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9 Legit Mom Side Hustles That Don't Involve Selling Crap to Friends

Photograph by Twenty20

Raise your hand if someone you love has tried to sell you nail wraps, health shakes, leggings or other harmless junk you don’t need?

Yeah, me too. It’s an awkward situation because I want to support mom-preneurs, like, "Go girl! Be your own boss! Make that money!" But part of me is so annoyed I want to deactivate all my social media accounts just to escape their persistent pitching.

Aren’t there any flexible jobs a SAHM can do while the kids are napping or at school that don’t involve selling crap to friends?

Of course there are. You just have to get creative and play to your strengths. Here are some ideas for making the green without making a scene.

Kids’ Party Entertainer — At my daughter's oversized 3rd birthday party, I hired a young mom and her daughter to manage a craft table and it was amazing to have one less thing to worry about. Why not market your special skill—whether that’s art, cooking, magic, juggling, bubbles, dance, yoga or lightsaber battles—to the birthday party crowd? Try posting flyers at preschool, camp and the Y, and pocket some extra cash on the weekend.

eBay Trading Assistant — Are you a pro at unloading used clothing and knickknacks on eBay and other resale sites? Many people are too intimidated and overwhelmed by all the steps involved (pricing items, taking photos, writing ads, packing, shipping, etc.) to do it themselves and will be happy to pay you a hefty commission (often 30-40 percent) for your expertise. Since you’ll need physical access to the items, find local clients using the Nextdoor app.

Dog Walker — Get fresh air, burn calories and be off the clock by pickup time when you become a dog walker. Depending on where you live, dog walkers charge anywhere from $10-$25 for a half-hour walk, more for an hour, and you can often walk multiple dogs at a time. If you want less of a commitment, sign up to be a walker at Wag!, which is like Uber for dog walking, and log on whenever you have the time.

Pet Sitter — Another option for animal-lovers is to care for other people’s pets in your own home when they are out of town. It’s more personal than boarding and could be fun for you and your family, though probably best if your kids are old enough to understand pet safety rules. Start your own neighborhood business or sign up to be a dog sitter for Rover, which claims that its part-time pet sitters can earn $1,000 per month.

Proofreader — If you’re a human spell checker and the family grammar police, you can make real money proofreading résumés, website copy or manuscripts, especially in today’s world of rampant self-publishing. Charge by the hour ($20-35), per page ($2-$12) or set a flat fee based on the project, and promote your services on sites like Fiverr and Craigslist.

Task Rabbit — From grocery shoppers to movers, Task Rabbits are regular people offering their services to the community for a price. Can you do makeup for brides on a budget, be a virtual assistant for a growing business or provide amateur personal training services for other moms in your neighborhood? Sign up online and see if anyone bites!

Babysitter — If you’re already home taking care of your own children, what’s one or two more? Earn $10-$20/per hour, per child, for as long as you can handle it. Kids who are old enough to be good playmates for your children may actually make your day easier, not harder.

Freelance Writer — Do you have a great story to tell? With the explosion of online journalism and blogs, there are more opportunities than ever for a new writer to break in, but it takes some patience. Sometimes you have to build up a portfolio of published work by writing for free before you can pitch ideas to paying outlets, either by starting your own blog or becoming a guest blogger.

Social Media Manager — If your followers can’t get enough of your picture-perfect #momgoals 'grams, put that social savvy to work in this up-and-coming professional field. You could start out small, offering your help to local businesses you know and admire. Maybe the kids’ gymnastics studio would trade you free sessions in exchange for building their social network. Track your successes and you’ll have case studies to help you lure new paying clients.

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