According to the Pew Research Center, 70% of moms (with a child under 18) have a paid job. In fact, over the last 20 years, the number of working moms has dramatically increased. This may be because flexible, part-time, and home-based jobs are easier to come by these days.
Some moms worry about re-entering the workplace because they are not sure if they have the right skills. If you’re looking to return to work, but you have limited work experience, don’t let this hold you back. Many employers provide on-the-job training and will value the “soft skills” you can bring to the table.
In this article, we’ll highlight ten very flexible jobs for moms. Each of these jobs is family friendly for its own unique reasons – so you’re bound to find one that’s suitable for you. It also discusses several home-based jobs you should avoid. Finally, we’ll show you where to find support as a working mom.
When Should I Return to Work After Having Children?
No one knows the answer to this question because it depends on so many different factors. Moms are often torn between conflicting priorities, so it’s difficult to know when is the “right time.” Some mothers prefer to return to work when their child is about 5 or 6 years old. At this age, children attend school full-time, and they are more emotionally independent.
However, we know that some moms return to work long before their child turns 5. A study published by BMJ found that women who were unemployed one year after childbirth had higher rates of anxiety than employed mothers. These mothers worried about their finances felt isolated, and thought that the workplace had “passed them by.” This suggests some moms will want to return to work quite quickly after having children.
Whether you’ve been out of the workplace for many years, or you’re a new mom looking to go back to work, there are many mom-friendly jobs out there. We’ll highlight some of the best jobs a little later.
What Are the Job Options for Moms?
Being a mother and an employee are both responsible jobs. Balancing the two roles can be incredibly challenging, no matter how old your child is. So, how can you find the time to do both?
Generally speaking, there are three options available for moms who want to work:
- Work Part-Time – Work during school hours, or when your partner is at home to look after the kids.
- Work Full-Time –Some employers may offer enough flexibility for you to work full-time. For example, they may allow you to change your start and end times, condense your hours into fewer days, or work from home some of the time. According to a report by The Department of Labor, less than 10% of full-time workers have access to flexible work schedules. Indeed, full-time flexible jobs for moms can be hard to come by.
- Work for Yourself –You could work from home as a freelancer – either full-time or part-time. A home-based job is a practical option for many moms because it can fit around your lifestyle.
If you’ve been unemployed for a long time, part-time work is probably the best place to start, because full-time work could seem overwhelming. Similarly, if your child is still very young, working for 40 hours a week is probably not going to be practical.
Home-based jobs can offer the greatest flexibility, but they can be isolating for some people. Having said that, not all home-based jobs are void of social interaction. Certain home-based jobs can help you feel less isolated.
Advantages of Being a Working Mom
As mentioned, the decision to go back to work is not always an easy one. In some ways, working could make your life a lot easier, but in other ways, it could make things a lot harder.
Let’s consider the benefits of being a working mom:
- Extra Income – Of course, this is one of the main benefits. As we know, childcare can be expensive. Nonetheless, if your child is at school and you find a job during school hours, your wages won’t get eaten up by the cost of childcare.
- Develop New Skills – Most of us thrive when we’re learning, and the workplace allows us to develop new skills. If you intend to work full-time when the kids leave home, developing your skills will help open up more opportunities later in life.
- Socializing – Many jobs allow you to socialize with people you might not otherwise get a chance to meet. This can enrich your life and help you to explore different parts of your personality. If you only ever socialize with other moms, you might start to feel isolated or unfulfilled.
- Appreciate Family Time – When time with your family is limited, it suddenly becomes a lot more precious. You can appreciate the time you do spend together by planning fun activities or days out.
- Self-Esteem and Self-Identity – Achieving goals in the workplace can help to build your self-esteem, allowing you to build an identity that is not solely based on being a mom. Generally, it’s healthier to base your self-identity on several different factors, so you don’t come to rely too heavily on one element.
Many moms experience these benefits, so working can undoubtedly have a positive impact on your life. Nevertheless, juggling employment and motherhood can be a struggle, especially if you’re a single mom. Let’s explore some of the potential disadvantages of going back to work.
Disadvantages of Being a Working Mom
- Stress – Co-ordinating childcare, school runs, and Rota changes can be particularly stressful if you’re a mom.
- Guilt – Working moms often feel guilty about leaving their children in childcare. If they work in a team environment, they might also feel bad about leaving work early, or not doing their “fair share.”
- Tiredness –If you’ve been at work all day, it can feel like you’re putting in a “second shift” in the evening. Again, this can lead to feelings of guilt if you feel too tired to fulfill some of the household chores.
