How To Succeed As A Stay-At-Home Mom

Stay-at-home moms are no longer just the co-stars from

Leave It To Beaver, the Brady Bunch, and other television

shows from a bygone era. Taking care of the kids has become

the cool thing to do again for women in their 20s and 30s.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are at least

5.4 million stay-at-home parents in the United States

alone. These are a dynamic bunch of women, and men,

who see opportunities in their domestic role, especially

the opportunities presented by the Internet.

Sure, many of these parents gave up exciting careers and

important roles in their community to take up the

time-honored tradition of rearing their children.

You yourself may have put goals and dreams on the back

burner when you accepted the commitment and responsibility

of raising your little ones. You understand the importance

of a parent being there for those firsts: the first crawl,

the first step, the first “momma” and “dadda.”

At the same time, though, you may feel like you have taken

on too much. Not only do you have the pressures of bringing

up a smart, well-behaved child. You worry about being able

to make ends meet to provide everything your child needs.

If this sounds all too familiar, take a deep breath, turn

off the television, and log online. No, don’t think you’re

going to surf the Web to just pass the time. The Internet

is your portal to transforming your stay-at-home life. In

between the diaper changes and feedings, bedtimes and

burpings, you can reach beyond the walls of your home and

access the outside world as never before. The benefits are

as close to limitless as the millions of sites on the Web,


o E-support system. Whether you’re searching for other

stay-at-home moms to lean on, folks with the same health ailment as yourself, or even just other Oprah fanatics, the Internet is like one big community center where you can find them.

o Friends and fun. Through e-mail, chat rooms, and instant

messaging, the Internet is one of the easiest ways to keep

in touch with old friends and family members, as well as

to meet new acquaintances.

o Cyber community. Look for your neighborhood’s Web site for information on shopping, festivals, town hall

meetings, and other local interests. If you can’t find your

town’s home on the Internet, take a leadership role in

creating it with the help of your neighbors.

o Cap and gown. Many community colleges and universities offer e-courses. You never need to step foot on the campus to earn degrees in finance, English, accounting, or

whatever else suit your fancy.

o Steals and deals. If you’re looking for some of the

biggest discounts and best selection for anything from

electronics to groceries, books to automobiles, the Web

is your marketplace.

o Cash flow. The Internet can work for you, as well, if you

are on the other end of the cash register. The Web

provides an unparalleled avenue to sell goods. It can link

you to interested buyers if you’re only looking to unload a

few knickknacks to unclutter your home. If you have enough

stuff to open a garage sale, you can do that, too, without

time or space constraints. Or try your hand at a full-time

online business if you get bit by the entrepreneurial bug.

The Internet can open up the outside world to you for all

of these benefits, but you need the right set of keys to

open the door. Your first “key” is the type of Internet

access you use. You’ll need to weigh your budget versus

how fast you want to navigate on the Web. Cable and DSL

hook ups provide zippy access but can cut into your profit

margins. Dial up, on the other, can be cheap or even free,

but can slow down your productivity.

Once you have your hook up established, you’ll need to

get your feet wet before you do heavy surfing. Find trusted

sites for your activities. Look for certified schools to

take courses at and secure shopping zones to purchase at.

When selling or starting your own business, do your

research to find the most trusted and thrifty auction and

classified sites. The right classified sites can be like

your neighborhood paper, except they reach millions of

people around the globe. In many cases, the best classified

sites will also charge no start up or transaction fees and

offer safe ways to communicate and do business with clients.

Settle these basics, and you can be virtually ensured to

become a true M.O.M, a master of multitasking. In the time

it takes your child to take a nap or watch an episode of

Blues Clues, you will be able to earn 4 more credits to

your finance degree, buy a new mp3 player, and sell a

closet’s worth of stuff.