Hi, I'm still in the house with my ex, as I have the luxury of figuring out what will be the best thing for me to do while caring for my son. And the big weight on me is, how will I make money after being a SAHM for a few years? Just looking for some ideas.
I have the wacky idea, shared with my ex, that I would like to include my child in my working life just as before, and maybe even homeschool him in some way. Right now he's only 2. Is it possible to keep your child out of school and single-parent?
it's possible but very hard. I get good child/spousal support which barely covers rent, bills, food, and work from home as a freelance seamstress/fashion designer for the rest (which was VERY little this last year). The last 2 years we have homeschooled through charter schools so there is more school work that needs to be completed than if we could just unschool. My kids need more time with their friends than I can manage on my own, since I do need to work so we use the resources of the charter for classes. This year, our charter is a hybrid homeschool, so they have 2 full days of school each week.
It's all possible but there are difficult choices you have to make. I was doing perfectly fine financially as a single parent when we had a great school community but it's been very hard for me since we've started homeschooling. I prefer it to having my kids in any of the local public schools but I'd still prefer they were in class 5 days a week.
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
How about childminding (is it called in-home daycare in the us?)
I was a childminder for about a year when my oldest was a toddler. I got £50 per day for looking after two under 5's in my home, 8am-6pm... the rates have gone up now so will prob be able to charge £30 per child. In the uk you can have a max of 5 kids under 8, of which a max of one under 1yo, and max of 3 under fives (this inc your own kids). On top you can look after as many over 8yo as you deem safe... So if you can get the kids you can made a really good living
Of course I have no idea what the rules are in the US
It's possible but not easy. I don't get any child support for my DD, and we just barely make it with assistance. I sell books online for a living, in addition to whatever odd jobs or surveys I do online. I do a lot of bartering for stuff - like I babysit in exchange for getting my lawn mowed or house repairs.
We home school too.
What about an intentional community that shares resources? There are often cottage industries or farms on site. Everyone contributes work, but it's usually the type of work that children can be involved in or around and benefit from, since it's physical. See ic.org for directory and listing of types. There must be many out west. Have you read the Continuum Concept?
I am in a similar situation and scoping things out. Another possibility is running a website or two. Startup costs are low if you use a template or web design program. See this: http://www.2createawebsite.com/ Might not be enough to live on but add it to a couple of other income streams and it should be OK.
I'm hoping to have a couple of part time income streams which will allow me flexibility in my schedule to be with my son. Unfortunately there are not any intentional communities in my area that would work. Good luck.
My DS is only 12 mo but I work from home as a writer. It pays the bills and I can work while he naps/sleeps. Balancing everything is tough, as always, and there are times when I'm not sure I'll make deadline (or have baby noises being made on a conference call) but it works. I'm a resume writer but I'm sure there are other writing gigs out there too. If this is something you could do, even part time, ifreelance.com has some good listings. Good luck mama!
Thank you all. Someone pointed me to http://wellfedwriter.com/
A different sort of writing, usually for large corporations who will pay well, even over $100/hr. Trick is, you may need to cold call, market yourself, network in writers groups, etc. to charge appropriately for the project. When I build up to that kind of writing, I wouldn't have to do a lot of projects to keep us going in our current situation.
Also checking out a probably lower-paying writing opportunity that is on topics I love, health and nutrition.
The childminder idea could work...haven't ruled out anything. It would give my little child a playmate. Or maybe I would end up refereeing sibling rivalry. Probably both :) That's another angle on the idea that I was going to invite someone 9 yrs or older just to play with my kid while I get some intensive work done (which I've done in the past), like a mother's helper.
I was a bit apprehensive about writing, since I'm already kind of isolated with my child, but I can do as much as I want and add other activities for socializing. I'd network with other writers anyway. In a few months he'll be 3 and I can look at preschool.
I'm actually really really blessed. I have 3 children(two fathers) and I get enough child support that I can stay home. It means all 3 girls sleep in one bedroom and we live in a crappy area. And it means we struggle and we get food stamps and only buy used and there's no money for fun stuff most of the time. But it's do-able. And I am able to stay home. In fact, I actually cannot afford to go back to work. I have turned down a few jobs because I can't afford daycare on the salary I would be paid. So I've been lucky enough to stay home for the last 4 years being a parent. As long as the child support continues. It's always a gamble. But it's worked out for us thus far. And I pick up little jobs here and there to supplement our income. I watch the little girl across the street every morning for 2 hours and do her hair, feed her, and put her on the bus for a few extra bucks. I also knit and sell what I make to various people. I yard sale/thrift shop and sometimes resell things for profit(not as a business but I've done it a bunch of times randomly). Over the years I've done full time daycare, babysitting, worked nights as a waitress, etc. Just little odd jobs.