Today’s stay-at-home mom is my lovely mother. She has lived through lots of ups and downs financially. As a young girl her mother was a single mom raising four children and she learned how to go without and to make do with what she had. When she married my dad they started out very humble as well until after years of thrift and hard work they began prospering.
She tells her story and how over the years she has made extra money by putting a talent/hobby to use in the community. I believe that other moms may be able to do something similar with talents, hobbies, sports, skills, etc. My mom begins by telling a little background and then goes on to answer the standard questionnaire on the other money-making posts.
I was fortunate in obtaining my Bachelors and Teaching Degree in Theatre Education prior to getting married. Before we were married, my husband and I agreed that my job would be to stay at home and raise the children. We both wanted a large family and knew the importance of a ‘stay-at-home’ mother in teaching values and guiding the youngsters.
My husband and I were very frugal. He is a good manager with money. We saved every penny and dime and were able to buy an inexpensive lot and build our own house. However, it did take 22 months. Four years after being married and two children later, we were able to move into our new home…..the home in which we still reside.
Because he is such a good money manager, even with the recession of 1980, when his business almost closed, we still got by. I sewed clothes for the children, baked bread and tried to cut corners. He, of course, built our home. Finally his business took off and over the years we prospered. However, we were still frugal. Our family increased to 5 children. Long story -short, I really didn’t need to supplement our income. My husband let me handle the finances and trusted me with the check book. However, he would not condone large expenses.
Q. What inspired you to begin working?
A. There were two times I remember wanting something that he replied, “We don’t have enough money.” Now I really desired these two things. One was; I wanted to get braces for myself and the second was; I wanted to travel to Taiwan and visit my daughter who was teaching English there. When he refused to let me travel to Taiwan on the excuse that “We don’t have enough money.” We discussed the possibility of me raising the money for my trip. He concurred.
Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?
A. Over the years I volunteered at the local elementary school and directed plays for grades that my children were in. This led into a part time job at a local preschool/dance academy, where I taught drama during the school year in the evenings and for a few hours, four days a week, and also during the summer. We played games, improvised situations and performed for each other. This is where I made the most money. And this is how I got my braces. 🙂
I also substitute taught. To get started I took the training and started substituting at secondary schools. Although substituting is a bit stressful, I raised enough money to go toward the trip. I flew over with my mother-in-law, traveled the island with my daughter, had a great trip, and all flew home together. We made wonderful memories.
Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar to help out financially?
A. I know life is never consistent and I do believe in being prepared for the future. I had let my teaching degree lapse. After being married about 9 years, I decided I should renew it as ‘insurance’ for ‘just in case’ situations. I took the necessary classes and have renewed it every 5 years since then.
So, I would advise graduating from college, keeping up your teaching or/and necessary certifications associated with your profession, talents, and/or hobbies, just in case of an unforeseen emergency, and volunteering to keep sharp in the area of your expertise. Your children will admire you for it and you will derive enjoyment from an outside passion that may even result in a little extra “pocket change”.
Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?
A. When my children were in school I would voluntarily direct two plays a year. I would spend about 10 hours a week on them for a few months every school year. After my children graduated from elementary school, I only volunteered for one year before I quit.
But several years later, the elementary school developed an “Education Committee” composed of parents who wanted art back into the school. They raised funds to bring in a music and theatre teacher. Because of my volunteer work and experience, I was fortunate to be asked to be the Theatre Teacher.
I directed a 4th grade melodrama, a fifth grade musical and a 6th grade Shakespeare play for a few years until the testing overtook the curriculum. I made a nice amount of ‘pocket change’ as I was paid a few hundred dollars for each play I directed.
Also, teaching group drama camps during the summer was a great way for children to participate in drama and for me to earn extra money. I have taught these drama camps (a few hours a week with one big performance for the parents) for years and the kids and neighborhood loved to attend.
It is fairly flexible, (especially the private group classes and camps I put on). I usually have to work with the school on creating a schedule that works with both the teachers and myself which is less flexible than teaching on my own.
Q. When/how do you find the time to work?
A. All my volunteer work took place while the children were in school. I would make time by completing other tasks around this schedule. Often my youngest children would come with if they were not in full time school. My children would also attend the drama camps and the day care theater classes I taught. They were my helpers and also benefitted in the theatrical education.
Q. Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?
A. As mentioned above, keep your skills sharp by volunteering at your hobbies, skills, etc. Even if you can’t be paid for it directly through the volunteering, it may lead to a part time job (like my volunteering did for me). Also, because of this hands on experience, I was able to apply for and be chosen to direct our Community’s annual play last summer. The money I received for this job went toward a family trip to San Diego.
Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?
A. Yes, schooling and some experience was required for me to feel comfortable teaching drama. But experience accounted for the majority of it. If you feel like you can benefit your community by teaching and sharing a skill, I’d recommend learning all you can about it and keeping up with it. You can even teach at your home until you feel more comfortable to approach day cares, schools, community councils, etc.
Q. What is the income percentage you bring in? Or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income?
A. I have been fortunate in that I have not really needed to supplement our income and that I could stay home and raise our 5 children. I am happy to report they are all now grown and are responsible citizens who are contributing to society.
I make an extra couple hundred dollars per play I direct. I charge a locally-conservative-amount for my summer drama camps, was paid per class at the local day care center, and have made a bit here and there as well. I made enough for a braces, vacations, and other expensive extras that we couldn’t afford at the time.
Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started with a job like this?
A. You need to have a hobby, skill, talent, or profession that can be shared or taught to others. Then start by looking for opportunities to share it in the community at local schools, daycares, churches, etc. If there are unpaid opportunities and you have the time for them and especially if you need the experience, take them. These volunteer opportunities can lead to paid ones in the future. Market yourself. Approach schools even if they aren’t on the lookout for what you are offering. Don’t underestimate the positive impact that your talent can have on others. I had no idea when I got started how many wonderful things would come from teaching children the theatric arts.
Your children will admire you for sharing your talents and you will derive enjoyment from an outside passion that may even result in a little extra “pocket change”.
A big thanks to my mother for sharing her advice…
Other posts in this series:
Series 31: Sell Shaklee (MLM)-removed
Series 33: Sell Mary Kay(MLM)-removed
more coming…pin or bookmark for more.