Being a parent is hard work. Single parenting is harder in some ways, and is arguably one of the most difficult forms of parenting there is – for a number of reasons.
One major issue is childcare and its associated cost. For children attending daycare, the costs can be enormous, especially when the parent makes a low income. According to the department of labor, women generally earn less than men, so income matters.
While staying at home is often a wiser financial decision (saving money on childcare), it’s difficult to find jobs for single mothers that pay the necessary bills.
Another problem for single mothers is the much-needed time off from work during the end of pregnancy or immediately postpartum. Though it’s illegal for an employer to fire a woman for taking maternity leave, it can happen, especially at smaller companies or for women who don’t know their rights.
And what about breastfeeding? Mothers get so many strong messages that “breast is best,” but maternity leave is usually only about 12 weeks…nowhere near the 1 year of breastfeeding recommending by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a far cry from the 2-year recommendation of the World Health Organization.
The Internet, for now, provides a way for single mothers to remain at home and have a more flexible lifestyle while raising children. Though I haven’t worked hard enough to make a living online, it is possible (according to the many “friends” I’ve met online…not all of whom were trying to sell me something).
People can work at home as virtual assistants, freelance writers/editors, bloggers, Internet marketers, call center representatives, medical billing workers, transcriptionists, and more. It’s all a matter of finding something you’re interested in, and having a financial cushion to help while establishing your business.
Here on Crayon Writer, I’ve sort of been spinning my wheels. I tend to try too many tactics at one time. I’m a wannabe blogger, freelance business writer, freelance magazine writer, and internet marketer. Some of that is simply my personality (I enjoy multitasking), but it’s also a sign of failing to make a decision.
If you work from home, whether as a parent (single or not), or not, did you make a decision to focus on one income stream? If you diversify, how do you give it your all with the various methods you choose?