full-time income.

One of the great things about working as a photographer is that there are many different types of photos you can take. Family photography, newborn photography, weddings, and real estate are just a few of the many options available to you.

You can schedule your sessions when your kids are in school or on days when you’re able to hire a babysitter, and then do the rest of your editing work sitting at home on your computer.

Need a way to get started? Offer free or discounted sessions locally in order to build up a portfolio. If your work is good, you’ll have no problem booking clients and commanding high prices.

9. Online Course Creator

Online courses are in super high demand. If you have a professional background in something or have experience in teaching, use your knowledge to create online courses.

This really isn’t as difficult as it sounds. There are many online platforms that make this super easy to do, like Teachable and Podia.

Ideally, you’ll record a series of videos where you explain and teach your topic. You can also offer written content as a supplement to accommodate people who learn better through reading.

Creating a course does require some time and effort, but the payoff can be huge. If you find the right audience, you can sell your course for hundreds of dollars. That’s an incredible return for work that you do once.

You can sell these courses to businesses that may be looking for courses to help their clients or educational outlets that will use the course to teach their students. Alternatively, you can market the course and sell it yourself.

10. Blogger

Blogging is not something to ditch your day job for right away, but if you work quietly and consistently on it for long enough you absolutely can become successful.

There are lots of moms who easily make six figures just by blogging – even if they don’t have support at home.

Blogging is a lot of work, but it’s ideal because you can do that work whenever is convenient for you.

As you get started, consider working on the blog in your spare time.

The best way to be successful is to pick a niche (topic) and base your entire blog around that topic. Then, create as much helpful content as you can around that topic.

It takes a lot of time to build this up, but once you start getting traffic to your site, you can monetize through ads, affiliate products, and even products that you sell yourself.

There is a lot of information out there about starting a blog, and it can be really overwhelming. If you want to learn more, I recommend Suzi at Start a Mom Blog. Suzi is helpful, down-to-earth, and she has so much great info about how you can make this work for your family.

Check out her free course to see what she’s all about.

11. Online Coach

If you have experience doing something in a professional capacity and you are a really good teacher and motivator, an online coach may be right up your alley.

This is usually less work upfront than creating an online course, because there’s very little you need to do at the outset. Instead, you’ll work one-on-one with clients over the long term, offering guidance, support, and insight for their professional questions and needs.

If you work as a coach, you never need to leave home. Everything can be done via phone, email, or video chat, making this a great choice for a mom who wants to be available to her kids.

Still, you do need to consider the time commitment of this type of job. Your clients will likely need you to be available during regular business hours, which may mean that you have a little less flexibility than you would with some of the other work-from-home jobs.

hand putting money in a blue piggy bank

Tips for How to Be a Single Stay at Home Mom

Figuring out the best work at home job for you isn’t all you need to do to be a single stay at home mom. There may be some other lifestyle and mindset changes you need to make in order to adjust yourself to this new lifestyle.

Most of these changes revolve around money – at least at first.

Here are some tips to help you through the process.

Reduce Your Expenses as Much as Possible

When you’re just starting out, money is likely to be tight. While it is definitely possible to make a full-time income working all of the jobs above, you won’t see success overnight.

Reduce your expenses as much as possible to make yourself as financially secure as you can. Cut out all unnecessary bills like cable and eating out until you have a steady and dependable income.

Budget Carefully

You will need to put some money into your new work at home job, but make sure you aren’t spending more than you have. Figure out what expenses you need for education, like courses to get started.

Then determine how much you have to spend on supplies or tools. After that, don’t spend anything more on your work at home job until you are making money from your venture.

Keep Enough in Savings

It’s always important to have adequate savings set aside, but this is especially true when you’re a single work at home mom. Don’t bankrupt yourself trying to get started. You need an adequate cushion of several months expenses to fall back on as a precaution.

Be Prepared to Work Hard

There’s no way to sugarcoat it – you need a lot of grit and determination to make this work.

The good news is that it is possible.

However, you’re going to have to work hard. This probably means getting up early before the kids wake up so that you can fit in some work time, or staying up later than you’d like. For a while, you might have to give up extras like bingeing your favorite TV shows or lazy afternoon activities.

I’m not saying you need to give up everything that you love. In fact, making free time for yourself is extremely important to your success. But you do need to realize that there is no job where you’ll find success easily or overnight. They all require a lot of hard work and dedication if you want to make a full-time income.

woman tying her shoe before a run

If You Want to be a Single Stay at Home Mom, Here are Some Things to Remember

Even though you won’t have a spouse at home to share the workload doesn’t mean you need to do this all on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s from friends, local family members, or even hiring a babysitter. Do what you need to do to get the support that you need. It’s so important to remember this as you proceed.

In that same vein, remember to take care of yourself. It is so, so easy to experience burnout, especially if you’re trying to do this as a single mom. Make sure you schedule time for yourself where you can do something you enjoy doing, that doesn’t feel like work.

Exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy food are all crucial to your well-being. It’s also a good idea to have a creative outlet that allows you to do something you enjoy without it feeling like work.

Finally, remember that good enough is good enough.

You’re going to set out with very high expectations – you want to be the best entrepreneur and the very best mom.

Give yourself grace if you feel like you’re failing. It can be tough to receive a rejection letter or to have a client come back critical of your work.

It can be hard to feel like your house is falling apart because you never have time to clean, or you forgot to send in cupcakes for the class party.

Know that you’re doing your best for yourself and your children and remember all the reasons why you started this in the first place.

You can do it and you are doing a great job!

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