Some of these disadvantages can be alleviated by finding work that is flexible, part-time, or home-based. Nonetheless, each family is different so that everyone will experience their own unique challenges.
Are There Jobs for Moms with No Experience?
Many moms lack formal work experience, either because they’ve been out of work for a long time, or because they didn’t work at all before pregnancy. So, will a lack of experience stop you from finding work?
According to a survey reported by CNBC, more than two-thirds of recruiting managers consider parenting skills to be relevant. So, even if you lack formal work experience, you’ve still got skills and experiences that some employers will value.
Although you won’t write “Mom” on your resume, you could highlight some of the following skills:
- Mentoring skills
- Time Management
- Team-working ability
- Negotiation Skills
- Conflict Management
So, if you can see some of these skills in yourself, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find a job that’s suited to you. With that in mind, let’s explore ten of the best jobs for moms.
If you apply to be a childcare worker, you won’t have to worry about being inexperienced. Many moms enjoy childcare work because they know it’s something they are good at. If you’re feeling nervous about returning to work, you might feel more confident in this territory. As a childcare worker, you can expect to earn between $12 and $16 per hour.
Childcare work is ideal because there’s a massive need for it. Not only that, there’s work available at all times of the day and night.
For example, you could work in the following positions:
- Daycare Worker / Daycare Helper– You could work during their core hours or assist with before school or after school daycare services.
- Teacher Assistant – You could work during school hours only.
- Nanny – You could look after a child in a private household. You could find a family that requires part-time childcare and negotiate your hours with them accordingly.
- Childcare/Babysitting –There is often a big demand for this on evenings and weekends. If your partner is home on the evenings/weekends to look after the kids, you could earn some extra money babysitting.
Although some employers prefer you to have an associate’s degree or college qualification, a high school certificate and experience of being a mom will be sufficient for many employers. Certain states require childcare workers to hold a license, so check licensing requirements before you start working.
Most childcare jobs can be found on traditional job sites such as Indeed, and Monster. If you’re looking for nanny jobs or casual babysitting jobs, these are often advertised on specialist job portals such as care.com.
Working in hospitality is a favorite amongst moms, and it is easy to see why; it’s one of the most flexible jobs out there. Students, moms, and semi-retired people often choose this type of work because they can fit the hours around their day-to-day commitments.
Besides offering flexible work schedules, hospitality work is great for moms because:
- You’ll interact with all different types of people, so you’re less likely to feel isolated.
- You’ll be working in a fun and lively environment.
- You might receive tips from patrons.
- You’ll be on your feet for your entire shift, so it’s a great form of exercise.
- You won’t bring any work home with you so that you can leave any work-related stress at the door.
- This industry is unlikely to suffer because people will always want to eat out or share a drink with friends. As such, there is plenty of work to go around.
- If you want to work your way up to management level, there are lots of opportunities in the hospitality sector.
If you work as a bar assistant or bartender, you could earn between $13 and $22 per hour. Similarly, a waitress earns between $12 and $18 per hour. If you don’t want to work in the evening, there are plenty of hospitality jobs for mums during school hours.
For example, coffee shop assistants earn between $11 and $14 per hour. Also, busy restaurants will often hire lunchtime hosts to cover the busy lunchtime rush. If you have excellent organizational skills and you enjoy chatting with others, working as a restaurant host could be the perfect job for you. Hosts earn between $12 and $15 per hour.
In many cases, you won’t need formal work experience to land a job in hospitality. Most employers will look for a friendly and positive attitude above all else. Parenting skills such as empathy, patience, and time-keeping will also help you to succeed in these roles, so mention these skills on your resume.
Join an Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships aren’t just for high school leavers. Career-changes, moms, and people with long employment gaps can access certain types of apprenticeships. If you want to find full-time work in a well-paid occupation, an apprenticeship could be the right move for you.
The Women’s Bureau has created a portal called Women Build, Protect and Move America. This portal helps women of all ages access a career in transportation, construction or protective services. Women are underrepresented in these industries, so there are lots of apprenticeships available all over the country.
If the construction industry doesn’t appeal to you, there are some other types of apprenticeships on offer. For example, you could access training in healthcare, office administration, education, or community services. Part-time apprenticeships are harder to come by, but they do exist. The pay is low, at least to begin with, so you’d need to consider whether this could work for your family or not.
Work from Home as a Freelancer
Most home-based jobs for moms are conducted on a freelance rather than an employed basis. There’s less job security, but freelancing is often a more sustainable form of employment because it can fit around your lifestyle.
