Our kids need us now. Especially being in a single-parent family. How do we as single-parents work to get by and still devote the time and energy to the ones who need it most instead of those employers who demand it?
Well, now you're speaking my language... How do we take good care of our kids, try to have a life and work full time? Simply put, you can't, properly. Something has to give.
So what can we do? Is it possible to work part time and support kids? Yes! You will find out from how often and with what zeal I approach this subject that it is very close to my heart.
My jump to more free time with my kids
On a frosty December morning in 2008, my ex-wife was rushed to surgery for an emergency C-section. I had just taken my Level 2 Industrial First-Aid ticket and wanting to test my grit, I received permission to watch the surgery from the other side of the curtain. Let me tell you, there's a LOT of cutting. Like scissors cutting...From all the movies I ever watched, they hand the little bundle of joy to mommy right away. Not so much. Mom was flying high on an epidural with a gaping hole in her abdomen. So, after the initial crying and cleaning him up, they put him in my arms.
At the moment my little boy was handed to me, I became a father. My head was so warm, like a supernova of love exploded in my noggin. I knew at that moment everything and nothing. What I did know oddly enough, was exactly, precisely what to do to. One epiphany I had was that I wanted to be there for all his, and later my daughter's, firsts. Not only did I want to provide for them physically, but emotionally and spiritually. The latter 2 take effort and time. Though I did work full-time out of the house for some time, I later abandoned that paradigm.
So what did I do?
Everything. I've worked in fields from being an ABA Behavioral Therapist for children with Autism, Tutoring, Teaching English, Construction, Commercial Trades to Warehousing, Driving to Life Insurance, Ran a Renovation Business to name some. Though most of the above were vocations prior to and during my marriage.
Close to the end of my marriage and into single-parenthood, I only worked part-time. Starting your own business is a great option, Gig-work like TaskRabbit or Instacart are good. Now with the power of the internet, you can start a drop-shipping biz or send stock to and sell stuff on Amazon or eBay.
Currently I do about 10 different things including Taskrabbit, Instacart, Light Auto Mechanics (I'm fortunate enough to have a yard and a shed), Small contract construction jobs, Sell free items found on Craigslist on Facebook Market, Some sales on my Shopify Store, Flip used cars, Recycle Metal and Tires and Occasional Tutoring!
I continue to add things to the list as I learn them. I will also teach you my secret to learning pretty much anything, including languages too, in another post.
Why? Because you shouldn't 'specialize', or put all your eggs in one basket as it were, in the unstable economic times in which we live. You must be adaptable.
A note of caution! I have nearly lost my shirt on some of the online sales stuff like Affiliate Marketing, Shopify and Amazon. There is a way to do and not to do these things, there are also any number of swindlers out there that want to teach you their 'secret way' for thousands of dollars. To be fair they're not all bad, but the majority are pretty slick and you can find most of that training for free on YouTube. This is unfortunately where I have found single-parents have been taken advantage of. I was one of them, though I did find one 'program' where this was a recurring theme. I will have an entire post or posts devoted just to this ( how to actually make money online), so stay tuned!
I will run through a number of great ways that you can combine to make your diversified part-time work portfolio. All industries have an ebb and tide. When one thing is slow you hop onto the other. All the options and links here can be found on the 'Resources' page too.
Handyman Type Options
> 1.Batteries and 2. Tires are big business these days. As a side stream of income, I refurbish power tool batteries and car batteries and resell them. This is the course I learned from. Actually, this one course includes a number of other cool little guide-books for making money recycling tires and how to make a small business from battery reconditioning as well as shop plans, solar cell DIY if you get the upgrade course. Pretty cool. - EZ Battery Reconditioning
I also do some work on cars as a "backyard mechanic", as such, I frequently wind up with spare tires, which I learned how to make a couple bucks with.
> 3. Metal Recycling is another great little side hustle. Google "Metal Recycling + your location". Generally, they make a copy of your Driver's license to start up an account. They pay cash on the spot!
> 4. Small Repairs are always in demand. 3 great areas I enjoy are bikes, jewelry and tools (power and pneumatic)
> 5. Flipping Cars is something I love. As mentioned, I'm not a mechanic, nor am I claiming to be, but I learned basic mechanics and figured out how to buy, clean-up and improve then re-sell cars weekly. Flipping is the process of purchasing a car, transferring and insuring it in YOUR name, making it better and then re-selling a quality used vehicle. In Canada, this is legal and ethical. What is ILLEGAL is Curbing, which is purchasing or obtaining a vehicle without transferring and insuring it in YOUR name in order to evade taxes and usually not doing anything to improve the condition of the vehicle. Now the latter process may be legal where you live in the US or elsewhere, so be it. Don't be a jerk and sell people crap. I wrote an eBook on this which, once edited, you can find in the 'Resources' page of this website.
> 6.Junk Removal is always in need, though it does tend to involve a truck. I've ordered a large 30-yard bin to a house before and just up-charged on the bin plus labor. Done.
The Gig Economy
Gig job companies are also called 'Interruption' businesses or ventures in that they interrupt established businesses in a given sector by decentralizing the workload and distributing the work to independent 'contractors'. Uber and airbnb are the most well-known and controversial ones. There are many more than the ones I've listed below, though, I am only enumerating on the ones I've tried or was somehow involved with.
> 7. TaskRabbit - Now owned by IKEA, this platform is very diverse. You're able to self-employ from a list of 31(and growing) skillsets. You are able to set your rate and clients find you from a pool of 'Taskers' in the selected geographic area of YOUR choosing. The only field in which I believe they are lacking is telephone support, it's abysmal, however, I've only ever had to do that once. You do have to jump through several hoops to qualify as you will be entering peoples homes. So, among other things, they perform a criminal background check and driving history check. *NOTE: I've met other female 'Taskers' in the field, great to see, however, if you're a woman interested in doing this, ALWAYS exercise caution when going to clients homes.
> 8. Instacart - These fellas are the big-hitters in the grocery shopping and delivery service. They have two tiers of contract work. You can be a "Full-Service Shopper" whereby you purchase the groceries (with a Instacart-provided credit card AND deliver) or a "In-Store Shopper" only putting ting together the order in the store. It is a good hustle and in most places cashes out daily. They have a pretty decent qualification process to get through including a credit check. *NOTE-It helps to be referred. I cannot publicly give out my contractor referral code, but, if you email me directly, I will give it to you.
>9. Uber and Lyft - These need little if any introduction. A driving service, essentially making you a taxi driver. The one downside is that you need a vehicle that is a maximum of 10 years old or newer and in pretty much perfect condition. These jobs are the most volatile of any of the gig jobs. I would advise against investing in a lease of a new vehicle in order to do this.
Other Part-Time Options
>10. Parcel Delivery including courier services for commercial mail though again, you would need a vehicle for this.
>11. Remote Customer Service. Some companies and call centers farm-out their work to private telecommuters.
> 12. Teaching English and Conversation Practice can be done over the computer or phone. There are many companies out there that facilitate setup of you to clients.
So remember, the key is to do 2 or more of the above options. There are of course many more ideas. Whatever strength or skill you have, transform it into small contract work. There will be a separate post on tips ad apps that will help you start your own business coming soon.