Raising kids is a big job, but let's face it: The pay isn't great! And even if you're bringing home a paycheck, it might not be as big—or your work as fulfilling—as you'd like. That's why more and more parents are looking for side hustles as ways to bring in extra money.
The good news? There are more ways than ever to cash in—even if you don't think you have the time (or energy).
1. The Side Hustle: Child Care
You're already totally capable of caring for and entertaining little ones, so why not profit from your stellar kid-wrangling skills?
"Childcare is expensive, and finding good options is challenging. Consider offering after-school care to families in your area," suggests Alex Beattie, a divorced working mother and co-founder of Divide & Thrive: The Divorce Organizer. "You get to set your hourly rate and can decide how many hours—and kids—to incorporate into your schedule."
Not only will you earn extra income, but you'll have built-in playdates for your own kids, which is a win-win.
2. The Side Hustle: Children's Party Planning
As you undoubtedly know all too well, planning the perfect birthday party (or baptism or bat mitzvah or any other type of soiree) takes lots of time and effort, and plenty of busy parents would love to outsource the whole operation. Referrals are a great way to get started in this line of work, so if you can manage to throw one successful bash in your community, word will likely spread fast.
3. The Side Hustle: Tutoring
If you can help your kids with their homework, chances are you can help other people's kids, too (especially if you're particularly good at a certain subject). This is a convenient option for busy parents because sessions usually only last about an hour—and you can even teach at your own house (or online, via sites such as Wyzant).
"Kids need homework help. This much-in-demand gig can yield big returns," says Beattie. Tutoring hourly rates range from $25 per hour to $100; not only can it be done virtually, but you can tap into your school community to find potential clients.
4. The Side Hustle: Catering
Whether you've always dreamed of being a gourmet chef or you just happen to make the best cupcakes ever, all the kitchen expertise you've acquired cooking for a family could be making you serious cash. The holidays are a great time to approach friends and family with a list of dishes you'd be willing to prepare and deliver for their celebration; another idea is to market yourself to local parents who've just brought home a new baby and are in need of some "homemade" meals!
5. The Side Hustle: Photography
The adorable snaps you take of your kids are already getting you tons of followers on Instagram, and thanks to the advent of digital photography, you no longer need a darkroom for this hustle. One area to try: Pregnancy and/or birth photography, both of which are getting more popular by the day. You can also earn royalties by selling your photos to sites like Snapwire.
"Photography is the perfect side hustle...it can expand or contract based on the time and space you have available—which can be quite limited as a parent," Michelle Cehn, founder of World of Vegan and author of The Friendly Vegan Cookbook ($15.50, Amazon) tells Parents. "Plus, you can practice honing your skills on your little one. I occasionally take food photography, wedding photography, or portrait photography jobs, but only when I know it will fit into my life as a busy working mom."
6. The Side Hustle: Odd Jobs
Chances are you spend a lot of your time running errands and taking care of random projects and chores for your family, so why not add a few more things to your to-do list (and get paid in the process)? Websites such as TaskRabbit and Thumbtack can help find you work doing everything from assembling furniture to housecleaning to pet sitting and much, much more, all on your own schedule.
7. The Side Hustle: Teaching, Coaching, or Creating Online Courses
For talented musicians, athletes, and artists, teaching private lessons either at your house or in students' homes is, like tutoring, a good option for parents because the hours are super flexible.
You can even teach online classes without leaving the house, says Monica Monfre Scantlebury, who coaches moms to create six-figure side hustles.
"Create a digital course," suggests Scantlebury. "Moms know things, and people want to learn things. Whether it's meal planning, crocheting, playing the piano, or scaling a network marketing business—a digital course is an excellent way to take your expertise as a mom and monetize it."
And as an added bonus, once you create the course, you can sell it over and over.
8. The Side Hustle: YouTube Video Host
If you've got kids, you're probably all too familiar with YouTube videos featuring everyday people unwrapping surprise eggs, playing with toys, and doing other seemingly mundane things. Believe it or not, some of those clips are so popular, they earn their creators thousands of dollars per day—literally. While your vids might not be quite that successful, YouTube videos can still be a solid side hustle (especially for moms, who are already clued into what kids like to watch).
