7 Home Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Moms

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

So, you want to stay home with your kids, but your family finances just don’t seem to allow for a one-income household? You might want to reconsider whether or not you can afford to stay home. By the time you eliminate things like child-care costs and other expenses that come with having a job, you might find that your budget shortfall isn’t as bad as you thought. The good news is that you can often make up the difference by starting a home business. Here are some home businesses that can offer you the flexibility to work around your kid’s schedule, and still make enough to help off-set your family expenses.

eBay Selling

All you need is a camera, a good computer, and enough free time. Scouring classifieds and garage sales for free or very low-cost items, then turning around and selling them for a profit is a great way to make some extra cash. You may have some items in your possession already that you could part with, helping to de-clutter your house in the process.

Blogging

Mommy-blogging has turned into a lucrative business for many stay-at-home moms. Most parents will have stories that others might find value in; it all comes down to how you tell it. If you’re good with the written word and can engage people emotionally about real-life parenting issues, you may be able to turn your kid’s antics into a steady stream of income.

Child-care

If you’re already at home making lunches and planning activities for your own little ones, why not add a kid or two to the mix? You may have a friend or neighbor who needs reliable child care. Parents seeking flexible and affordable child-care may not be able to make use of day-care centers that have high-costs and require you to pay for full-days, even if you only need a few hours a few times a week. Offering to watch a child in your home is a fantastic way to help someone out while earning some extra cash.

Gift Basket Delivery

People will pay a premium if they need the perfect gift delivered today, usually because they forgot to get a gift. Keep several pre-made and on hand, and offer to do custom gift-baskets for special events. The materials are cheap if you shop around, and you can easily charge $75 to $100 for items that cost less than $15 or $20. Enlist the help of a cheap and reliable courier service from a sharing community site like Zoom2U, and you may not even have to leave the house to do it.

Freelance Writing

While this can be difficult work to break into, once you’ve established a strong reputation, you can really rake in the cash without investing too much time per week. Writing web-content or ghost-writing self-help books is a great way to earn some extra cash. The hours are flexible, and you only have to commit to what you’re able to handle, so when life throws you curveballs, you can back off until you’ve got the time to devote to it again.

Tutoring

If you excel in math or writing, you can often make good money working as a tutor for kids struggling with certain subjects. Parents will pay good money for tutors, so if you’re only looking for a few hundred dollars a month, you can easily make it with just a few hour-long tutoring sessions each week. It does involve a bit more commitment, as most parents want a firm schedule, say, every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00. If you can commit to the hours, this is a great way to earn extra money.

Pet Care

If you’re an animal lover, working as a dog-walker or neighborhood pet-sitter can also help fill in the gaps in your household income. Most pet-sitting jobs involve 2-3 trips to the pet’s house each day, and if they’re local, can be done in 20 minutes or less. As with many of the other home-based jobs, you can take on as little or as much work as you need, so it can be scheduled around vacations or your family activities.

Any one of these ideas can help you find the time to stay home with your kids without sacrificing the income that you need. Many of them also allow you to break into an industry on a small-scale, and grow your business once your kids head to school full-time, increasing your earning power. Think about whether or not you could start one of these businesses before you decide that you can’t afford to stay home with your kids.

 

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.

December Baby – 21 months

Little Man –

This is such a fun age! Every day you are learning new things. You’re not as verbal as your older brother was at this age, but you understand a lot, and you follow directions really well. You love to sweep and open the dishwasher (usually in the middle of a cycle). You will now show me something and say “See?” and when you want to go outside, you’ll bring me your shoes (or my shoes) and say “I go go!”

I love you so much!

~ Mommy

21 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Can walk up steps- Yes
  • Enjoys helping around the house – Yes, especially sweeping
  • Can set simple goals (e.g. deciding to put a toy in a certain place) – Yep

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Can throw a ball overhand – Been there, done that!
  • Can kick a ball forward – Yes
  • Can make building brick towers/stack blocks – Yep

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Names simple pictures in a book (ie: dog, cat) – Not yet
  • Can make short sentences (ie: “Me go”) – Only “I go go”, so far.
  • Can walk down stairs – He’s getting the hang of it.

Essential Oils for Back to School

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

If your kids aren’t back in school yet, they probably will be soon. (My oldest starts kindergarten next week!)