Freelancing doesn’t just work well for mom’s who’ve been out of work for a while; it can work for new moms, too. A study published on Springer Link found that women who started working for themselves soon after having a child were no less successful than women who began self-employment without having children.
If you had a professional career before becoming pregnant, it would be easier to sell your services as a freelancer. But what if you’re not in this position? Could freelancing still be an option?
Freelance workers are often needed to complete the following tasks:
- Virtual Assistance – This could involve data entry, research, responding to emails or managing calendars.
- E-commerce Assistance – Small businesses might hire you to look after their online shop, keep their social media pages up-to-date, and respond to customers’ queries.
- Writing – This could involve writing articles, blog posts, product descriptions, or web content.
- Proofreading, and Editing – This involves proofreading other people’s work to spot errors or editing their writing to improve readability.
- Transcription –You could be transcribing interviews, meetings, podcasts, videos, or other types of audio data.
- Online TEFL Teacher – In recent years, the demand for online English language teachers has risen dramatically. Because learners are situated all over the world, there’s a 24/7 demand for lessons.
These positions require you to have good IT skills and relevant knowledge, but you don’t necessarily need lots of formal work experience.
Most work can be found on freelance marketplaces such as a Upwork, and Freelancer. Outsourcely is a marketplace that specializes in long-term projects, but you can establish long-term partnerships on most freelance marketplaces. If you want to work as an English language tutor, you could sign up for a free profile on Preply.
It might not be the most glamorous job, but it’s one of the most convenient jobs out there. Cleaning work is often done on a part-time basis, which makes it highly suitable for moms. Businesses need cleaners at all hours of the day and night, so you’re bound to find a vacancy that fits in with your lifestyle.
For example, if you wanted to work mornings only, you could work as a housekeeping aide in a hotel. You’d finish your shift just after lunchtime, and you’d be home long before your children finish school. Housekeeping aides and cleaners earn between $11 and $17 per hour.
Like hospitality work, cleaning work is a physical job that forces you to keep active. For many moms, the idea of doing a physical job is satisfying because they’re stuck in the house for a lot of the time. Cleaning jobs offer less of an opportunity for social interaction compared to hospitality jobs, so think about whether social interaction at work is important to you or not.
Cleaning jobs are advertised on traditional job sites or can be found through word-of-mouth. Many companies will not require any formal work experience, though you’ll need to demonstrate a practical, hands-on approach to working. Once you have a bit of experience in this sector, you could even work for yourself – offering cleaning services to private households. If you sign up to a portal such as Handy, you can connect with households in your area.
Part-Time Office Assistant
It’s certainly possible to find office jobs for moms during school hours. In fact, most offices will employ some part-time office assistants. This is because multiple part-time workers can offer the employer a greater degree of flexibility concerning staffing. During busy periods, they’ll have more assistants to call upon for support.
Some studies have shown that parents who work part-time are relatively more productive than full-time workers. This could be because part-time workers feel under more pressure to “prove themselves.”
But will a company employ you if you don’t have any office experience? It might be harder to find work, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Most recruiting managers would want to see evidence of the following:
- Good IT skills
- Team-working ability
- Organizational skills
- Ability to use your own initiative
So, if you can demonstrate these skills and abilities, there’s no reason why you can’t apply for a part-time office job. You could expect to earn between $14 and $24 as an office clerk.
Doing office support work can help you move up the career ladder because, over time, you’ll pick up very specialized knowledge about your employer’s industry. As such, try to work in an industry that inspires you. Perhaps you’re intrigued by human resources (HR), financial services, or the third sector. If you work in a sector that genuinely interests you, you’ll find the job more satisfying, too.
Are there any downsides to part-time office work? Some moms find themselves checking emails on their days off or staying late in the office because they feel guilty about working part-time. As such, it’s important to remember that you’re a part-time employee and you’re only getting paid a part-time salary. Nevertheless, part-time office jobs are a great choice for many moms.
If you’d like to find part-time office work, you should check who is hiring in your area. Set up a “job alert” on one of the recruitment sites, so you never miss out on a new vacancy. You could also search for office-based government jobs, as these tend to offer better benefits to working moms.
Call Handler or Telemarketer
Call handling jobs are popular with moms because most employers offer entry-level positions. Most moms can rely on their patience and good negotiation skills to thrive in a role like this. You could expect to earn between $11 and $19 per hour as a call handler, and there may be an opportunity to earn a commission.
If you want to work as a telehandler or telemarketer, there are several different opportunities to select from:
- Work part-time in a call center – Often you can work during school hours only.
