Stay-at-Home Parents: Here Are 10 Side Gigs You Can Do With Kids in Tow

A woman bakes with her two children.
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Stay-at-home parents have ALL the free time…

…Said no one who ever actually stayed at home with their kids.

Commanding the homefront is a job with a capital J. And yet, during those hours at home while the kids are playing in the sprinkler, watching cartoons or — heaven bless them — napping, parents often feel like they could be doing something productive. Lucrative even.

We hear you, frazzled moms and dads. Here are 10 ways to make money as a stay-at-home parent that you can squeeze in between trips to the playground and running laundry. 

Your time is worth a lot, but toddlers don’t pay. These gigs do.

How to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom or Dad

1. Make and sell stuff online

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Etsy is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of website. Compared to other online marketplaces, Etsy takes some work. But that hard work can pay off as a profitable side business. And if you’re already inclined toward making crafts or spotting cool vintage finds, Etsy is the ideal marketplace for those one-of-a-kinds.

Read our complete guide to selling on Etsy to help you get started.

Not the crafty type? You can still make a handsome sum selling through Fulfillment by Amazon. A lot of Amazon sellers are private-label businesses that buy generic products from abroad, brand and pack them, then send them off to Amazon, which does the rest for you.

2. Work on Mechanical Turk

Speaking of Amazon, the online retail giant’s Mechanical Turk platform lets you complete small tasks online for a price.

According to Michael Naab, who wrote our guide (and a book) on making money with Mechanical Turk, you can expect to earn around $6 to $12 an hour doing Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) on the platform. HITs range anywhere from completing surveys to Excel spreadsheet tasks to audio transcription.

3. Be an online tutor

Tutoring has become a prime opportunity for anyone who wants to work from home. Online tutoring companies abound, and there’s often a lot of flexibility around when and how many hours you want to devote.

Consider signing on with one of these nine companies and earn money tutoring during the kids’ swim lessons or playgroup.

4. Teach English Online

Interested in more teaching opportunities?

To fill the demand for English around the world, many companies hire native English speakers to run classes online. In most cases, online teachers can set their own schedules and earn up to $25 an hour.

To meet baseline qualifications, all you need is English fluency, a high school diploma and a computer with a high-speed internet connection. Ready to get started? Here are seven legit sites that will pay you to teach English online.

5. Write for a parenting blog

You’re already a subject-matter expert in the care and feeding of small humans. Get paid for that hard-earned knowledge by writing for a parenting blog or magazine.

6. Babysit other people’s babies

You’re already watching your own kids. You’ve got your house stocked with crafts and snacks and all the outlets are child-proofed. It’s not a new idea for stay-at-home parents to take in other charges, but now there are plenty of sites to connect you to potential clients. For starters, check out and Sittercity to create a free membership.

7. Babysit fur babies

A woman pets a dog while hugging her son in their backyard.
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A cardinal rule of staying at home with kids: Get out of the house. While you’re running errands and hitting the library, build in some paying work as a pet sitter or dog-walker. As you might have guessed, there’s an app (or six) for that.

8. Sell home-baked goods

Even if you’re not a bona fide pastry chef, there’s money to be made whipping up specialty goodies the rest of the world doesn’t have the motivation to create. We talked to two people with home-baking side businesses about how they found a sweet spot.

9. Rent out your baby gear

Strollers, car seats, high chairs, play pens — these are the tools of the stay-at-home parenting trade. They’re expensive and they take up a lot of space in your life. Now there are apps that let you rent out your baby gear to other families in your city and get a little return on those big investments.

10. Check The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home jobs portal

If you’re looking for a real job you can do from home, or even if you just want to browse what opportunities are out there, check in regularly with our Work-From-Home Jobs Portal, which is updated regularly with new postings. Many of them can be done from anywhere.

Molly Moorhead is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.