Trying to balance work and family responsibilities can seem as tough as walking a tightrope. Working moms might need to provide financially for their families, they might want to meet professional goals or both. In any case, moms are rewarded and frustrated. If your children are in elementary school, one way to reduce the stress is to have a job where you can work while the kids are in school. This frees you up afternoons and weekends to help with homework, chauffeur to activities and simply enjoy your family. As an alternative, if you have reliable childcare, working nights and weekends allows you to be available during school hours for emergencies, field trips and errands you want to run alone. There's no perfect solution; each family's needs are different.
If you are interested in keeping the same hours as your children, schools are a very good match. Teachers are at school a bit before and after their students, but schools often have before and after school programs to cover these times. Very often teachers have the option of taking work home with them. You can grade papers or write lesson plans when your kids are asleep or otherwise occupied. Administrators likely keep longer hours than teachers. Other job possibilities in schools include secretaries, teachers' aides, administrative assistants, custodians, nurses, cafeteria staff and school psychologists.
If you are trying to work specific hours, you can offer personal services during the day. Fitness and wellness centers need personal trainers and class instructors to teach activities such as body strengthening, yoga and aerobics. Moms who are very handy can provide repair services, including plumbing, electrical work, yard care and general maintenance. Animal lovers can enter the field of dog walking, which is growing in urban areas where pet owners cannot leave their dogs outside during working hours. Hairstylists can set their schedules to coincide with the school calendar.
If you have skills in the arts, put them to use professionally, and you will likely be able to work around your children's schedule. Photographers who specialize in babies and preschoolers can work during school hours. Many functions, such as weddings and anniversary parties, are held evenings or weekends, and you can plan ahead to have your significant other or babysitter mind the kids. Some freelance writers and graphic designers work from home, so they set their own schedules, working while kids are in school, at activities or in bed. Artisans can create their work when they have free time and either sell on commission or set up a booth at weekend arts and crafts shows.
The business world has some opportunities for flexible schedules. A real estate professional can work during the school day or evenings and weekends when child care has been arranged. This type of schedule may also be available at department stores, grocery stores and smaller shops. Many of these positions are part-time, which limits pay and benefits but offers more time at home and some flexibility. Also, some companies allow their full-time workers with parenting commitments to switch to part-time employment; you change your status but not your job.
- E. Dygas/Photodisc/Getty Images