With the change in routine, you may be looking for something to help ease your child’s anxiety, support their immune system, or help them get a good night’s sleep. So, I’ve come up with a short list of my favorite kid safe oils and blends that your kids (or you!) may need as the new school year begins!

Anxiety Relief

 
If your child has the back to school jitters, Roman Chamomile or Calming the Child may help ease their fears. Add a few drops to an essential oil bracelet to get the benefits while on the go.

Focus and Concentration

 
Does your child struggle with sitting still and paying attention in class? Try A+ Attention blend. It contains Bergamot and Vetiver oils which calm and balance the mind. This is another good option to use in essential oil jewelry.

Immune Support

 
To fight off all those new germs they’ll be in contact with, stock up on Frankenscense or Immune Boom. And, if they do get sick, diffuse Germ Destroyer to help them recover more quickly.

Restful Sleep

 
For a good night’s sleep, you can use the oils mentioned in the Anxiety Relief section above, as well as Lavender or Nighty Night in a diffuser at bedtime.

As always, please use your essential oils safely, especially around children! You can read more information in these posts:

Here’s to a happy and healthy school year!

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Playground Safety Tips

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

Most parents would love to see their kids get more exercise, but regularly playing outside may do more good than parents know. Not only does playing outside get kids some much-needed exercise and provide a strong counterpoint to all the time they spend in front of screens today, but playing outside also provides kids with stimulation beyond their physical development. Playing outside with other kids can give children stronger cognitive abilities and helps them develop good social skills. Add this to the physical activity that helps keep kids in shape and avoid obesity, and the neighborhood playground becomes even more important.

Even though playgrounds are great places for kids to work on their physical and mental development, they’re also potentially dangerous places if children and parents are not careful. Parents need to be aware of the possible dangers at playgrounds and teach their kids to exhibit safe behavior while playing. A quick visual inspection around the playground before play begins can be the difference between a fun day in the fresh air and an injury. What follows is a list of basic playground safety tips parents and kids should keep in mind every time they use the playground. Keep these guidelines in mind, and parents and kids can look forward to a healthy and happy time on the playground.

December Baby – 20 months

Happy 20 months, little man!

This month’s highlights:

  • You’ve added 7 words/phrases consistently to your vocabulary! (“here it is”, “Wow!”, “What?”, “Yes”, “Cheese”, “Ow”, “Car”)
  • We went to the Children’s Museum, and you spend the majority of the time in the little grocery store, putting things in a basket and taking them back out. It was so cute! 🙂
  • You love to copy your big brother, and follow him everywhere. (He’s not a huge fan of that…)
  • Your new favorite toy is a remote control car that plays the most annoying music, so sometimes I have to hide it from you. Which is probably why you started saying “car”…hahaha

I love you!

~ Mommy 

20 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Feeds doll – I’ve never seen him do this, but he doesn’t actually have a doll.
  • Takes off own clothes – He can take of his shoes, and attempts to take his shirt off, but hasn’t done it successfully yet.
  • Dumps an object in imitation, such as throwing garbage away – Yep

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Learns words at a rate of ten or more a day – He’s started saying a lot more lately, and understands very well, so yes.
  • Can walk up stairs (but probably not down) – Yep, and he’s getting the hang of walking down them, too.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • May start exploring genitals – He’s a boy…enough said!  lol
  • Draws a straight line – Not really
  • Names several body parts – Just eyes and ears, so far.

December Baby – 19 months

Dear sweet boy –

Happy 19 months!

You’ve become quite a handful this month. You LOVE to go outside (never mind that it’s really hot!), and throw tennis balls for the dog to fetch. You haven’t added any words to your vocabulary that I know of, because all you say (or scream) now is “NO!” and point your finger at me. Hahaha Speaking of screaming, there’s a lot of that, too. Not always in anger, more in a “let me show you how loud I can be!” way. Between you and your big brother (who never stops talking), it’s loud here. All day long.

I love you,
Mommy

19 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Uses a spoon and fork – Yes
  • Runs – Definitely
  • Throws a ball underhand – No, but he throws really well overhand!
  • Enjoys helping around the house – Yep

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Understands as many as 200 words – maybe?
  • Recognizes when something is wrong (e.g., calling a dog a cat) – Not yet

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Washes and dries own hands with help – Yes, he loves to wash his hands!
  • Points to picture or object when you call it by name – Not yet
  • May know when he needs to pee – Nope

5 Steps to Creating a Culture of Self-Reliance in Your Family

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received.

