Being a single parent is a full-time job in and of itself. Still, as the only provider for your family, it is necessary to maintain a source of income. Finding a way to balance your time can be extremely difficult, but not impossible. In the end, it will largely come down to what job you take. We’d like to offer some options that are more conducive to the time constraints necessitated by single parenthood.
Work from Home
Twenty years ago this entire category would have been filed under ‘easier said than done’. The internet has changed all of that. Obviously, every type of job doesn’t lend itself to remote work. However, things like freelance copywriting, data entry, web design, social media marketing, and even sales can all be done from the comfort of your own home.
There are a few drawbacks, though. Firstly, freelance workers are generally considered contractors and not employees. This is a significant distinction as contractors do not enjoy the same benefits that employees do. You’ll have to pay for your own health insurance and you won’t receive help towards your retirement. Moreover, income taxes won’t be automatically removed from your payment; meaning you will have to pay them in a lump sum come tax time.
Additionally, there are a lot of dubious ‘companies’ out there that will offer you preposterous amounts of money for working at home. All you have to do is buy special learning materials or pay some kind of subscription fee. The few of these that aren’t flat out scams, will still likely cost you more than they’ll make you.
Nanny/ Child Care
This could probably go under work from home, but there are enough nuances to warrant a special category. The logic being, ‘if you’re already taking care of kids, why not get paid to take care of more of them?’ You can either work for an established institution or strike out and start your own business.
The latter option will be much more difficult, as you’ll need special permits and licenses, plus the overhead would fall entirely on your shoulders for supplies, location, and everything else. However, If you can make it work, you may get to a point where you can hire other people to do the day to day job while you sit back and collect as a business owner
Important Disclaimer: Owning/Running a business is way harder than I just made it seem.
The beauty of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft is the ability to work whenever you want to. That means you can drop your kids off at school, press a few buttons and be in your mobile office. When it’s time to pick your kids up again, you can press a few more buttons and be off the clock, having potentially made a few hundred dollars. Delivery services like Door Dash and Instacart work in a similar, albeit more involved, fashion.
So long as you have an acceptable car, a valid driver’s license, and meet the other qualifications you are good to go. You get to be your own boss with relatively low overhead. When you add these qualities to the immense flexibility, it’s not a bad deal at all.
It is worth noting though, as with other freelance work, you’re still not an employee and all the downsides of that remain. Moreover, the peak hours where drivers can make the most money are 6 am to 10 am and 2 pm to 8 pm on weekdays. Those hours, unfortunately, coincide with the times you’d be getting your kid ready for school in the morning and picking them up in the afternoon. To take advantage of the busier times during the week and all the times during the weekend, you’d need to make other arrangements for your kids.
School bus driving is in a similar vein and can offer you employee status. However, your hours will be much less flexible, you definitely won’t be your own boss, and it is an all-around more demanding position. It could be worth it though to keep the same hours as your kids.
You may have noticed a theme, but if not, all of these jobs are predicated around being busy when your kids are busy and being free when they are free. Being a teacher is probably the epitome of that principle. Not only do you have the same or similar day to day hours as your kid, but you have summers off the same as well. That prospect is probably more terrifying as an adult, but there’s always summer school (something you’ve probably never considered a positive before…adulting is weird).
Granted, there’s a giant E is for Elephant in the room. Becoming a teacher takes time and money, both of which being things you’re trying to get more of, not less. If you can find a way to make it happen, more power to you. If not, there are other options at your disposal.
Substitute teachers don’t often require the same level of accreditation as full teachers. Similarly, teacher’s aids can gain valuable experience and money, without needing a teaching degree.
Your options are not limited to these fields, but they do offer special considerations that other jobs may not. We wish you all the best in your job search!