Lots of women have been able to combine career and motherhood by starting a home-based business. How do you know if it'll work for you?
Assess Before you take the plunge, do a personal inventory. Are you competitive? Good at budgeting your time? Computer savvy? Organized? Do you have emergency support? Mentors for advice? .
Ask I started freelance editing at home thanks to the "mom underground": One mom friend hooked me up with another at a publishing house. It works in many fields: Moms in nonprofits may have grant-proposal projects they need to farm out, or a shopkeeper mom may need a part-time, off-site bookkeeper. Tell everyone you know that you're looking for work, and you just may find it.
Market You might be a great event planner, personal trainer, or French tutor, but no one will know about it unless you get the word out. Some cheap, simple, and effective ways to get publicity: Pen a guest column for a local paper. Donate your product to a charity auction. Pass out leaflets at fairs and school and community functions. For more ideas, check out frugalfun.com.
Connect Going it alone is high stress; working from home for somebody else lightens your responsibility. Telemarketers, typists, customer service representatives, hotline workers, and order processing handlers are typical examples. Check newspaper and online classifieds (under "contract work" or "part-time") for opportunities.
Beware Scams targeting moms are everywhere. Never give out your credit card number or cash; it's always bogus when someone charges up-front money. Suspect a scam? Check out scambusters.com for the lowdown.