When you have a family, you always strive to teach them something good and invaluable. Our grandparents have done that with our parents, our parents have done that with us. Now, it is our turn. It is important for us to enable our children to be self-reliable from the early age. Here is how you can teach your children some basic steps that will lead them through life later on.

Learn how to save money

First things first, money is important for every person in the world and who says differently isn’t telling the truth. The money provides stability and security. Making your own money automatically means that you are an independent person and that you can rely on yourself, which is actually something we all want in our lives. If you impose such a system in your house within your family members, the odds that your child will be aware of the fact that money can be very important are very high. At children’s early age, you can provide them with some allowance and advise them to keep that money so they can buy a toy or some candies later. Advise them that saving money will enable them to spend it on stuff they really want. Tell them a story of how have you been saving money so you could afford a house or a journey to a seaside. Have your child sit next to you when you count how much money you need to pay the bills and let it go with you to pay those. Some numbers will be too large for the child to understand them, but it will realize that it is a serious thing.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without

And by ”it” we mean clothing, toys, gadgets and even food. It is very important that you advise your family that they shouldn’t change their clothing after only a month of wearing it. They shouldn’t crave for new Ipad when they have sufficient toys and other gadgets. They shouldn’t throw away food they don’t eat. Being self-reliant means that you are able to know when it’s time for changes or new things. Teach them to wear the clothes until they are unable to fit it. Teach them that they should save food if they cannot eat everything. Try to make them to fix thing when they are broken. They will appreciate it more.

What are you going to be when you grow up?

This question is important because it imposes many others. You need to explain to your child the fact that people work for money, but that we also want to do something we like. Try to make the child feel positive about work, job generally and earning.

Ask a child what it would like to be when it grows up and draw that dream job. After that, draw yourself at work (you do not have to do a masterpiece) and explain to the child what do you do, why you have chosen it and why you love your job. You can do this with many occupations. In this way, children will be taught values regarding hardworking and obligations. It is proven that children who work over summer holidays have strong communicative skills and are easily adjusted to jobs later.

Maintaining the house

Starting from their rooms, they have to learn that there should be no one picking up after them. They need to know that it is important to have some responsibility at home, as well as in the schools, colleges, or at work. If they learn to be tidy and neat, those characteristics will help them later in the life. People notice such things and praise people for that. You can start at the early age of your children. Advise them that their rooms need to be tidy. At first you can start with rewards, such as giving them candies if they do it. But rest assured that later it will become their habit. Once they are to go to a college, they will be ready to live alone with no one to help them clean the apartment.

Exercising and healthy food

These two will help everyone become self-confident. If we feel good and healthy, then there is nothing to stop us and it boosts our ego. You can start by explaining how important is to eat healthy food and have some exercising. Also, if you do it, everyone else will in the family. Besides, children always seek for their role models. You can be theirs.

If you start implementing these things, your children will grow up into self-reliable people, and sometimes that is actually what we all want. They will be thankful, rest assured. 

 

About the Author:

Healthy living and wellbeing have always been Harris’s main occupation. He’s a certified yoga instructor and in the last ten years, he’s taken up hiking and trekking as a way of taking care of his physical fitness and inner peace. He shares his experiences and advice on http://www.prosurvivalist.com/ as one of its revered writers.

 

15 Summer Activities to Help Your Kids Appreciate Nature

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

What are your kids doing this summer? For many of us, summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine, and if you’re lucky the ocean!

As much as kids love summertime, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you don’t have the luxury of sending the kids to camp, then it’s up to you as parent to find things for the youngsters to keep busy with.

Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other screen.  Research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of children.

Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

One in four people are estimated to experience bouts of mental ill health and it’s on the rise. Prescription medication of antidepressants are also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments are also on the rise. Health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost effective services for mental health and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more. We need to learn from the past when kids got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building dens rather than spending hours inside.

Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic on 15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature.

This is what it looks like:

15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature

From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there’s plenty for the youngsters to get up to. Head on over to his site for step by step instructions to get your kids out and about enjoying nature.

An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website which rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. He believes in no fluff, to the point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure.
Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.

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