Do you have a kid stuck on your hip, but are desperate to get out of the house? Or do you just need some cash and don't want to have to hire a babysitter to get it?

Do you have a kid stuck on your hip, but are desperate to get out of the house? Or do you just need some cash and don't want to have to hire a babysitter to get it? Are you interested in a different kind of challenge? Below are four varied and flexible options. Plus check out our job list for even more ideas.

Babysitting at your place
If you love kids and have space for them to play and nap, this is a great way to bring in extra money while staying close to your own children. Here's why:

You can choose your hours and take care of kids on a part-time basis (after school; evenings), or on a full-time basis (year round; just over the summer; during school breaks). You're the boss and can choose whether to care for infants, toddlers, older kids, or a mix of ages. It's a wonderful way for your own kids to learn how to get along with others. You'll first need to check with the state of Ohio to find out which requirements you'll need to fulfill before starting to look for children to babysit. Then, find clients. You can send an e-mail to everyone you know to get the word out, call some in-home daycare providers and ask them to send you any clients they are too booked to care for; put an offer on CraigsList.com or your local community paper's website, and search for jobs on those same sites.

The income potential can vary greatly. For instance, if you offer evening or weekend care, or take on an infant, you can charge more. You can expect to earn from $2 to $9 per hour part-time; $75 to $300 per week, per child (working full-time). Keep detailed records for tax time.

Babysitting outside the home
Babysitting at a local church, health club, college or daycare center may be just what the doctor ordered if the reasons below appeal to you:

Health clubs usually pay you with money and a membership. Your older kids can do their homework at the site and can even help out. Your kids get a preschool-type experience free of charge. You can choose only the jobs you want to do and can set the "busy-ness" of your schedule.
To get started, Google "Columbus (or your city) health clubs childcare" or "Columbus childcare" and start calling to find out if the establishments need sitters. Also ask if you can bring your own kids along. Get your name out there because turnover is high in these positions and your name may not be on a waiting list for very long.

You can expect to earn anywhere from $6 to $12 per hour, usually paid via payroll check with taxes withdrawn. Some churches pay upon completion of each job.

Medical transcription
If you enjoy typing and can find a few hours a day to work (either while your child naps or after he goes to bed), this may be the perfect fit for you. You will probably need to become accredited first, which involves taking a set number of hours of classes (check ahdonline.org for approved schools).

You can learn this field in the comfort of your home, thanks to home study courses. You can set your own schedule as long as the work gets done on time. Some employers supply all the equipment for you. You can do it in your jammies!
Check out mtdaily.com and medicaltranscription.com for information about this field and links to national and local training programs, job listings, and much more. Then visit Amazon.com to peruse the numerous books about medical transcription, including the humorous You're a Medical What!?! by Sara Burns. Once you are accredited, hit the online job boards such as CareerBuilder.com, HotJobs.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com, Simply-Hired.com, and ColumbusJobs.com.
After a couple years of experience, expect an average of $12 to $20 per hour, depending on how fast you can type. You can get paid
by the word, line, page or project (most commonly by the line).

Warning: NEVER pay for lists of potential employers. Be sure this is the career for you before investing time and money in training and equipment.

Mystery shopping
I have personally done mystery shopping with my kids in the car (several restaurant drive-through assignments) and while you won't get rich, you can end up with not only money, but also some cool stuff.

You can pick and choose only the jobs you want to do. You can end up with some free, fun merchandise. Your opinions can make a difference in the way companies do business.
Start by signing up at cybershoppersonline.com. I was paid and reimbursed after doing several fast-food restaurant jobs and one retail job. You should also read Mystery Shopping Made Simple, by Dr. Ilisha S. Newhouse. Check out the site, www.mysteryshop.org.
The pay is minimal to start, but you get free food, merch-andise, hotel stays, etc. A typical fast-food restaurant job may pay $5 plus a free meal or drink, while a typical retail shop job may pay about $12.

Warning: NEVER pay for a list of potential mystery shopping clients or give out your credit card information. If you sign up with the right companies, the jobs will come to you.

With a little work upfront, you can find a job you love to do and not worry about hiring a babysitter. Some added benefits include: learning desperately-needed or extra money, making friends, feeling fulfilled, and being able to make interesting conversation that doesn't revolve entirely around your life as a mom.

Good luck!