Though I’ve dabbled in freelancing in the past, my stints have always ended after at most 6 months due to different variables, most notably having back-to-back-to-back babies or changes within the company for which I was freelancing.
But for the past 16 months, I’ve had steady freelance work. I started off doing social media management (see my tips for newbies) and website work for one company, which got my feet wet and gave me about two months to streamline my processes before summer hit and my boys were home from preschool 24/7.
Last summer, I went to a nearby coffee shop at 6:30 a.m. and worked for two hours a few mornings a week to get the majority of my freelance work completed. This strategy, coupled with extra time as needed during nap time, got me through the summer until preschool started again in the fall.
By that time, I picked up two more clients and my oldest started kindergarten while my younger two spent three mornings a week at preschool. Those three mornings were the perfect amount of time to complete the majority of my freelancing work. And I could still fit in a haircut or Costco trip or gym class here and there.
This summer, I’m still not exactly sure how it will all play out, especially since I’ve added a fourth client to the mix—myself. You see, it was very easy to blog consistently before I had kids. But since then, my posting frequency has been a bit irregular, depending on my season of life. But I love blogging (even if my mom is the only one reading my posts) and I figured that if really wanted to make it a priority again, I’d have to treat it like I do my clients.
With that being said, my plan this summer is to just wing it managing four clients with (nearly) four kids. After all, isn’t that what parenting is all about? We’re constantly adapting as we’re raising our kids, shouting “Amens” when we get past one hurdle, but knowing that another hurdle will pop up in a couple strides. Freelancing as a stay-at-home mom is much the same, especially when school is out of session.
The good news is I can put this pregnancy insomnia to good use. Just yesterday, I was up at 3:45 a.m. and tried my hardest to fall back asleep, but my super-active baby had other ideas. After relentless internal damage (or so it felt), I decided to start my day at 4:30 a.m. and knocked out quite a bit of work before my kids woke up at 6 a.m.
The Winging-It Plan
Though I have no guarantee that I’ll get ahead a month with my freelancing work (making it easier when this fourth baby arrives), that is still the goal. But I do have to balance that ambition with prepping freezer meals and getting all the nursery logistics in order. But for now, this is my winging-it plan:
Some days, I’ll wake up early (as in 4 or 5 a.m.) and work.
Some days, I’ll work using a mobile hotspot from a local park while it’s still cool outside and my kids can play.
Some days, I’ll work outside in the shade while my kids do water play in the front yard.
Some days, I’ll work during nap time/movie time for my boys. (And I won’t feel guilty for letting them watch 1.5 hours of TV.)
And maybe, if I’m fortunate enough, some days I’ll work alone in an air conditioned space while someone else is entertaining my kids. One can hope!
I would love to be able to share tips for other part-time work-from-home moms, but I’m not at that point yet. I’m still trying to figure it out myself.
However it works out, the jobs will get done—the freelance job and the mom job. Because regardless of your jobs (paid or unpaid), being a mom requires wearing many hats. I’m grateful that I can still contribute to our family financially while having the flexibility to be home with my kids. One day down the road, when baby boy is in preschool and my others in elementary school, I’d love to have the option of growing my little side gig as time allows. But for now, it’s about finding consistency and balance and wearing many, many hats.
What hats do you wear and how do you make it all work?