- Be a home-based call handler for one single employer – Usually, you’ll need to do some office-based training for a couple of weeks. Then, you’ll be able to answer calls remotely through a virtual platform like
- Work as a freelance call handler/telemarketer for multiple clients.
There are pros and cons to all of these roles. If you work from a call center, you’ll have more face-to-face support from managers when you need it. Having said that, if you work from home, you’ll cut out your commute time and might have more control over your work schedule. Moreover, if you work on a freelance basis, you can work with multiple clients so that the work will be more varied.
Most call center or telemarketing jobs are advertised on traditional job sites such as Indeed and Monster. If you want to work on a freelance basis, set up a profile on one of the many freelance marketplaces already mentioned, and start bidding for work.
Personal Care Aide
Being a personal care aid could provide you with an extra wage but also a great sense of satisfaction. Again, this is a job that moms are already naturally qualified for. Personal aides usually visit clients in their home and spend some time helping with personal care and household chores.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is one of the fastest-growing careers, so you can guarantee there will be plenty of jobs available over the coming years. As a personal care aide, you can expect to earn $11-$15 per hour.
This position lends itself well to part-time and flexible working because clients need support at all hours of the day and night. If you work for an understanding employer, they may be able to offer you a good degree of flexibility. In some states, you’ll need a license to work as a personal care aid, so you might need to invest a bit of time in achieving this before you can start work.
If you’re able to work full-time, why not become a physical therapist aide or occupational therapist aide instead? You don’t need prior experience to work in these positions either, but they pay $2-$3 more per hour than personal care aides. However, you do need to be able to stick to conventional (usually full-time) working hours, so these positions aren’t going to be suitable for everyone.
Sales jobs are great for moms because they’re relatively low-pressure, they allow you to socialize, and they often come with perks such as store discounts. Many employers in this sector will not need you to have prior experience, as long as you can demonstrate a positive attitude and good communication skills.
There are sales jobs to suit most people’s personalities. For example, if you’re a good negotiator and enjoy persuading others, you would thrive in a small luxury clothing store. On the other hand, if you enjoy a fast-paced working environment, you’d probably do better as a cashier in a grocery store. As a sales clerk, you could expect to earn between $12 and $18 per hour.
Library assistants help to shelve, organize, and issue library materials. They may also help to co-ordinate kid’s clubs and events. This can be a varied, sociable, and physically active job, so it appeals to many moms.
According to the American Library Association, you don’t need a degree, or even any relevant work experience, to become a library assistant. Most employers will train library assistants on-the-job. When recruiting for this position, employers will value organization skills, IT skills, and strong communication skills.
As a library assistant, you could expect to earn between $12 and $20 per hour. It’s quite common to find part-time work in this sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this industry is growing at a rate faster than average, which is promising for anyone who wants to become a library assistant. Also, if you’re looking to move up the career ladder, you could train to become a library technician.
Home-Based Jobs for Moms You Should Avoid
It’s possible to find legitimate home-based jobs, but there are plenty of fake jobs out there too. Adverts such as “easy jobs for moms online” or “easy jobs for moms on maternity leave” should ring alarm bells. We recommend reading our in-depth guide to avoiding job scams.
Firstly, if a job is legitimate, an employer is not likely to brand it as “easy.” Even if the job is not that demanding, they’ll want to recruit an employee who is hard-working and reliable, so they won’t want to hire someone who is looking for an easy option.
Secondly, most job advertisements won’t specifically target one type of person (i.e., a mom), because they wouldn’t want to limit themselves in that way or be seen to discriminate against people. Instead, they’d list skills they are looking for in an applicant.
Having said that, some scammers are more sophisticated, so it’s not always easy to determine if an online job is real or fake.
Be aware of the following job scams when you’re searching online:
- Companies ask you to pay for training materials or expensive equipment – this sometimes happens with virtual telemarketing positions.
- Craigslist Job scams – Some people have been tricked into paying a deposit to “secure” a home-based position.
- A recruiter calls you up and asks you to invest in promotional activities. For example, they might say they have contacts with companies offering home-working positions, and that they can promote your resume for a fee.
- Clients asking for free samples or unpaid trials – this frequently happens on freelance marketplaces, so beware.
The following home-based jobs are not “scams,” but they’re probably not going to be worth your time.
- Surveys – Some sites or apps will pay you a few cents to complete a survey. While you can build up a small amount of pocket money over time, you’ll be sharing your personal information with many different companies.
- Posting on Forums – Again, some companies will pay you a few cents for posting on forums, but this is unlikely to be worth your time.
