As any parent can attest, the journey of motherhood is a remarkable one. From those sleepless nights cradling a newborn to the proud moments of watching your child take their first steps, it’s a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. Now, imagine navigating this incredible journey while also juggling the demands of a freelance career. Welcome to my world, where diapers and deadlines coexist in a delicate balance.
The Freelance Mom Juggle
Freelancing, with its promise of flexibility and independence, can be a dream come true for many. Yet, for a mother, it introduces a unique set of challenges. My days are a constant juggle between nurturing my little ones and nurturing my career. From midnight feedings, diapers change to afternoon school runs, and attending to my kids’ homework, my schedule is dictated by the whim of my children, making time management a vital skill.
1. Embracing the Art of Flexibility
Flexibility is the cornerstone of my freelance-mom lifestyle. Just as I’ve learned to adapt to my child’s changing needs, I’ve honed the ability to pivot between client meetings and snack times. Embracing flexibility doesn’t mean sacrificing professionalism; it means finding creative ways to meet deadlines while keeping my child’s wellbeing a priority.
2. The Power of Routine
In the chaos of freelancing and motherhood, routines become my lifeline. Establishing a consistent daily schedule has helped create a sense of stability for both me and my family. While each day might bring surprises, having designated work hours and playtime slots allows me to manage my tasks more efficiently. Once my older kids leave for school in the morning, I will feed my newborn, have my breakfast, and then resume work at 9 am. I have to close at 2 pm so I can pick my kids from school.
Navigating the Challenges
While the blend of freelancing and motherhood offers immense rewards, it’s not without its challenges. These challenges, however, have transformed into opportunities for growth and self-discovery.
1. Guilt vs. Goals
One of the most common battles faced by freelance moms is the constant tug-of-war between feelings of guilt and the pursuit of career goals. The guilt of not being fully present with my child during work hours can be overwhelming. Especially for a woman who is experiencing postpatum depression. However, recognizing that chasing my professional aspirations is not only permissible but essential for my personal growth and mental health has helped me reframe this narrative.
2. Mastering the Art of Boundaries
Setting boundaries is paramount when balancing freelancing and motherhood. Just as I allocate time for client projects, I set aside sacred blocks of time for my child. This means turning off work notifications during playdates and fully engaging in storytime without distractions. By respecting these boundaries, I’ve found that both my work and my time with my child have improved in quality. At least once a week, I set a time aside in order to watch animated television series with them. They enjoy shows like “Bluey,” “Paddington” and a few others. And to be perfectly honest, I enjoy watching them too.
Tips for a Successful Freelance-Mom Journey
After years of trial and error, I’ve gathered a few invaluable tips for fellow freelance moms embarking on this adventure:
1. Plan ahead, but stay adaptable
While planning is essential, freelancing and motherhood are unpredictable by nature. Create a weekly schedule that outlines your work hours and child-focused time slots, but remain open to adjustments as needed.
2. Outsource and Delegate
Remember that you don’t have to do it all. Consider outsourcing tasks like house cleaning (this is very important, I have someone who comes around to clean my house) or delegating some work responsibilities to virtual assistants. This allows you to focus on what truly matters—both your child and your career.
3. Self-Care is Non-Negotiable
Amid the hustle, don’t forget to care for yourself. Prioritize self-care, whether it’s a short meditation session during naptime or a leisurely bath after bedtime. A well-nurtured mom is better equipped to handle the demands of freelancing and motherhood. This is why I don’t joke with swimming, and I also love to relax watching my favourite show on Netflix a few times a week.
The journey of freelancing with motherhood is an intricate dance, requiring a delicate balance of love, patience, and determination. From navigating the early morning conference calls while ensuring a healthy breakfast for my children to embracing the spontaneity of changing diapers during work hours, every day brings new challenges and triumphs.
In the midst of this beautiful chaos, I’ve discovered that being a freelance mom is not just about managing diapers and deadlines—it’s about cultivating resilience, embracing imperfection, and finding strength in the symbiotic relationship between nurturing a career and nurturing a child. So, to all the fellow freelance moms out there, remember that while the juggle may be complex, the rewards are immeasurable.