Worried About Inflation? How Stay at Home Moms are Making Themselves Recession Proof

Everywhere you look, the cost of items is rising thanks to inflation and worldwide supply chain challenges. Some rise at an almost imperceptible rate, while others, like butter, margarine, and flour, rose in price by more than 20% in 2022. If you're a stay-at-home mom, the rising cost of living likely worries you about the future.

One question may be hanging over your head: Should I return to work for financial stability? As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) in anticipation of an economic downturn, you may have more options than you realize.

The Number of Stay-at-Home Parents Is Rising

According to some reports, 1 in 5 parents stay home with their kids instead of entering the paid workforce. These numbers have risen by 60% since 2019. Why?

When schools were closed and lockdowns enforced during the peak of COVID-19, a lot of parents were forced to work from home or leave their jobs altogether. For some women, this was a hard economic decision. They faced leaving jobs and careers they'd spent years growing, only to devote their efforts to helping their children.

Do SAHM's Need to Return to Work?

You don't have to look far to see hiring signs in every business window across town. When digging into why people, particularly parents, aren't returning to work post-COVID, here's why:

More than 60% of the women who stay home do it because they want to be present for their children. That leaves 40% of women with no choice but to stay home due to other external factors like lack of childcare and other financial concerns.

A 2022 study demonstrates that moms felt a reduction in “parenting strain” from the flexibility gained working from home. This makes them reluctant to return to their workplace.

During the pandemic, many parents began working remotely or quit their jobs and were able to spend significantly more time with their kids. Now, they understandably don't want to return to their old work schedules.

With this reluctance, the question remains, do parents need to return to work? As a SAHM, if you're craving time outside your home as a professional or the anxiety of one income is affecting your health, maybe. Yet, you can have the best of both worlds at home.

Choices That SAHM's are Facing in a Recession

Stay-at-home moms are known for their excellent multi-tasking skills. So, in the face of economic hardship, returning to work may not be the best fit for their family's individual and financial needs. Here's why:

Childcare Costs

With 100,000 fewer childcare workers than before the pandemic, there is a severe shortage of childcare options. The steep loss inevitably leads to a price increase due to demand. The shortage makes the hunt for childcare impractical for many families, particularly families with children under 5.

The Cost Benefit of Household Work

SAHM's should know their worth – economists have demonstrated that a mom's work is never done and holds the same value as a 6 figure annual salary.

Going back to work and spending less time at home may mean higher food costs from store-bought meals or take-out instead of SAHM's cooking while their child does their homework.

Family Budgeting

You might be considering a return to work due to a disparity between your spending and income. However, consider ways to cut costs to thrive as a single-income household.

Sit down with your partner and create a family budget. Evaluate your household priorities and choose whether you want to work based on those needs rather than fear of economic change. Understanding your financial landscape in your current situation will help you decide if returning to work is feasible or necessary.

What's Best for Your Kids

Overall, parenting is a critical component of a SAHM's identity. Being present for your children is a primary family goal for you and your kids. That's why it's essential to consider your family's emotional needs too.

The Rise of Flexible Jobs and Side Hustles

These days, moms can return to the workforce without leaving the house or working full-time.

There are many opportunities to earn extra cash in just a few hours a day, sometimes referred to as a side hustle, that can fit into a mom's busy schedule. They often are based on being super productive to achieve a livable income without the need to work full-time hours.

Signs of a good side hustle for moms in 2023 include:

  • Being recession-proof
  • Extremely flexible
  • Only requiring a few hours per day (maximum)
  • Providing an enjoyable creative outlet

Recession-Proof Side Hustles

If SAHM's want to stay home and contribute to their family income, they should consider these options. Emeritus reports 17 recession-proof jobs in the primary categories of healthcare, education, and utility work.

For SAHM's, the ones that are best suited for flexible part-time hours include:

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Health support for nutrition, weight loss, exercise, mental health, etc.
  • Content writer
  • Selling everyday goods (perceived as necessary by consumers)
  • Content marketer (online)
  • Online teaching or tutoring
  • Coaching parents with daily struggles, such as meal planning, sleep consulting, etc.

On the other hand, jobs to avoid during a recession include real estate, entertainment, tourism, and construction, as they strongly correlate to the economy.

How to Choose a Side Hustle

As a SAHM, if you're ready to give a side hustle a try, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

If you need extra income as soon as possible, you might find an online employer. If you have time to learn a new skill or use your experience to build your own business, consider how to offer your services. Regardless, factor in the cost of starting your new business venture and whether it fits your skills, interests, and financial needs.

Being a SAHM is an important job and one that carries many responsibilities. If you need to supplement your income or are looking for flexible work opportunities, consider creating a budget and exploring side hustles or other part-time jobs. Research, planning, and dedication make it possible to find the right balance between family and work.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

JayDee is a mom, writer, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She’s passionate about helping women live their best lives through community and education. Outside of her work as a health and mom blogger, she loves traveling the world and exploring the great outdoors with her family.