No Longer “Just” a Mom By Diane Stark

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Looking over our finances one evening, my husband stated that we simply needed more income. I agreed with him, but with four young children to care for, it seemed nearly impossible for me to work outside the home.

One afternoon at the library, I searched the card catalog for books on work-at-home opportunities. Most of the books told stories of women who opened catering businesses from their homes or moms who sold afghans at craft fairs. Great for them, but me – I’m not so crafty. But I did find one book on starting a freelance writing business. Now writing – there was something I was good at.

We’ve all heard the adage, “Write what you know.” Well, as a stay-at-home mom, the thing I know best is kids. I bought a Writer’s Market and searched the internet for parenting websites. I decided that for a beginner like me, writing for the web might be easier than breaking into print. I was right. My first article was on losing baby weight and it was printed on a website for moms. They paid me $50 and I was thrilled.

I continued sending ideas to parenting websites and was published regularly. These clips gave me confidence (and money!) and I decided to try to write for print publications. While I received my share of rejections, several of my articles have been published in regional parenting publications and women’s magazines.

I started writing personal essays about my experiences as a mother. Chicken Soup for the Soul has printed two of them so far. Parenting my own kids often sparks ideas for magazine articles. If I’m struggling with or wondering about something, there’s a good chance other moms are too, and that makes it a great article topic. Even the cute things my kids say have been printed on greeting cards and in women’s magazines. (You can get big bucks for those little gems!)

I thought that I couldn’t work because I was too busy caring for my children. Now I realize that my kids are an advantage, not a handicap. Not only are they my most enthusiastic cheerleaders, they have provided me with a lifetime supply of ideas for articles and essays. Thank you, Sweeties!

Diane Stark lives in southern Indiana with her husband Eric and their four children. She specializes in parenting and motherhood, both in her writing and in her life. Her work has been printed in national publications like MOMsense, Chicken Soup’s Tribute to Moms, and Woman’s World. She can be reached at DianeStark19 – at – yahoo.com.