I got married when I was 29, and had my first baby at 31. Before getting married and having kids, I spent my days filled with doing things for myself–you know working 40-60 hours a week, traveling, finishing both a BA and a MA degree, living in Russia, and writing pretty much whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. To say that getting married and introducing a sweet little one (and now another baby) into my life was a huge adjustment to my life would be a big understatement.
You certainly know how it is to balance life as a parent and a freelancer or career-driven person if you have children. You spend your whole life worrying about yourself, and the instant that sweet one is born, you start living for them. Instead of planning your next trip to Paris, you are planning your next baby music class, swim lesson, or outing to story time at the library.
Adjusting to life with kids is a huge blessing, but also throws a wrench in how you are used to doing things, and it can be difficult to balance all your responsibilities, dreams, and goals.
As a freelancer, here are some of the ways I have been able to handle this adjustment and still rock at mom life while doing what I love–writing–and bringing in a healthy income.
How Do I Balance Life as a Parent and a Freelancer?
[tweetthis]How do I balance life as a parent and a freelance writer?[/tweetthis]
1. Take Advantage Of Downtime
Wanna know what one of the best things about kids is? They take naps, go to bed early (typically), and when they are old enough, they go to school. As a freelancer, you are not bound to a typical 8-6 schedule where you have to be in the office. That’s one of the huge appeals of freelancing, and one reason it’s the perfect career for stay at home parents. You can pay attention to your kids while they are there, and work hard on your projects while they are snoozing or going to school. You’ll be amazed at how much work you can get done while your kids are taking a nap.
2. Hire Help
Not sure if you have read Amy Poehler’s recent book, “Yes Please,” but she makes an excellent insight. She is the mother of 2 boys and obviously extremely successful. But, guess what. She doesn’t do it alone. She says “every woman needs a wife.” In other words, if you are a working lady and a mom, it’s okay to hire a little help. If you can make more money working in the time you would be cleaning your house, hire someone to do it for you and use that time to work. You can also hire a babysitter to come help you a few hours a week. I have a fun baby sitter come just 10 hours a week, and it’s enough time for me to sit down, focus, get some work done, and feel like my kid is having fun with someone besides just me. You don’t have to work 80 hours a week to make money. You can work 10, make some money, and still see your kids all the time. It rocks.
3. Remember You Have A Partner In Crime
Wanna know when I get some of my best work done? When my husband and my baby are building forts, reading stories, or just hanging out. My husband works during the day, but when he comes home, it’s daddy-daughter time. This gives me an opportunity to focus.
There came a point in my business when I was getting more work than I could handle myself. Instead of turning people away, I expanded. I knew a slew of qualified writers, and I was able to hire on some of them as staff. As long as you let your clients know that you are expanding your services, you’ll be able to handle more work. Just don’t outsource your work to someone who sucks at writing, because the reputation of your company is on the line.
[tweetthis]Instead of turning clients away, expand your freelance writing business.[/tweetthis]
5. Manage Your Time Wisely
Here is the deal. When you are a freelance writer, there is no one to tell you to finish your projects but you. When you are balancing life as a freelancer and a parent, it can be difficult to make sure you keep your kids happy and that you get your work done. To avoid this pitfall, make sure you schedule out your time and manage it wisely in order to make sure you have time to meet your deadlines. Sometimes this will mean you work late nights; other times, you will finish before you even expected. It’s a balancing act, but as you continue to learn how quickly you work, it will get easier.
6. Schedule Extra Time For Writer’s Block/Uh, I Don’t Feel Like Working
As a writer, you know there are times that you simply stare at the screen for an hour instead of pumping out the perfect article. Other times, you just would rather watch the last episode of Scandal instead of writing SEO content. This is okay and it’s normal. Just make sure that you schedule some extra time to get work done in case you run into writer’s block.
7. Ride The Productivity Wave
Another strategy I use is to pre-empt and prepare for writer’s block/lazy moments is riding the productivity wave. When I am productive, I work as long and as fast as I can, and then I high five myself for getting everything done. I also know to schedule work time for times when I am awake and ready to go, rather than when I know I will be exhausted.
Freelance writing is an excellent career and a great way to be able to make money and live life as a happy parent. Just remember that it is difficult and does take some planning, but you can certainly do it.
For more freelance writing tips on the question of how do I balance life as a parent and a freelancer, visit the Ashley R. Cummings freelance writing blog today!
[tweetthis url=”https://sellfy.com/p/bUgg/”]Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a freelancing business. [/tweetthis]
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