How to Make a Full Time Income as a Stay at Home Mom

work from home mom

$125,000 per year; it sounds like a good number for a stay-at-home mom taking care of her kids all day long, running them to a fro, washing their laundry, cooking their meals, cleaning their houses, handling the bills, being an accountant and a personal assistant and even a nurse and doctor all rolled into one woman who everyone wants to hug, kiss and cover with sticky little fingers. You can’t have anything nice anymore because kids will ruin it in a second (we call everything we own instant junk) and you certainly don’t have the chance to use the restroom in private every again. Stay-at-home moms wear many hats, and we are good at all of our jobs. Unfortunately and fortunately, our pay comes in the form of sticky kisses, sweaty hugs and dirty diapers. It’s rewarding; yes.

However, our bosses are often stubborn, mean, unreasonable, irrational and they literally cannot do a thing for themselves. Imagine going to work and having to tie the shoes of your boss because he can’t tie them “tight enough,” or having to wipe the toilet seat down for him anytime you are out of the office so he doesn’t manhandle everyone’s urine and feces that they so kindly do not bother placing inside the toilet. Now imagine you do this free of charge, with no vacation days, no sick time and no breaks.

It sounds pretty miserable, and sometimes it is. Sometimes being a stay-at-home mother is so overwhelming it makes you want to sit down and cry; and sometimes that’s the only thing that makes you feel better. But, don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of rewards. For one, we get to build a bond with our kids that is pretty unshakable. We get to be around for all the firsts. We get to interrupt our regularly scheduled program when things go off course to sit down and cuddle a sick child or play a challenging game of Go Fish in which you will lose because everyone else is a 4-year-old cheater. We get a lot of things in our daily lives that others don’t get; we get hugs and kisses at the ‘office’ and we get to hear a lot of laughter (interspersed with bickering, arguments and our favorite; whining).

work from home mom

It’s not a bad job to be a stay-at-home mom. You are certainly never bored; there’s no time for that. Being present is a big deal for many parents, and I’m one of them. Being present in my kids’ lives is something that I love. Not that my kids are home with me all day. My 7-year-old is in the second grade, but she was home with me every single day until she went to VPK. My 4-year-old is now in VPK, and she was home with me until she turned 2 and decided she wanted to go to school every morning when we dropped her sister off at VPK. I let her. Our twins will be 2 in March, and they’ve been home with  me from day one, and will likely continue to be home with me until they are in VPK.

I am BUSY. I am so busy I often wonder what possessed my husband and I to go out and spend more than $4000 on a couch we never use. I mean, never; I realized last weekend on Saturday morning as I was sitting on the couch drinking a cup of coffee that I wake up every single morning at 5 am to shower, get myself ready (yes, I’m vain and do full hair and makeup every single day) and work for a few hours before the kids get up. I then get them ready, take them to school and then I come home and get back to work while my littles eat their breakfast. Then it’s play time with them, then nap time which means three more hours of work for me. Then it’s time to get them up, feed them again, pick the girls up, work while they have some homework and play time, and then it’s time to prep dinner, take them to their various practices and meetings, come home, get them in bed and straighten up the house. Then it’s another shower for us, and by 9 pm we are finally sitting down on our couch for the first time all day long. Unless, of course, the day did not go as planned and we are both catching up on unfinished work in our respective home offices and not on the couch; and that is life.

Being a parent of any kind is hard work; and it absolutely does not pay the bills. Nor does it always fulfill the passions and creative minds of those who do it (finger painting is fun but it’s not a life’s dream, you know?). That’s why so many of us make it a point to try and live our dreams of fulfilling our careers and being parents at the same time. It’s not easy; it’s not simple. It’s fulfilling. It’s rewarding. It’s stressful.

I work from home. My husband works outside the home, and he has a good job with a good salary, but this momma likes nice things and our kids are used to a pretty nice lifestyle. Additionally, they won’t be here forever and I want something in my life that makes me feel good; something that makes me feel productive and proud. That’s why I made the decision when my daughter was 18-months to begin my writing career and see where it took me. So far, so good. However, it’s not always easy to be a work-from-home parent or a stay-at-home mom making a full-time income. Not everyone can do it, but many people can. I’m here to tell you how you can do it yourself, though I cannot point you in the direction of any particular career.

