Work from Home? - Chicago,IL

Updated on July 31, 2012
A.H. asks from Chicago, IL
14 answers

Are any of you moms making money doing work from home? I would love to pull in a little bit of income...I'm a sahm so I'm not looking for something full-time. Would love to hear your experience if anyone is doing something for a few hours a week to boost the family financial bottom line. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your input, everyone! I used to teach art before having kids. I decided to open a shop on etsy. I'm not expecting to make a ton of money, but the idea of having my own little shop feels really good!

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answers from Chicago on

I have a home-based business that has "freelance marketing rep" positions (commission-based) available. Info about that is available on my website (please let me know if you tried but failed to reach the webpage.) You can also email me offline for info at [email protected] this helps.
S. Redfern

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on


This question is asked frequently here.

Working from home is WORK. If you have young children - working from home is NOT for you. Employers will NOT pay you to work from home to watch your kids.

I work from home. I recruit people in cyber security and other types of information technology positions. My kids are older - so they know when I'm on the phone - their lips are SEALED or the office door is closed.

There are jobs out there that allow you to work from home. There are several companies like Deer Park Water that have customer service agents that work from home - however - they EXPECT it to STILL be a professional environment - no kids screaming, no dogs barking, etc. and they have SET HOURS. not just when you want or feel like it.

Your best bet? Go through your home and de-clutter. Get rid of things you haven't touched in six months and sell it on ebay, craigslist, etc. it's NOT stable income - however - it IS income. Other than tape, you can get boxes free from freecyle as well as the USPS (meaning you will have to ship everything Priority Mail vs. 1st class).

If you listed what your skills are - I might be able to direct you better. I know there is a site called - I have NOT personally used it. So I can't tell you anything about it.

I have found several telecommuting positions on craigslist in the past that were short time gigs. if you have to pay to get training - it's a scam.
Good luck!

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answers from San Francisco on

They are very few legitimate work from home jobs, unless you have specific experience in areas where telecommuting is possible, like bookkeeping/accounting or tax preparation, that kind of thing.
Your best bet is child care, or selling things on ebay or craigslist. If you are a crafty person you may be able to sell your items on etsy (though there is a lot of competition there so your stuff needs to be pretty good.)
You could also work part time evenings and/or weekends when your husband is home to watch the kids. I've had two sahm friends do that, one at Target and one at Starbucks. Not only did the money really help but they enjoyed getting out of the house as well :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Try a resource like Hire My Mom (I got 2 jobs, including my current one, through or Biztant or Odesk. You have to evaluate all the postings but they are a start if you are looking for short-term (or long-term) freelance work.

Frankly, I have a PT customer service job and it can be really hard some weeks to take care of the house, the kid, and the job. When I do technical writing jobs, I'm often up at 1AM because the house is quiet enough to think. I'm looking forward to preschool for many reasons, including 3.5 hours of work time without worrying what DD is getting into. If the posting claims to give you lots of money for little work, like a quick fix diet, it's too good to be true. Work is work. No matter where you do it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think the most common work at home jobs that you get, where those without a specialty can be hired, is customer service/call center type jobs. There are some good leads on www dot wahm dot com for real jobs with large companies and real paychecks. You aren't going to get rich, but it's a good supplemental income. Keep in mind that if you're doing a job like this (and most jobs, in general, from home) you're still going to need childcare. So, if you can do the job while your spouse is home (evenings/weekends/whatever your schedule allows for) that is a great set up.

For only a few hours week, what is the point of working? It wouldn't even be worth it, honestly.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There are a lot of honest MLM's out there so please don't be daunted by negativity. Just do your research and see if it is for you. I am in one and it is totally legit.

There are other ways to make money at home that are legit so don't be put off by some of this negativity! Babysitting, dog sitting, making jewelry, etc... People are traveling now and would love to pay an adult to check on their house, water their plants, check on pets, etc.... Put the word out! Send an email to everyone in your address book of your intentions and visualize that extra money.

Go Girl!

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answers from Seattle on

Things I've done in the past:

- Taught (microbiology for 6-12yos, anatomy and physiology for 4-10yos)
- Writing
- Temporary Nanny ( I did NOT want to nanny full time, but $500 a week for a few weeks a year to cover gaps in between perm nannies was worth it)
- Appointment Confirmation (before the auto confirm)
- Cleaning
- Hand addressing
- Grant Writing
- Mural Painting (kids rooms, not at home, but 3 days a job a few times a year)
- Cake sculpting

These are Also Known As : Things I already do... But just do for someone else for pay from time to time. Any could be a 'business' but I've been far too busy in my own life to want to work full time doing them.

In my experience, work from home jobs ate rarely offered (outside of highly professional positions... Like computers... or pure dumb luck... Like I knew an appointment setter who was going to be having throat surgery and they needed a fill in so my doc asked). Instead they tend to be CREATED out of your skillset you already possess.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

the best 'work at home' jobs are things you already do, but can parlay into doing for someone else sometimes. i fell into my abstracting business (which could be done part of the time from home) because a friend was doing it and i just went along for the ride. next thing you know i had a successful small business for almost 20 years.
i was really pumped when i found out i could do some of it from home. i was SO taken aback to discover how hard it really was. the work wasn't super-taxing (mostly transcribing information) but it did require a high degree of accuracy and that means focus, and focus on work means you're NOT focused on your kids. it took some time and tension before i realized that i couldn't do both, be a good abstractor and a good mom in the same time and space. my clients and my kids all deserved better.
but if your skill set involves kids themselves, that helps. maybe you could teach some homeschool classes, or do some odd hours child care, or house sit, or landscape, or walk dogs. the best way to find this kind of job isn't to look outside for a job, but to scour your own skills and figure out what you do that someone else would value. i paid another mom $50 to organize my kitchen! (and she deserved WAY more......)
:) khairete

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answers from Los Angeles on

I also primarily work in the home, but I do hold a couple positions with employers. And these positions allow some work to be done at home, and others not.

