American Dream

Linsey Knerl: Working From Home With Six Kids

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Have you seen those scammy-looking ads and emails promising work for stay-at-home moms? They look shady at best, mostly because of the seemingly pie-in-the-sky income promises they make. But working from home doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. People like Linsey Knerl have built successful careers doing it.

In fact, Linsey built her online business to a point where her income now supports her family, which includes a husband and six children (a daughter, 16, and five boys aged 11, 10, 8, 4, and 19 months).

Growing Online Business From Home

Linsey didn’t always work from home full time, nor did she make full-time income from the beginning. “I’ve worked from home since 2006, but only full time since about 2008. Before that, I worked in several industries, including reLinsey Knerl, a mother of six, has built a successful career working from home.staurant management, client relations at an insurance-related firm, and even a preschool! My decision to work from home came really when I realized that blogging could be my ‘in’ to writing professionally.”

She now earns money in a variety of ways, including advertising revenue from her blogs (Lille Punkin’ and 1099-Mom); freelance writing work for online magazines, print magazines, and business websites; and handling social media and consulting for some top money sites. Supporting income includes an upcoming podcast on 1099-Mom that’s scheduled for release in late May 2015, affiliate income, and promoted content on Instagram and YouTube.

Morphing Into the Main Breadwinner

“I have been amazed that this has turned into a full-time career,” Linsey says. “When my husband lost his job in 2007, and work dried up in his industry, I just kept working harder and harder at my freelance/blogging business until we realized that it was much more profitable and better for our family if I kept it as a full-time job and he helped at home. He now assists with my online digital business, along with working hard on our four-acre farm.”

Linsey and her husband play on each other’s strengths. Her husband is amazing at finding farm-related deals, bartering, and researching. He also accompanies Linsey on important industry conferences to care for their younger children while she’s networking.

Juggling Working From Home and Raising Kids

When it comes to juggling working from home and raising the kids, Linsey says, “Nothing is more difficult. I often feel like I’m failing at one or the other. There is no ‘perfect’ balance, but there are days when you can really excel in one area. Just be sure that—if you are doing really well in work—you take a step back often to see how you can flip the scales to the other side. You really can’t do it all, not at the same time, anyway. But you can have your victories. I am trying a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule for focusing on work for 80 percent of my day, then having Tuesdays and Thursdays as days when I organize the office, deep-clean the house, and run errands—as well as being available for more cuddling, reading, playing outside, and being Mom.”

Her husband’s skills in planning, shopping, and providing structure from his 12 years of experience working at a group home setting for developmentally disabled adults, helps the household run smoothly. Linsey also relies on help from the older kids. She knows they’re learning life skills, and they’ve told her that they appreciate learning while feeling valuable in the family “ecosystem.”

Looking to work from home as well? Be sure to subscribe to Linsey’s 1099-Mom blog for legitimate, weekly job leads.

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Amanda L. Grossman is the creator and owner of FrugalConfessions.com -- live a VIP life on an average paycheck -- where she shows hard-working people how to end anemic savings account syndrome and pay off debt years earlier than your creditors want you to without getting a second job or eating ramen noodle dinners. Amanda's area of expertise is in personal finance, and she has authored several personal finance articles for the Houston Chronicle, is a featured blogger at the Houston Chronicle, and has staff written for ReadyforZero.com Blog and RelayRides.com Blog (several of which have been syndicated to LifeHacker, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance). She has a knack for taking seemingly complex, and irrelevant financial topics and making them accessible and meaningful to the average person. She, her husband, and their two cats (Lyla Bear and Danny Boy) live in a fixer-upper in Houston TX.