Hands-on moms are always busy juggling a million things as they also manage their kids, feeding, cleaning, educating, and entertaining them, all while bringing them up as good residents of their community. Most moms are astonished to learn about the love hormone, which turns mothers into moms. Well, it is nature’s pragmatic approach to getting women to bear kids, as motherhood can be very challenging.
Being Mommy – How it Has Morphed
An old African adage goes this way – ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Although the origins are unclear, there is no taking away the truth from it. Before nuclear families became the norm, multi generational rural homes were prevalent. Kids grew up among other kids, and moms went about doing their chores and mothering the kids. All this changed over the years. Although more households have two parents caring for the kids, close to 7.5% of all families with children under the age of 18, are run by single women in the US, where they have to work and take care of them. Moms are busy, irrespective of how many adults there are at home, supportive or otherwise.
How Women Have Supported Themselves in the Past?
Around the world, as times and family situations changed, women have had to fend for themselves both in rural and urban settings. They have historically worked around farms, cleaned homes, looked after kids and families, taught in schools, cooked for people, tended to animals, healed and nursed people, traded, done manual labor, entertained people, and worked at other things. There have also been other women like Maria Agnesi who had access to good education and so went on to publish a calculus textbook Analytical Institutions for the Use of the Italian Youth. Where today’s students use explainers for calculus to understand the binomial formula, a treatise of that sort helped students and the interested understand it back in the 1700s!
Right through the industrial revolution and growth of the urban metropolis, women have worked in factories and offices in a variety of jobs. As times changed, more educated women entered the workforce, and kids were left in the care of families or daycare centers. Some corporations saw merit in providing daycare on the premises, which helped women return to their jobs more quickly after childbirth.
The New Wave : Top Remote Jobs For A Busy Moms
As computers and the use of the internet have increased, the way work is structured has changed. Remote jobs or work from home has become more acceptable. Companies are happy with this model as it reduces their costs and opens up access to employees who cannot come into the office regularly. This has worked to the advantage of moms, who want to stay home to care for their kids, but like or need to support themselves.
Depending on what a mom’s strengths are and how much time she can spare as a busy mom, this list can help them find what interests them:
If you enjoy the liberal arts,
Subtitles are the text displayed mostly at the bottom of a screen, representing the screenplay of the dialogue on screen. It could also be the narration or an explanation of what is happening. Many also enjoy the subtitles in spite of understanding the language, so that they don’t miss a single word of what is exchanged. It is also beneficial for people with a hearing problem.
Fun stuff: The word subtitle is a combination of ‘sub,’ which means below and ‘titles.’ Frequently in film festivals, the subtitles are shown on a screen below the screening of the actual movie. This way, the director can have just one copy of the movie, in place of a copy for each language it is translated into. Interestingly in live opera, the text is displayed above the screen and is therefore called surtitle coming from ‘sur’ above and title.
2. Speech Transcription
This is the process of turning speech to written or electronic text. Transcription services are used by companies in the fields of medicine, legal, law enforcement, business, etc. Transcribing a live event is hard as the speed required for correct transcription is hard to achieve.
Fun stuff: Historically, this was done by secretaries who used shorthand in-person to make notes. Over time as audio recorders became popular, the recordings could be given to the secretary to transcribe. The digital recordings opened up the possibility of replaying and pausing.
3. Blogging / Content Writing / Editing
This is a wide-open world of opportunity nowadays.
Start a blog and learn to put out great content about things that interest you. Start conversations with other bloggers by leaving comments on their articles. You can slowly learn to monetize it via ads and sponsored posts. As an extension, some bloggers have added e-commerce when they found things to sell, which aligned with their blog’s theme.
If you meet other bloggers who require writing content for their blog, it’s an excellent opportunity to build a reputation for being a dependable, high-quality writer. This will open up other content writing opportunities like ghostwriting, PR content, e-commerce content, etc.
An excellent eye for grammar and style, combined with an unbiased ability to critique, can set you on the path of editing other’s writing. Doing a supporting course like the NYT Creative Writing one will provide the training for building sophistication in both the ability to write and edit.
Fun stuff: ‘The Wife’ is a must-watch about how relationships can crack under the pressure of credit not given for writing.
If you are good with using technology
4. Virtual Admin Assistant
This needs a streak of being well organized, as it involves organizing other peoples’ schedules, records, contacting people, emails to employees, etc. Many small companies prefer this over having an employee going in. This is a typical office job, but you can stay at home and complete it.
Fun stuff: It can be fun to put a face to a voice, as frequently, most communication happens over email or phone.