Here are my recommendations:

1) Be very picky in paid work that you choose. Before you start looking for work, be clear about the number of hours, time of day, and hourly pay that you are interested and do not budge. Otherwise you will resent the work, slack off, be grumpy at with your kids, and burn a bridge with your employer.

2) Assess your skills. The work I do outside the home would not appropriate for someone without my skillset. In fact, it's quite specialized. I find that I get better (more money, more control over hours, and more satisfying relationships) work when it is more specialized. And my "specialized" I don't mean neuroscience. I mean that if your professional background is in education, don't look for part time work in sales. And if your background is sales, don't look for part time work in education. Stick with your competency.

Good luck!

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answers from Honolulu on

If you want to pull in a bit of pocket change, and have your own hours, then do babysitting.
It can be done part-time. Or full-time all day hours. Just 1 child or baby.
You can get paid either per hour or at a flat monthly rate.
And being a babysitter, even part-time, you do not have to have a quiet atmosphere, like you would if you were employed, by an Employer, but working from home.

Getting part-time pay, will not, BOOST the family financial bottom line a whole lot. Because most likely, if you are making part-time pay... it will be only pocket change, for yourself. Not it being a whole ton of money, to make a marked difference, in the overall financial picture, for your entire, family.

I used to do childcare, when my daughter was a Toddler, all the way until I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child.
And that gave me a monthly income... I charged a flat-rate monthly, regardless if the child was here or not. Flat rate. Because, even if the child is not here, I had to keep that child's slot, open, for THAT child, etc.
And I had set hours, in which I watched the children.

Even if you find a job for at home and are employed by an Employer... you have to have quiet... and work. Thus, if you have kids at home... you will need someone to keep an eye on them and/or to keep them busy, while you "work."

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answers from Dallas on

Posts like this are on here a least once weekly. Rest assured, you will be hit up with all the recruiters for MLM and direct marketing to sell their wares, recruit new people, invest in the products, have parties and WOW.... MAKE HUGE 6 FIGURE INCOMES for doing nothing. Then you'll get the "contact me and 'll show you how" Granted, not ALL MLM's are bad but really, you only need so much of some of these products then you start running your friends off by pushing it.

If it smells like a rat, it is a rat. If someone wants money upfront for anything.... it is a scam.

Working from home is WORK. No one will pay you to be at home, parent your children and get a paycheck. If they did, everyone would be doing it.

I do work from home. We have a brokering/consulting business in raw materials. I do all the financials which include all AP/AR, payroll, invoicing, receiving payments to maintain this $4 million company, travel planning, etc and hubby does the negotiations. There is NO WAY I could do my job with little ones under foot. I have to be 100% accurate when I make transactions, sign contracts, etc or I could lose thousands of thousands of dollars for our business (which means personal income). I must be focused 100% of the time. I dont work a set schedule and I can be flexible enough to do other things and my job.

Working from home requires strong motivation and self discipline. Most employers do not hire someone and have them telecommute. The telecommute jobs are usualy held by someone who has been in the company a while and a proven hard worker.

Also, if you are fortunate enough to work from home, most companies require that you have child care. No one wants to hear children and/or pets in the background when making a professional call.

You didn't mention how old your children are. I have been a substitute teacher in the same school where my daughter went to elementary for over 10 yrs. If I wanted, I would be there daily but I have a company to run. However, I LOVE the elementary school and children and my subbing off and on usually brings in about $500 a month.

I also do substitute work for a large corporation through a temp agency that they use. I sub when I want. Again... you can determine the amount of money you get by how much you sub. This temp firm also offers healthcare insurance, etc so I have the option with more benefits.

Think outside the box. Multiple income streams..When one stream starts running a little dry, focus on the next one that brings in money and so on.

What do you like to do? Are you good at admin, accounting, etc? A lot of sales reps need an admin and some work from their own home because it is not enough for a full time job.

I have a work at home mom who tutors me in Quickbooks when I get to a part I don't understand. She does bookkeeping from her home for several small businesses. I pay her $100 an hour to help me with difficult reports, etc.

Tutor students.... an academic tutor around here starts at $50 an hour, cash.

Network within your friends and friends of friends and make connections. Our company fell into our lap and we happenend to be ready to start up when the opportunity arose. Look for opportunities that are not always clear cut.

Best wishes to you!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jackson on

I do not currently work from home. But I am getting an Associates in Medical Administrative Techonology and getting my certification in Medical Coding and certification in Medical Transcription. I plan to work outside of the home for up to 4 years then work from home for the rest of my working career.



answers from Chicago on

What did you do before you became a Mom? I did public relations/marketing at a big firm in downtown Chicago but there was little work/life balance. After I had my first child, I leveraged my business contacts and decided to freelance 2-3 days/week. It has been wonderful and I am very lucky to have had steady work the last 6 years. As many posters pointed out, the days I work, I have my kids in daycare (home daycare). Most well-paying jobs really will not allow you to work while watching your kids - in my line of business where I do a lot of writing and interfacing with clients and media, I couldn't do it with my children in te house - but I can still do a load of laundry and do some of the housework - not to mention run errands during my lunch break. So you may try to parlay your skills into a freelance business :)

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