Find a Career

The first thing that you have to do to make money from home, especially good money, is find a career. You can’t just say, “I want to make money from home,” and make it. It’s not that easy. You need something to do. Would you like to be a direct sales person (BeachBody, Avon, Mary Kay, etc.)? Is that something you can do? Do you have a specialty, such as a degree that might allow you to find a position to work from home while you’re caring for your kids? Do you have something you can do? Can you teach, tutor, write, plan weddings, create a product? You have to find something that you can do. It is the first step in making a full-time income as a stay-at-home mom. What do you do, and how can you do it from home?

work from home mom

Make it Happen

Here is where it’s a little difficult for many people to understand; working from home is not always a simple concept unless you work for someone else. If you work for someone else and they’re paying you to do your work from home, you’re probably good to go. Let’s say you are a teacher working at a virtual school; you have an employer and you get paid so long as the work is done. You don’t have to work to build a client base or to make your business grow. The same if you work for an office and they allow you to work from home earning a full-time income. You have an employer, so this does not apply to you.

If you are starting your own business so that you can build financial freedom for yourself, you have to make it happen; and it does not happen overnight. It took me over a year to build up my client base as a writer so that I was making even decent money in the beginning. You often work very hard for very little so that you can create a reputation for yourself, so that you can build a name for yourself and so that you can become very, very good at what you do. It takes a long time, and it takes a lot of dedication. Go into this with an open mind; you will not get rich overnight or even become successful overnight. You will work hard, you will work harder and you will work even harder. One day, however, you will look back and realize that where you are right this very second is where you wished you could be when you first started.

A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today – someone wise on a Pinterest meme.


Now comes the hard part; you have to work for it. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of being a hard worker. You do not get where you want to be in life without working for it. As a business owner, I see the world a little differently now. Before I was a mother and I worked for others, I used to think that being a business owner was cake. You could take off all the time you want, sleep in every single day, take long lunches, go shopping, lie by the pool with a mimosa reading a new book every single day and get rich while doing it.

Yeah, right. When you own your own business and you work for yourself, you have to work. You actually have to do the work because, guess what? If you don’t do the work, you don’t get paid. If you don’t plan ahead, you can’t take time off. You have to work harder than anyone else, because your success depends entirely on you. Working for yourself means you have to get work done, because you don’t make money otherwise. You aren’t getting paid to be in your home office browsing the Nordstrom website for new shoes or planning your next vacation online; and technically, you shouldn’t be doing that when you work for someone else at their place of business, either.

The point is this, working from home as a stay-at-home mom takes a lot of hard work, and it is not something that everyone can do.

Make Time

Now that you know what you want to do, and you’re working hard to do it, you have to make the time for it. You have to carve out time. You can do it first thing in the morning. You can do it at night. You can do it during naptime, in the pick-up line at school; whatever you want. You can work whenever you want as long as the work gets done. That’s the nice thing about being a work-from-home business owner. You can do what you want when you want, so long as you find the time to do what you have to do. The key here is that you have to find the time. It might mean going outside your comfort zone. It might mean working late at night when you’d rather be doing anything else. You have to find what works for you and, more importantly, for your kids. I’ll use myself as an example.

I work best in the mornings. Apparently, I’m a morning person. I do not mind waking early and getting to work. I am a slightly anxious, somewhat OCD Type-A personality; I like to have things done, perfect and my way. I find that if things are left undone, I feel out of sorts, discombobulated and all wrong. I don’t like to sleep in and leave my work for later. I don’t like to work at night. I don’t like to work past n1 or 2, most days –but I will.

To make my schedule work for me as a stay-at-home and work-from-home mom, I wake up at 5 am. I’m out of the shower by 5:15 and I work until 6:30. Then it’s coffee, hair, makeup, kids, breakfast, school stuff. By 9 am, I’m home and my babies are eating. I’m working until they’re done at 9:30. I will work while they play if they are not interested in me (and sadly, they sometimes are not interested in me). This goes on until they go down for a nap. I use the three hours that they nap to finish my work. I like to make it a point to finish my work by 3 pm at the latest, because I have kids to care for and be present for. I could be done by noon if the kids weren’t here, but they are and they are my priority.

