You need a job to help support your family, but the thought of working 20 hours a week as a part-timer at the local mall folding jeans or whipping up lattes for the other PTA moms isn’t appealing. The idea of being a full-time work-at-home mom isn’t feasible for you, either. Here’s where a side hustle comes in: A self-directed job you can work into your free time provides freedom while still helping you to pay the bills. Before jumping full-force into traditional workplace life, check out these side hustles that could give you the best of both worlds.

A mother reads a book to two children

1. Babysitting: You’re watching your own kiddo, so why not add one more? Opening a full-blown home daycare is a major undertaking that requires permits, licenses, and following all kinds of local/state regulations, making it a full-time job. But babysitting the neighbor’s kiddo, watching your BFF’s kindergartner after school, or another similar arrangement is an easy way to make some extra part-time cash. (Just be sure to look into the local legal distinctions so you don’t accidentally cross the line from babysitter to unlicensed child care provider — restrictions may include number of children cared for at a time, hours spent caring for others’ children during the week, or the location where the caregiving takes place.)

2. Direct Sales: There’s something to be said for the zillion direct sales posts that fill your IG and FB feeds. Whether you’re hosting jewelry parties or selling skin care, these opportunities give you the chance to make money at your own pace and on your own schedule. One word of caution, though — scratch that, two words of caution — pyramid scheme. Thoroughly vet the company you’re considering to make sure that it’s totally legit. Talk to other reps (current and former), check Google reviews, and make sure that you have a realistic picture of what to expect.

3. Party Planning: Some mamas have a knack for this kind of stuff. If you’re perfectly Pinteresting and Martha Stewart has nothing on you, party planning is a fun side hustle that will add to your cash stash. The flexible, on-demand nature of the work means that you can take on as many (or as few) projects as you’re comfortable with at any given time.

4. Pet Sitting: Whether your neighbor pays you to walk their dog while they’re at work or you drop in a few times a day to give Felix a cuddle, this is a seriously part-time gig that can earn you extra money for diapers, the toys your tot is begging for, or maybe even a little something special for yourself.

A woman works on a laptop while children play

5. Selling Your Stuff: Your basement already looks like a garage sale: There’s a mountain of totally usable baby gear, and the less said about the boxes of clothes, the better. Instead of letting this old stuff continue to pile up, sell it. The internet couldn’t make this process easier: From eBay to Craigslist to FB groups that allow parents to share info with each other and post items for sale, you can trade your used baby & kid items for much more useful cash. Facebook Marketplace, for example, is a great and easy way to sell things (and connect with people) right in your neighborhood.

6. Reselling Other Stuff: Maybe your baby gear is in less-than-perfect shape or you’ve already handed it down to your friends. You can still start an online sales side hustle. Browse local ads, visit sites having sales or clearing overstock merchandise, and look for end-of-season clearance events and in-store specials to find awesomely inexpensive deals. Resell your clearance finds for profit on an auction or similar website. One note — very few buyers will pay full price for totally off-season merchandise. Save the end-of-summer stash for holiday cruise time or wait to sell it until next spring.

7. Crafting: Art enthusiasts and serious crafters can turn their leisure-time passions into money-making jobs. Before spending your diaper budget for the month on beads, paint, or anything else at the local craft store, make a plan for what you’ll be making and where you’ll be setting it. Will you have a virtual storefront on eBay or Etsy? Is there a locally owned neighborhood shop where your goods might fit in and the owner stocking the shelves will be easy to sit down with? One warning here: If you’ve never crafted, know nothing about crafting, and think that just anyone can make bank cranking out cheap jewelry or graphic tees, think again. Crafting for money takes skill, practice, and hard work — and an investment in materials and equipment.

8. Tutoring: Put that degree to use! If you excel in a specific subject, offer your services to elementary, middle school, or high school students who are in need of help. This is also a great way to review material before your own kid gets to the point where they’ll need help with it or even to stay current on the latest teaching methods and developments in various fields.

9. Consulting: Maybe you weren’t the biggest corporate maven before becoming a SAHM. But you had a career — and insider expertise. Now that you’re home with your kiddo, that expertise is growing cobwebs. Put it to use, stay current in your field, and make connections that could lead to future work opportunities by consulting on the side. It’s a job you’ll love without a 40+ hour workweek.

Do you have a side hustle that scores you a major paycheck? Tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)