by Cheryl Demas

"I need to make money, and I want work that's quick and easy."

"I need a home business that won't take too much work, that will fit into my schedule, and that will make a lot of money."

Do these statements sound familiar? I know that so many of us are desperate to make money, and we desperately want to stay home with our children. But it's that very desperation that makes us vulnerable to moneymaking schemes and scams. The bad news is that money doesn't grow on trees, (have you heard that before?) But the good news is that there are business opportunities that are well suited for a mother's lifestyle. With dedication, perseverance, and maybe a little creativity, it is possible to make money from home.

As you are searching for a home business or work-at-home job, remember to do your homework. Read the online message boards, research the companies, and check the Better Business Bureau.

My youngest daughter thought she found the answer to making easy money the other day.

After approximately five years of begging and pleading, my daughter finally convinced her dad to let her have a cat. So as soon as we got his go-ahead, we were at the shelter. Dani chose "Tiger" from the many available kittens and he made himself at home.

We set up Tiger's litter box in the laundry room under a shelf where I put the change and the various odds-and-ends that I find in pockets when I'm doing the laundry. I didn't think that Tiger could reach the shelf, but all of those goodies must have been too much temptation for him, and he managed to knock the money off of the shelf. I realized this when my daughter found a pile of change in the litter box. $2.78 to be exact. She came out of the laundry room, smiling from ear to ear.

"Mom, you know how Dad doesn't really like Tiger? Well " she held out her hand to display the money, "when he sees what's coming out of that cat's butt, Dad is going to LOVE him!"

Hmm, "The Cat That Pooped Money?" Kind of a twist on the "Goose That Laid the Golden Egg" maybe? Afraid not. I was sorry to spoil her illusion, but I had to tell her the truth.

And I'm not trying to dampen your spirits either; I just want you to be realistic. As you continue your work-at-home search, I wish you much success. Use the many resources that are available to you, and you will find the right job. Just remember that money doesn't grow on trees, and it definitely doesn't come out of cats' hindquarters.

Cheryl is the founder and publisher of She lives and works at her home in California with her husband and two daughters. She is also the author of "It's a Jungle Out There and a Zoo in Here" (May 2003, Warner Books).

Past Columns:
"Kiss me on the Lips"
"The Work-at-Home Mom's Lifestyle Quiz"


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