- Mystery Shopping – Being a mystery shopper can be a fun activity but don’t rely on it as a source of income.
- 100% Commission Telemarketing Jobs – if you’ve got the gift of the gab, these jobs might work for you, but you could end up wasting a lot of your time.
- Writing for Content Mills – Some websites pay minuscule amounts to write content for them. In the long term, this is unlikely to be worth your while.
If you find that home-based jobs are not working out for you, don’t rule out a more conventional part-time job. Hospitality, office, and retail jobs work well for many moms.
Interview Tips for Moms Returning to Work
Attending an interview is stressful for anyone, but as a mom, you might face an additional layer of pressure. If your interviewer is aware that you have a child, they might ask you how you will balance work and family commitments. This is a reasonable question, and it is one you can answer with confidence if you prepare your response beforehand.
Here are some tips:
- Emphasize that returning to work has been a family decision and that your family are willing to support you.
- Describe how the hours of work will fit in with your family’s schedule.
- Re-emphasize your reasons for wanting to go back to work. This will assure the interview that you’ve considered all your options.
- This is an excellent opportunity to ask the company if they can offer you any support or flexible-working benefits.
Job interviews should focus on skills and experiences rather than personal details so don’t be afraid to steer the conversation towards your skills. Avoid saying that you have “no experience.” Instead, emphasize that you’re excited to learn about your employer’s industry and that you have many transferable skills to bring with you.
Most interviewers will ask questions that require you to give an example in your response. If you’re applying for a sales job, the interviewer might ask ‘Can you give me an example of when you persuaded someone effectively?
In this case, try to follow the STAR method of answering the question. Say a couple of sentences for each of the following points.
- Situation – Where were you?
- Task – What were you trying to achieve?
- Action – How did you achieve this? You’ll need to be specific
- Result – What was the outcome? Again, be very specific
If you can provide tangible examples, employers are more likely to take you seriously. When you’re invited to an interview, write down five skills that are very relevant to the job. Prepare at least one STAR example for each of these skills. Coming up with examples on the spot can be very difficult so always prepare beforehand where possible. Here are some signs that your interview was successful.
Where Can Working Moms Find Support?
We’ve highlighted ten mom-friendly jobs in this article, but as you might expect – no job comes without its pressures. Whether you choose to work 5 hours or 35 hours a week, your job might become difficult to manage. From time-to-time, you might wonder why you decided to go back to work at all.
According to a report published by EBSCO, women should try not to think of themselves as a “struggling” working mom. In our culture, we often focus on the stereotype of a stressed-out mom who is continually being pulled between her home life and work life. Instead, we should try to see motherhood and employment as two things that can co-exist together. According to the report published by EBSCO, we should feel empowered by our decision to do both.
That perspective seems useful, but is it possible to achieve such a positive outlook? According to the report, moms will feel more positive if they find support from others and educate themselves about their employment rights.
So, to find support and guidance as a working mom, take a look at the following resources:
- Momsrising is a charity that campaigns for women’s rights in the workplace. You can find up-to-date information on this website, and also receive support from other women.
- Another place you can look for information is the Women’s Bureau Resources Portal. They provide detailed state-specific advice for moms. For example, you can find out which states offer paid family leave. You can also learn about other moms’ experiences by tuning in to one of their many webinars.
- If you’re looking for online support, join one of the many Facebook groups for moms. One of the most popular groups is called Moms with Careers Making it all Work. Here, you can talk to women from all different types of backgrounds.
- Online support can be beneficial but try to reach out to other moms face-to-face if possible. If you’re not already part of a support group, check out Google Meet-ups to see if there are any mom-friendly Meetups in your area.
- Be open with your family about going back to work. If you feel out of your depth, they may be able to provide some encouraging words of support or even some practical solutions.
In this article, we’ve introduced you to several different types of jobs. Each job is mom-friendly, but each for various reasons. As we’ve explored, it’s important for moms to feel empowered – and not overwhelmed – by their decision to go back to work.
You’re more likely to feel empowered if you choose a job that works well for you. If the job suits your own needs as well as your family’s needs, you’ll feel more positive about going back to work.
So, what are your key priorities? Earning money? Flexibility? Training? Socializing with co-workers? Working in a team? Career satisfaction? A low-stress environment? Developing professional skills? Being active? Working from home? Once you know your priorities, you can select the right kind of job for your lifestyle. You may wish to consider joining a job agency to find the right work opportunities.
Once you know what job you want, you can focus your attention on submitting high-quality job applications. What’s more, if you’ve considered all the job options out there, it will be easier to convince employers that your chosen job is the right position for you.
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