Best Jobs for Stay-At-Home Moms (and Dads!)

Best Jobs for Stay-At-Home Moms (and Dads!)So you’ve decided you want to stay at home with the kids! The only question now is how you’re going to keep the little tykes fed and clothed while you’re enjoying your time with them. The era of a one-income family being enough to provide for Mom, Dad and kids (and save for college) is long over for most people, and most stay-at-home parents find that they need to bring home some extra money.

But what jobs can a parent do from home? It can be difficult to weed through the envelope-stuffing scams and pay-up-front “business” plans to find real jobs that will bring in enough money to be worth their time. To make my list, a job has to be gainful, flexible and consistent.

For example, though telecommuting is technically a “stay-at-home” job, companies generally still expect their telecommuters to be available during regular business hours. The following are the best jobs for stay at home moms (and dads!) available, which allow parents to actually spend time with their kids and generate enough income so they don’t have to take in a boarder:


From writing to translation to research to editing to design, freelancing provides many possibilities for you to use your skill set in a flexible and self-directed way.

Pay varies project-by-project, and the income is not always steady, but freelancing allows the stay-at-home parent the opportunity to keep career skills sharp if returning to the regular workforce is a possibility in the future. is an excellent resource for getting started in finding work that you can do at home.

Direct Sales

Home-based businesses run by women have evolved at great deal since the days of “Avon calling,” and Tupperware parties (although both of those businesses are still around). Nowadays, you can sell any number of products (that you may already use) in a social setting.

While direct sales does require some upfront cash layout for products, a gifted saleswoman can generate a good income with these programs. An added benefit is the social aspect of these businesses. They can provide a stay-at-home mom with some much-needed adult conversation and socializing. If you are a born networker and can sell, this is a perfect stay-at-home job for you. Don’t know what to sell? is a great place to start your search for the perfect home business.

In-Home Daycare

You’re already spending your day with your children; why not bring other kids to the party? Running a daycare out of your home is a great way to stay involved in the day-to-day activities of your children while earning money for what you are already doing.

Each state has its own licensing procedure for daycares, so it is very important to know what you need to run one out of your home. can help you navigate the logistics of starting your own daycare. If you love children and know you can handle more than just your flesh-and-blood, this job is the ultimate in multitasking.

Virtual Assistant

This is a 21st Century opportunity for a naturally organized stay-at-home worker. A virtual assistant helps a professional take care of any number of tasks that can be done from home, such as handling correspondence, bookkeeping and website design. This is a great job in terms of steady income, as virtual assistants often stay with their clients long term, although sometimes it can be less flexible than other stay-at-home work. is a directory for companies and assistants to find each other.

Fitness Instructor

If staying fit is already important to you, consider becoming a fitness instructor. Whether you own a Jazzercise franchise (i.e. or just teach a class or two at the local Y, exercise instruction can provide you with a flexible job that also keeps you fit.

All instructors, no matter where or how you teach, must go through certification, so it is important to research the necessary steps to begin your fitness career. But like running a daycare, this is a great opportunity for making money doing something you already love.

Making money while staying home may seem like a daunting prospect, but with a little creativity, parents from any type of job background can find something that will keep them happily changing diapers and wiping noses for years.

What did you think of our list of the best jobs for stay at home moms and dads?

Last Edited: April 19, 2013 @ 2:08 pm The content of is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher, and an excellent freelance writer. She's also a stay-at-home-mom. She resides in Lafayette, IN, with her engineer husband and son. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.


  1. Briana Ford says:

    I’m looking to combine freelancing and being a virtual assistant once I come up with my business plan and model. Hoping to work from home in a year!

  2. Unlock Your Dollar says:

    You have put together a nice list. I’m surprised that you did not include blogging! :) I wonder how easy it would be to get work in some of those fields. Briana, above, seems to have a nice plan to move forward.

  3. The fitness instructor wouldn’t allow you to stay home exactly but you would be able to set your own hours which leads to more freedom to be with your family. Worrying about insurance as a freelancer can be difficult but plenty of people make it work.

  4. Emily Guy Birken says:

    @Unlock Your Dollar, I tried to include jobs that I have personal knowledge of people succeeding with. Yes, you can easily get work in any of these fields. The only one I do not know from personal experience is becoming a Virtual Assistant. With all of the others, I have seen people get in on the ground floor and do well.

  5. These are great suggestions! I’m curious to learn more about the freelancing option! Have you tried

  6. Emily Guy Birken says:

    @Jacob, I have not used, but I have used a similar site that is specific for writing freelancers. It’s helped me a great deal.

  7. Great! Thanks for the feedback Emily!

  8. thanks for sharing this to us, your blog is really great we can learn something to it, keep up the good work my friend.,

  9. MoneyMasterMom says:

    Direct Sales only works for a small group of woman.  The majority buy the start up package, and book a few parties, but once they’ve gone through their circle of friends the sales dry up, along with the extra income.  Freelancing seems like a better option – especially from your friends point of view :)