9. The Side Hustle: Direct Sales
Wondering why you're getting so many invitations from friends on social media to check out products from companies like Scentsy and Stella & Dot? Direct sales is a super convenient way for moms to make money from home—the hours are incredibly flexible and you don't need any prior experience. Just be sure to do some research to make sure you're not getting involved in a pyramid scheme.
10. The Side Hustle: Zumbini Teacher
The best kind of side hustle also doubles as exercise, so becoming a Zumbini—that's Zumba for babies and kids—teacher is the perfect blend of money-making and working out. Zumbini is a musical early childhood education program that uses original songs, dolls, and dance to help parents and kids bond and generally have a blast. And you can lead the fun as an instructor. You don't have to be an experienced dancer; all it takes is a one-day training session and an online training program.
Zumbini teachers either offer their services at a studio or community center to earn an hourly wage and share profits with the facility, or rent out space on their own. If you're renting space, you'll bring home the cost of the classes (that you set yourself) minus the cost of the studio space and the $35 per family Zumbini supplies.
11. The Side Hustle: Shopping Delivery Apps
Have a car and like to drive, but don't want strangers in the backseat where your kids sit? Understood. You don't have to be a ride-share driver to use your car to make some extra bucks. You can shop and deliver the goods to nearby customers. Try Instacart for groceries or Postmates for food or other errands. You can set your own hours and choose your own tasks.
"If grocery delivery wasn't hot before the pandemic, it sure is now. With grocery stores struggling to keep up with delivery orders, and delivery and pick-up slots having longer and longer wait times, outsourcing has become the new norm," Brooke Frederick, creator of Minimalist Mama, tells Parents. "Many apps, such as Instacart, will send you grocery delivery orders as they come in, and have you drive to the grocery store, fulfill the order, and deliver it. This side hustle is particularly great because there's the possibility for you to bring babe along for the shop."
12. The Side Hustle: Freelance Writing
Freelance writing gigs fit perfectly into a busy parent's schedule, says Laura Briggs, who's also known as The Freelance Coach and is the host of The Advanced Freelancing Podcast.
"The work is deadline-driven, especially if you're working on social media copy, blogs, website content, and email newsletters," Briggs tells Parents. "This means writers can work at 10 PM or 2 AM, or during naptime."
Most freelance writing assignments involve distinct projects or clear deliverables. Another bonus for busy, multi-tasking parents? There are typically not many phone or video calls required as part of these assignments.
"It's an ideal pick for someone who needs a flexible schedule. As a military wife who has moved nine times in 10 years, freelance writing has allowed me to adjust my schedule for more—or less—work depending on my family's needs," says Briggs.
13. The Side Hustle: Virtual Assistant
If you've ever worked in an office, then rest assured you possess many of the skills needed to thrive as a virtual assistant: organization, administrative tasks, and calendar and email inbox management, says Briggs, of The Advanced Freelancing Podcast.
"Since this can be done quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home, you can decide what your schedule looks like," says Briggs. "You'll help online companies manage their back end by taking these administrative tasks off the plate of the company's founder or executives."
14. The Side Hustle: Fitness Coach
Being a fitness coach is another ideally suited side gig for busy parents, especially those who want to get into shape.
"This is perfect, as you can do this on your own schedule while having children home with you," Lisamarie Monaco, mother of five kids and entrepreneur, tells Parents. "You can plan the fitness schedules and videos ahead of time, and have them post [on social media and. YouTube] as a drip campaign automatically on days you choose."
Or you can coach in person, at your home, on a schedule that's convenient for you.
15. The Side Hustle: Blogging to Book Author
With so many variations of self-publishing available now, becoming a published author is easier than ever, says Shana Bull, author of Randall the Blue Spider.
"I was able to turn a dream of mine into a reality during the pandemic by working with a hybrid publisher. I paid her to edit, provide creative direction, and print and market my idea of a book I co-authored with my toddler," Bull tells Parents. "Bloggers can work with Amazon self-publishing or a hybrid publisher to turn their blog or other ideas into a book, and get passive revenue from book orders for a long time."
"As moms, we probably all have random stories that we've made up to tell our kids at bedtime," adds Bull. "Or if you're like me, your kid loves to tell stories. I took down what he was saying when he was two years old, and that's where the story of Randall came from."