I’ve never been keen on the idea of being a stay-at-home mum, partially because of my personal aspirations when it comes to my career, and partially because of the image I’ve built over the years.
Not until I found out that I was going to be a mum did I truly understand that maternal desire to be with your children every step of the way. However, I didn’t want to become one of those mums who is constantly preoccupied with cooking and cleaning.
I still wanted to have a career and feel accomplished in that sphere of my life. Since I didn’t want to miss out on those precious moments, such as first smiles, first words, and first steps, I came up with a perfect plan – freelancing. Not only am I able to be there with my kids when they wake up and go to bed, but I’m also able to meet my professional needs at home. Here’s how I make it work.
Once I found out that I was pregnant, I had no time to lose – as it turned out, nine months wasn’t such a long period. I started freelancing as soon as possible so as to build a base of clients and establish rapport with them.
This way, I was able to create ongoing business relationships with them, which has proved to be more than useful. Even during the slow days, I always had a project or two, because many of my clients were happy to work with me. Additionally, if I ever needed more time, they were glad to help me out.
Organisation is key
Organisation is what will get you through the day without wanting to just crawl under a blanket. Although your “work hours” won’t be uninterrupted, keeping yourself organised will help you get everything done. Since one of the main advantages of freelancing is flexibility, I’ve always been able to meet my deadlines, while simultaneously taking care of the kids. Creating a schedule is useful, but being able to get in and out of your “working mode” is crucial.
Smaller projects vs. bigger projects
As a freelancer, you’ll have the opportunity to choose projects and jobs, well, at least to some extent. Choosing simpler tasks, such as writing blogs, brochures and other texts, or translating documents is a better option than opting for more demanding assignments.
I’ve tried doing both, and smaller assignments have always been much easier to accomplish. Not because of their difficulty, but because of my time – as a mom, I cannot devote eight uninterrupted hours to a project.
This way, not only can I do several easier projects during the day, but I am more focused and efficient, and I can organise my time better. Of course, you can pick bigger projects, but you should negotiate longer deadlines or split them with a colleague. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself completely stressed out about meeting a deadline, while having to do a million of other tasks, as well.
My working corner
What helped me stay focused and productive is having my own home office. Although it was just a corner in my living room, I turned it into my personal working area, which has greatly enhanced my productivity.
Given that I didn’t have much available space, I needed to make the most of it. I found out about comfortable adjustable desks that can be transformed into stand-up desks, which was just what I needed. This way, I can switch from a sitting to standing position whenever I feel stiff or sleepy. I added a stylish chair and a few plants, and my office was up and running.
A good night’s sleep
More than once did I make that terrible mistake of pulling an all-nighter, and I could barely get through the following day. Overwhelmed by a chaotic day full of crying and screaming, you’ll be tempted to leave your work for the late hours.
Although working late when your kids go to bed is perfectly fine, you should always get a good night’s sleep – or at least a couple of hours. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get yourself together the next day, let alone be efficient and productive.
Being a self-employed stay-at-home mum is quite demanding, and at times you might want to give up. However, every precious moment you spend with your little ones is worth the effort.
Have you thought about working from home? Share with us in the comments.