Pros and Cons of Working as an Employee vs. Freelancer (As a stay at home mom)

Starting out as a work from home mom is kind of a wild ride, but I want to explain the differences between the different kinds of work from home mom jobs out there so that you’re not in the dark about what to expect.

Working as a remote employee is a lot different than starting your own freelance business. And starting a freelance business and finding your own clients is a lot different than using platforms that serve as a middleman and take a cut of your profits. There are pros and cons of working as an employee vs. freelancer, so let’s jump in to compare and contrast everything.

Hopefully, you can find some clarity on which work from home situation is best for you! (Or at least whether you want to be an employee or a freelancer)

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The three types of stay at home mom jobs: Employee positions, starting your own business, and working for agencies or on freelancer platforms

There are three main types of work from home mom jobs that you can choose from and I find that most people have a preference for one of them over the other two. I’m listing them out with the pros and cons of working as an employee vs. freelancer and some details I think you should know about before diving in.


1.) Get hired as an employee.

There are a lot of companies who hire remote employees, but usually, they require experience in a specialized area.

So truly, this isn’t the best option for moms with no experience but if you do have a degree or experience in a particular area (marketing, writing, graphic design, etc.) definitely check out these remote job boards regularly to see if anything interesting pops up.

I feel like most stay at home moms like the idea of working from home for a company and they aren’t interested in freelancing. The reality is that it’s not common for people without much experience to get hired for these positions especially if they pay decently well. It’s still a possibility, but it’s something you generally need significant experience or ties to a company before you get hired.

If you have your heart set on working as a remote employee, that’s awesome and I encourage you to focus on crafting a kickass resume and portfolio so that you stand out on remote work applications that will usually get swarmed with job hopefuls. If you need to make money in the meantime, I’d recommend freelancing while you job search so that you can have some cashflow and breathe a little.

The last thing you want to do during a job hunt is to accept a position that doesn’t feel right for you just because you need the money, if you can help it.



  • You have a stable paycheck you can count on.
  • You may have employee benefits.
  • No need to find your own clients after getting hired.
  • Working from home, even as an employee, gives you a decent amount of flexibility and work-life balance when compared with an on-site job.


  • Most high-paying work from home jobs where you have employee status are fairly competitive, so it will usually take you a significant amount of time to get hired for (we’re talking months or years.)
  • You still have to adhere to company policies and possibly a schedule that causes you to shift your personal schedule around more than you’d like to.


2.) Start your own business as a freelancer.

Becoming a freelancer is probably the best option for people who need to make a big amount of money fairly quickly. You don’t have to worry about job hunting for months and you can just jump in and get started.

Read this: Work at Home Mom Jobs that Don’t Suck (12 Legitimate Job Ideas)

Freelancing does sometimes require more work consistently than the other options on this list, but offering a service allows you to bring in bigger amounts of money without having to wait months or years.

If you are someone who would rather start a blog, a YouTube channel, or a social media platform to make money, that’s a viable option but it usually takes a few years to be able to make a decent chunk of money from those things.

If you need to make money within the next few months, I’d go with freelancing for sure. This is what I did! I started out as a virtual assistant, which is a great job for stay at home moms with no experience. Then I decide to switch to web design, because that’s more of my thing, and I love it.


  • You can set your own rate.
  • Set your own work schedule and take days off when you want/need to.
  • Work only with the clients you enjoy working with once you get to a certain level of stability in your business.
  • More opportunities to grow your business and income than everything else on this list. Many freelancers start off by offering their services and end up selling a course, info product, coaching package, or membership in addition to those services.


  • You have to find all of your own clients.
  • If you don’t book projects, you don’t get paid – no guaranteed paycheck.
  • More inherent risk in terms of getting ghosted or paid. You’re the business owner, so if you run into issues regarding payment status, you have to sort it out.


3.) Work as an independent contractor for an agency or other third-party middleman freelancer platform

You can land jobs from virtual assistant agencies, freelance writing content mills, and sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Peopleperhour.

Some people make significant part-time or full-time incomes as a stay at home mom with little experience by using platforms like these. You can get started with these platforms easily compared to hunting for a salaried remote job.

The major downside for these jobs is that a lot of these platforms pay significantly less than you’ll make as an employee or a freelancer. Some of these platforms allow you to set your own rate, but the platform’s market and average rates often drive the price down and it becomes hard to compete.

Still, if you feel like you can make a smaller amount of money and be fine with that, then this might work for you.

If you’re feeling unsure about diving into working as a freelancer and you’d like to get a bit of experience working online before doing that, then working on one of these platforms might help you bust the imposter syndrome.

That being said, I think freelance work is more sustainable for moms because you can have a bit more flexibility in your schedule and you have total control over how much money you make. But using platforms like this can help you get started if you’re really having issues with not knowing where to get started. 


  • You don’t have to do as much work to find clients because they’re already on the platforms.
  • Less risk when it comes to payment than freelancing, but less stable than working as an employee. If you do the work, you’ll get paid. If payment issues occur, the platform deals with it and not you.
  • Decent amount of control over your own schedule with this option as well.


  • Most jobs on these platforms pay ridiculously low, but you can find some good opportunities here if you search consistently.
  • Since jobs are often low-priced, you can start to feel like you’re on a neverending hamster wheel of searching for jobs, landing jobs, and doing jobs. Less room to breathe between jobs unless you don’t need to be making much money.


My ultimate recommendation for most moms is to do what I outline in this post about a roadmap to making a full-time income from home as a mom. (It’s working on freelancer platforms like Upwork, etc. [#3 on this list] and then shifting over to growing your own freelance business [#2 on this list])

I hope this gave you some context related to the pros and cons of working as an employee vs. freelancer while working from home. Especially as a mom! I feel like most of us have to look at job opportunities through a whole different lens after starting a family.