One of the oldest professions built an exceptional virtual presence; teaching encompasses a variety of fields. There are subject matter experts who like to tutor students. Some enjoy languages, and they might want to get into teaching English or other words they are proficient in. Others who are good at managing people might want to run online classes in soft skills/life skills/exercise, etc.
Fun Stuff: During the Coronavirus lockdowns, some of the funniest stories which surfaced include young kids taking online classes.
6. Search Engine Evaluator / Social Media Professional
If you like spending time online and are a social media user, you might enjoy this. Companies which have an online presence need to make sure that their social media activity is in alignment with their company goals. They require savvy social media users to manage their accounts and build a solid online presence.
Although most search engines are powered by complex algorithms, the process of searching and using the results is a completely human centric activity. To evaluate results generated for searches, when algorithm tweaks are made, is the job of a search engine evaluator. This also drives where ads are placed.
Fun Stuff: Occasionally these jobs require the applicant to be bilingual, and most people in this line are privy to changes to the search algorithm before the common user is, although they might not be at liberty to discuss changes with others.
7. Virtual Babysitter
Through the Coronavirus closures of schools, parents have had their kids underfoot. With countless videos surfacing of kids in frames participating in official conversations, parents have taken recourse to sitters who virtually keep the kids occupied via very adult corporately meeting software like MS-Teams, Zoom etc., while they take their meetings in reasonable peace.
Fun Stuff: Younger kids have been known to wander off camera even as the virtual sitter is trying to draw the kid back into the frame!
If you have unscheduled stretches of time
8. Work on Microjobs / Run errands
These are best suited for moms, who can get out and want to get out of the house for short spells. What in earlier times was extending a helpful hand to an older neighbor or a busy person, is now listed as a job which can be taken on by anyone who needs work. Some of these ‘to do’ jobs are listed city-wise on digital apps, which make getting these jobs done or opting to do a job very easy.
Amazon Mechanical Turk was one of the earliest platforms which offered people to do repetitive straightforward jobs for a price. This also included answering polls. It’s a great place for busy mom’s who can take on jobs when they have the bandwidth.
Fun Stuff: Errands and small jobs could include furniture assembly, shopping, painting, buying a card, etc.
9. Sales / Customer Service
A lot of mommies who take a break from work for child rearing like to stay in touch with the business. With all the negotiating they do in households with kids, they are naturals at sales and marketing! They can take on these jobs and work on their own terms at their convenience. Do be aware that occasionally if stocks need to be stored and shipped, there will be a requirement of space for inventory.
Customer service might require people to adhere to company timings, but occasionally this is also a field that allows for flexibility by way of time. As companies have branches around the world, having people available round the clock is a benefit for them. Mommies who like to work while their kids are asleep can take up such offers and align their timings to countries that run on a different clock.
Fun stuff: In standard times, parents negotiate for 24hrs in a month (six times a day, lasting about eight minutes each is the basis) with their kids!
10. Make handcrafted things
Many mommies enjoy making a variety of handcrafted objects, ranging from beneficial things like stuffing socks to throw around to hand-embroidered baby clothes. Places like Etsy are a great site to sell such items. Busy moms who enjoy baking and cooking could also make an extra batch while cooking for their families if they start taking in orders. You could take orders online or over the telephone in an informal way.
Fun stuff: Mommies have, on occasion, used their kids to complete orders. Be warned; there have also been those times when cookies have gone missing!
What you will need to be a Remote Worker:
A lot of remote jobs are the ‘work from anywhere’ variety, but it might involve stocking/collecting things. Generally, moms are good at multitasking and pulling up things required, practically out of thin air, but just to be prepared, you will need these basics:
- A computer and phone
- Good internet connection
- Quiet workspace to take phone calls if required
- Space if your work involves storage
Things to keep in mind
To find the right opportunity might take time, but here are a few pointers which might help:
- There are quite a few scam operations, so be aware and choose with care
- Talk to others who might be working in the same space
- Keep tab of your hours and make sure you are not stressing out
- If at any time you feel you are not treated fairly, look for another gig
- If you are unable to understand the terms of the job, ask again until you are clear
There is a paradigm shift in how work is perceived nowadays. Companies want to hang on to good people by accommodating their requirements. As the way forward for many jobs is remote, the options are many and increasing at a steady pace. Finding the most suitable one is a matter of time. Choose wisely.
Aileen enjoys blogging about STEM, as it’s an extension about the world around us, our home for millennia. She likes the fact that she is a part of the hum of life, something that she likes exploring and knowing better.