Finishing by 3 allows me to get them up and get them ready to go get their big sisters from school. Anything after that means no chance to work since I’m then picking kids up, doing homework, leaving for cheer practice, gymnastics, soccer, basketball and all things that my kids love to do. I like to make sure that even though I work from home, I’m present in my kids’ lives. That’s how I prioritize and make my schedule work for me.

The point is this; you must make the time, every time.

work from home mom

Get Organized

Now that you have a career and a job that allows you to make a full-time income from home, you have to make sure you stay organized. Making a full-time income while you are home with your kids is a challenge that not everyone is up to. You have to be able to be very organized. For me, organization is the key to my success.

  • Create a dedicated work space
    • For me, my home office is my designated work space. If you do not have space for an office, that’s fine. Find a corner, a location, somewhere you can make your work space that does not allow you to see all the other things in the house that distract you. When we bought our home, we chose it for several reasons; one of which is the office space in the house. It’s private, it’s big and it has a large picture window on one wall with a beautiful view of our big wraparound front porch, a pocket door that leads into a hallway in our master bedroom where our closets are located, and a private entrance from the side of the house on the wraparound porch. My office is simple; I have my desk, my chair, couch, and a table. Outside my private door, I have a small bistro table and chairs so that when I need a break, some fresh air and a change of scenery, I can go right out the door and immediately feel the difference.
  • Make it your own
    • I don’t know about you, but I have to have a few things around me to feel productive. I have to have my motivational wall art in my office to keep me feeling good. Behind my desk on the wall I have a framed piece of art that’s all white with gold dots that says, “Follow that Dream.” On one of my tables I have a pink box with gold dots that says, “Hustle,” and I have a plaque on my desk that says “Do Something Great Today,” and another on the all that says, “Work It.” I have a framed photo of the saying, “She believed she could, so she did,” and another of my favorite verse framed on the wall, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” – Philippians 4:13. These inspire me. I also have a decorative candle, a vase of fresh flowers and my daily planner on my desk. I work well when I am surrounded by things that I love, motivational items and beauty. That’s me; do your own thing in your own home work space.
  • Minimize Distractions
    • The most important thing you will do for yourself and for your career working from home while your kids are there is minimize distractions. I find that I cannot work if there are things left to do. You need to remove yourself from the television, from the laundry and from anything that distracts you. Can you see the kitchen from where you work and you know that there are dishes that have to be done? Move; get out of there. If you have to, do what I do; make sure all things are done the night before and/or give yourself a 15 minute window to conquer all the things that are distracting you. Sometimes I find that I cannot work because I noticed that the trash cans in the bathrooms are full or that there is laundry to put away. I will give myself 15 minutes to do these things if I feel that they are distracting me from my work so that I can concentrate. You have to minimize the distractions in your home and life or it becomes impossible to get your work done.
  • Keep Records
    • The most important thing you will do for yourself now that you are making or working on making a full-time salary working from home is keep amazing records. You must keep your monthly bills if you plan on itemizing deductions on your income taxes. If you plan on writing off your home office space, you must keep records of how much you spent on office supplies. You have to be sure you are able to keep records of your clients, of your work, your earnings and your taxes paid. Keep amazing records, keep them often and keep them very, very organized.

Earning a full-time salary while you are also a stay-at-home mom is something that is going to make you feel really, really good; like a super hero. But, I have to warn you; it’s not without its sacrifices. I do not participate in many play dates with other stay-at-home moms during the week because I’m busy working any chance I get. Missing a nap time is difficult for me because it means I can’t work. It means organizing your schedule so that you can spend as much time with the kids as possible and being able to turn off your mind when you’re with them so that you’re not thinking about work. It’s hard; but it’s so rewarding. It’s fulfilling and it’s exciting, and it’s something you absolutely can do. I don’t know what you will do, or how you will do it; but you can do it. You will thank yourself for it, too.

Photos by Getty Images


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