Recently, this question was posed to one of the boards I'm on. I have a LOT of experience with this one, and I know that it can become a major struggle for women trying to stay home full-time after being raised in a "women working outside the home" culture. It's a shame really. For years, I felt "less than". I didn't finish college, I got married and started my life instead. Same for Todd. But, now I see so clearly how all of that was a part of God's amazing design for our lives. I spent years feeling guilty about not completing my education, feeling like I wasn't as smart as or as good as those who did. Then, once I quit work to be at home with my children, and meet the needs of my family, I went through another round of guilt about not "pulling my weight" financially, and having to rely solely on my husband to do it.
I am happy to say that I live totally and completely GUILT FREE! And, it is indeed a wonderful feeling. You see the days were fashioned for me, before I was born (Psalm 139:16), how awesome is that!
Now, for those of you still wondering, what you can do from home to earn money, here's how I answered the original question posed:
Well you've come to the right place, even if I'm the only one to answer your question!! :O)
You see, I have done more things from home trying to make money, than perhaps any other person I know.
I've sold about a half-dozen party plan type products, never really made any money at it. I know that some do, and I really thought I could be one of those, but in order to, it would have required more time away from my family than I personally was willing to invest.
My suggestions would be these:
First, seek your husband's wisdom as to how much time you can reasonably invest in anything, taking into consideration the amount of time you need to care for the needs of your husband, your home, your children, and homeschooling (if you do that).
Next, determine how much money you "need", and whether it truly is a need or a want. Difficult to answer the last one sometimes I know.
Then I would recommend you consider these thoughts:
* Does your husband work for someone else, or have his own business? Is there something that you can do to help him in his current employment to help him make more money. For instance, if he's in sales, could you make phone calls for him a couple of hours a week to help him set appointments. That would give him more time to be out selling and thus making more money for the family.
* Are there areas of your life that could be pared down in order to save money, any unneeded items you could sell to produce income, spending habits you could change to save money, etc.?
Here are the things I've done over the last 15 years:
1) I tried selling make-up. (I like to look nice!)
2) I sold scrapbooking materials. (I love to scrapbook!)
3) I tried selling party supplies. (Nobody loves a party any more than me!)
4) Finally, I held trunk shows and took orders for children's clothing from samples I'd made, and sold clothing for children.
LASTLY, I totally surrendered my life to the purposes of only doing what God CALLED me to do. I am CALLED to meet the needs of my husband, and my family, and the Church (the body of Christ). That's it! Wow, what a relief! The pressure was now off of me. And, lo and behold, the Lord stepped in with something I could do!
My husband now owns a plumbing contracting company, (we opened in 2003) the first 2 years we were in business, I worked for him - doing the bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, AR/AP work, etc... I didn't get paid anything, but I made his work easier because he didn't have to be worrying about the paperwork side of things, and during the start-up phase he didn't have to pay someone else to do that for him.
Now, I still do it, but I receive a nice little monthly check for the work I do. I actually spend about 6-8 hours a week doing the work, and I can do it after the kids are in bed at night, or before they're up in the mornings, during naptime, etc... Again, this is helpful to him mostly by taking off some pressure, and so I am filling my role as his HELP MATE in the process! YEA!!!!
Pray about what ever you may consider, and be sure that it is God compelling you to do it, not some Prov 31 standard you're trying to maintain, or something you see others doing and think you should be doing to. In the meantime, practice a little contentment. I know that's the hardest part! :O)
If the Lord wills that you do something else, He will show it to you, and you won't have to kill yourself trying to figure out what it is. Just be patient... (okay, so maybe that's the hardest part - LOL)