I think its safe to say that I'm a full-time mum.
C has now started school, and Bug is at pre-school all day on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I'm still responsible for getting them to school and picking them up, I'm walking the dog twice a day, I'm doing all the cooking, laundry and housework, and I have Bug on the days that she's not at pre-school.
Here's how a typical Monday looks:
- Get up at 6.30am and do my exercise DVD for 30 minutes.
- Get the children up at 7am, and encourage the getting dressed, getting breakfast, brushing teeth and getting out of the door process. At the same time I get washed and dressed, get a laundry load on, have some breakfast, wash the dishes and make sure everyone has what the need for the day.
- Leave the house at 8.15am. Drive to the village where school is, and walk through the village to school (we all get some exercise and the dog gets a walk).
- At 9am say "bye" to C, and begin the walk back again with Bug and the dog.
- Home again by about 9.45, a little later if we've done any errands while out.
- I spend an hour doing laundry and housework, while Bug either helps me or does some colouring or playing on her own.
- Now I spend an hour with Bug. We play a game, do some reading or craft, then have lunch.
- At about noon, Bug goes for a sleep (or if she's not asleep after an hour, she gets up and plays in her bedroom). I now have two hours to do some work (more on that later).
- At about 2pm I get Bug up, we have a cuddle, and then I persuade her to have a practice on her bike. She's a little reluctant at the moment.
- At 3pm we head off back to the village where school is, and collect C from school. The children have a snack in the car and we go to the woods. We walk, and they play on the playground.
- At 4.30pm we head home. Once there at about 5pm we settle down to do C's homework while Bug does some drawing. I cook the dinner and supervise the homework.
- At 5.45pm it's dinner time. Hubby is still working out his work routine, so is sometimes here for dinner, sometimes not. After dinner it's time for pyjamas, teeth, a story and bed. Hubby or I will do the dishes while the other supervises the children - unless he's not back yet, in which case I wash the dishes and supervise remotely!
- 7pm-ish the children are in bed. I now have some time to work again, until 9pm when it's time to stop and Hubby and I have an appointment with the TV and whichever show we are particularly into at the moment.
On a Wednesday and Thursday in theory I have the whole day to get down to work. In reality by the time I get home from school drop off/dog walk it's already at least 9.30, and I'm leaving again by 2.30pm at the latest. I also still do laundry and housework on these days, as well as squeezing in a grocery shop, and a swim for me (a new luxury, to go swimming without the children once a week!). So in reality, I don't get that much more time for working than on any other day.
So what can a stay-at-home mum do when she decides its time to start earning some money, and she basically has a maximum of about 4 hours a day in which to do it? Here are some of the things that I'm trying, and I'd love to hear what you're doing too:
- The first thing I've embarked upon is i-writer. There's a list of articles required, and you choose one that you want to write and get on with it. Once submitted, if the requester likes it, they'll approve it and give you a rating out of 5, and you get paid. To begin with you only earn a couple of dollars for a 500 word article, but once you've done 30, if your average rating is above 4* you can access "Premium" articles, at about $5 for 500 words, and once your average rating is above 4.6* you can access "Elite" articles at about $8 per 500 words. Yes, the pay is appallingly low (it takes me about an hour to research and write a 500 word article), but at least it's definite money for the work, and I also count it as good practice. I'm definitely honing my writing skills and learning lots of good things along the way. I've worked pretty hard on this for the last month or so, and am currently a Premium writer.
- I've also signed up to a couple of market research websites. They send you links to surveys. You complete the survey and get paid for each one you complete. Again, the money is poor, but it's better than nothing.
- I've written to contacts I had for freelance writing prior to having children, to let them know that I am available and keen for work.
- I've added Google ad-sense to this blog. (At time of writing it doesn't seem to be working, but we'll see). Again, not a high earner, but any income stream that requires little or no effort from me has to be a good thing.
- I'm going to set up an etsy shop to sell my hand-crafted items, and get on with crafting a few more, which I'll also flag up on Facebook, by setting up a Facebook page for my craft business.
- I'll write other articles on subjects that I'm confident with, and submit them to various appropriate magazines.
- I might even finish one of my books!
- Towards Christmas I'll make sure that I have enough craft stock to have at least one stall at a craft fair.
- Once I've done that, and if things are selling okay on Etsy, then I'll set up my own website.
So that's where I'm going at the moment. Ideally I can just gradually build up my earnings, but since the house in Scotland is still not sold, I'm getting a little anxious to show some substantial income as soon as possible. Then I have to remind myself that actually I'm still a full-time Mum, and there are only so many hours in the day. I could perhaps earn a bit more if I ignored the kids and didn't do any laundry or housework - but I'd be the one sitting in a house with fighting children, piles of laundry and mess everywhere, and I don't think I could manage it. So I'll just have to keep plugging away, and do what I can, when I can, and hope the money starts coming in.