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What can a single parent with kids do for a job?

 
pollinator
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Location: Eddington, Maine
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I don't know if this is in the right forum, but I'll try. My situation has some specific issues, but I think the broader question might be helpful for other people. If you have kids that are too young to go to school, and the daycares are too expensive and are full anyway, and your family is not in a position to help watch the kids, and if you don't come up with somewhere for them to be, the judge might not give you half time with your kids... what kind of a job could you do, while having your kids around, to earn enough money to support yourself and 6 kids?

While I'm open to suggestions on other options for the kids... I'm more interested in what people would suggest for a way to earn money with kids. I imagine there are tons of single parents who want to spend more time with their kids, or can't really afford to have someone take care of their kids, so they work more hours, which means more hours away from the kids and it turns into this cycle.

Option #1 - Daycare
Pros
  • My kids can be around
  • There is a huge need in our area
  • You can make decent money at it in certain cases


  • Cons
  • You have to deal with all kinds of regulations to be a "licensed" daycare.
  • Realistically, I can't do this by myself. Who watches the rest if someone gets hurt? What if I need to use the restroom?
  • In this day and age, being a man at a daycare (while probably a good thing) is looked down on.



  • Option #2 - Farming
    Pros
  • My kids can be around
  • I would be doing something I think I would love
  • My kids would have all kinds of learning opportunities
  • People always need food


  • Cons
  • It's really hard to make money farming
  • Most farming takes time before it turns a profit, or take a lot of money to start
  • It would be very hard to do it by myself


  • If you were in my position (or something similar) what would you do? (what have you done?) to be with your kids, but still make a living?
     
    master steward
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    Location: USDA Zone 8a
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    There are folks who do not mind well-behaved kids coming along for handyman-type jobs.

    What about landscaping?  Maybe the kids could entertain themselves in the car while you mow someone's lawn.

    You could get a job at a daycare center which would allow you to bring your kids, maybe for a discount or even as part of the salary.

    Dog Grooming from your home.

    Personal shopper.  Put an ad somewhere that you will pick up and deliver items for someone, Nowadays most businesses are doing online shopping so all that would be needed is to pick up the order and take the order to the person where ever they are.

    I am looking forward to reading others suggestions.



     
    pollinator
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    I wouldn't let being a man deter you from daycare. I think it's getting easier and easier for people to accept men in childcare roles. There's lots of research showing that it's good for the kids, and a lot of institutions are actively seeking men. I remember reading an article about an outdoor kindergarten and how they were worried about only having one male teacher. That was years ago. Nowadays, a woman I know who works at a daycare says they're always looking for men.

    If you've already got six kids of your own, that does limit how many paying customers you can have. I don't know what the proper adult to child ratio is, but with childcare being really low paid work to begin with, I'm not sure how financially viable it would be.

    Maybe you could look into doggie daycare. There's a place around here that sells themselves as providing "adventure" for dogs. I think they basically just take them for off leash walks on some of the more remote walking trails. Some people use services like that as a way to socialize their dogs. Could combine that with the dog grooming Anne mentioned.

    Do you have any professional knowledge that you could offer consulting in? That can be done from home. So can bookkeeping and insurance brokerage. Can you fix stuff? Electronics, small engines, etc. can be worked on at home.

    I would get a bunch of stuff going, so if one thing's slow hopefully the other ones compensate.
     
    Jan White
    pollinator
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    Oh, I've talked to a couple people who manage apartment buildings once in a while when someone's on holidays. They're basically on call and just have to go there when something happens. They've both said it's decent money for the amount of work they end up doing - mostly just calling in tradespeople to fix things. Probably depends on the building. Some might be nightmares.
     
    Matt McSpadden
    pollinator
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    Those are some really good ideas.

    I think like Jan said, for this to work, I would need to have multiple sources. I do have experience with computers, I work in IT right now. I hadn't thought about personal shopping. I'm not really a dog person, so I don't think that would work, but landscaping or consulting I could see.

    Anyone else have any other ideas? Even if they don't work for me, these are good things for working from home in general.
     
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    I teach online and coach online, with my kids at home. They are a little older, but they homeschool, and there are still a lot of online opportunities that would work with younger kids. I worked with a psychologist at a school who worked remotely and had her little baby with her at home. Something like editing or writing would be good for having young kids at home.

    I could see combining the farm and daycare ideas. Maybe an after-school program where you could devote the afternoons to the kids--show them the animals and do nature activities with them. Then most of the day would be free for farming or other enterprises. Or run classes for homeschool students so it's only a couple days a week and then you have time for other activities.
     
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