phone and laptop

Here are my 5 tips for freelancers juggling work and kids. It really is a juggle too but hopefully these tips will help make you feel empowered and less alone!

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Juggling is hard whatever you do, but when you work from home and need to do school runs, take breaks in between your day for childcare or to cook finding yourself catching up with work at night, you need to find ways to cope to make your deadlines while also being there for your kids.

Some days I feel like I’m winning at all the above, other times, admittedly, feel like wasted days where I’m failing at everything, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that that’s life and all I can do is try my best and accept I’m simply human…Which leads me to my first point:

1. Accept the juggle isn’t going to be easy-

You will feel tired, as most parents do most of the time while juggling a job with a family, (especially a young family). And weary. And possibly frustrated but, importantly you will feel empowered. This is your job, you are your own boss and thus are in control, even if it doesn’t always feel like it, when you’re at the mercy of small people.

Do remember not all parents have the choice to go freelance so embrace it and try your best to make it work for you and your family.

Accept you can’t do everything, make a schedule or a tick off list so you can structure your work load with imminent deadlines first.

Just remember to be kind to yourself and reasonable too, spread your work out and if your child is up all night, don’t expect to be as prolific as when you’are running on a full night’s sleep.

2. Try not to stress

Look, I love the pressure of a deadline, always have, always will. Deadlines help me focus and I produce my best work when the pressure is on but day to day stress isn’t good for you or your kids. If you’re a perfectionist, stop now. Do what you can to the best of your ability of course but understand that you have to meet targets in timeframes and when it comes to creative work, you can go on tweaking forever so just do it, proof it, then let it go.

3. Dividing your time

If you can, when you collect your kids from nursery and school, stop working and pick it up later. Even if it just means an hour or so of time for the park, dinner, a break for you all and a chance to spend some quality bonding, just for you guys. If that’s not possible don’t beat yourself up about it, it’s time to…

4. Say goodbye to guilt

Feeing guilty is pointless, it consumes and eats away at us all and is futile, so stop it. You are providing for your family, are a great role model and are doing your up most to bring home the bacon so go easy on yourself. I need to work to feel fulfilled as much as for financial reasons and I strongly believe happy parents equal happy children!

I spend lots of time with my kids, keep weekends free for them, do dinner and bedtime, with childcare through the day. I take a flexible but professional approach to my work. I work hard but when I switch off, I switch off…

5. Switching off

As a freelancer, especially as a writer/blogger the world wide web never stops but you really have to. I’m strict about when I switch off so even though I do work evenings when my kids sleep (so I have time with them after pick up), I try and switch everything digital off (bar Netflix) by 9.30pm so I get at least a few hours off to chat and relax with my husband in front of the box.

Plus I, like everyone according to experts, need at least 90 minutes offline before bed to get a good night’s sleep! Switch off so you can switch on properly the next day.

What did you make of my tips? I would love to read yours?

 

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

 

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27 Responses

  1. Lara

    I’m so pleased this popped up on my Twitter feed, fab evergreen content, Vicki and so relevant to me at the moment. I have just made the decision not to return to my “proper job” after baby number 2 and continue to explore my new career in digital marketing & Social media which I’ve been doing freelance “part time” for the past 8 months.
    I am really looking to make this into my new career path and feel lucky that I have the opportunity to build a new career whilst under no financial pressure (2 in childcare outweighs my salary in previous job, so something is better than nothing) however I’m finding it a huge struggle to manage my time and attention for my young children whilst fitting in work which seems to envelop my whole day and late into every evening. A mixture of learning on the job and a demanding client (who is getting serious value for money from me).
    Hiive sounds fab, I would love to go on a course, maybe see what other options are out there for work and training. I’d also like the time I focus more on my blog/vlog which often is left more neglected than my poor husband (which is saying a lot!)
    Sorry, I completely offloaded there! Just a really interesting read which I need to make sure I am taking note of daily! Will get it shared. Thank you x

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Oh not offloading, great this resonated with you and it really is a juggle but it’s worth it. Be kind to yourself and try and be firm about time off too so you get chance for you. The digital field is so liberating, it really opens up a flexible, empowering way to work. Good luck with everything xx

      Reply
  2. Sarah Grimwood

    Thank you – I needed to hear some of those.
    Some resonate with the basics of stress management such as acceptance of certain circumstances & situations. But even though I know those basics, I still struggle to remember they apply to me too!
    I’ve just launched my own site and am now trying to get myself out there, earn some money and still see my 3 children and husband-to-be. It can seem overwhelming and a nigh-on-impossible balance.
    One thing that affects me quite a lot at the moment is coping with fluctuations in drive – somedays I just can’t wait to get stuck in. Other days, I feel as though life has kicked the stuffing out of me long before I’ve even made it to the keyboard. How do you cope with these highs & lows? Sarah :0)

    Reply
    • honestmum

      That’s so normal Sarah, I think because this is my full time job and I was a writer/director prior to this I’ve learnt to plough through those dips because I have had no choice. The theory works the same though, the more you write, the more you write although I’m an advocate of letting your work breathe too. Writing something and sitting on it if you don’t feel like sharing straight away. Blogging is such an incredible, diverse and fulfilling way of life because whether it’s your job or not, it quickly reflects and becomes a big part of life. Give me a shout if you need anything x

      Reply
  3. Adventures of a Novice Mum

    Thanks for the tips … the challenge for me really is letting go and accepting that I’ve done enough proofing. I also struggle with switching off as a result of this. I’ll hopefully get better at these as I grow as a blogger.

    Thanks for the tips … I’ll check out Hives, as freelancing is something I’m considering exploring.
    Adventures of a Novice Mum recently posted…Tree & WorkMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks, can be hard to switch off especially as the internet never sleeps but so important too. Going to be doing more of it over Christmas after a manic few weeks x

      Reply
  4. Caro | The Twinkles Momma

    Such a great post! 🙂

    I have been freelancing for years — long before I had the twins — and initially, trying to divide my time (once I’d had them) was a bit of a headache. Like juggling and spinning plates and the same time!

    That said, I may now be a mother but I’m STILL a great designer; and as long as I’m honest with myself and my clients about deadlines and how much I can actually get done in a day — with two little toddlers in tow — things are good.

    I wouldn’t change my job for the world! Being a freelancer is AMAZING!!!

    PS — as Lucille Ball said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.”

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Such wise words and ones I always repeat myself, great minds. I love the words, ‘I may now be a mother but I’m STILL a great designer’ because that’s so true and strangely some (short sighted) people forget that when us women have kids. My children made me more creative and driven but so much happier. They made me re-evaluate my life and what’s important. Thanks so much for this comment, really touched me x

      Reply
  5. Izzie Anderton

    Thanks for all the fabulous tips Vicki – great advice as always. I try to have a couple of posts written and stashed in case of emergency when I don’t have time to write anything. Will be checking out Hiive soon.
    Izzie Anderton recently posted…My Kind of Tree…My Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Hi Izzie, that’s a great tip, love having a draft folder I know I can count on and for those half written posts I can return to. Thanks for your words, Hiive are fab!

      Reply
  6. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Amazing tips darling! Haven’t heard of Hive either so will def be popping over there for a look. Agree with all of these as someone who has been freelancing for over 4 years and now juggles work with parenthood.

    I would add: be INCREDIBLY strict with your time (less social media, don’t let family and friends drop by for a cuppa when you’re working etc!), only check your emails twice a day (so you’re not constantly distracted) and also to have wherever possible, back up plans! (other freelancers you can call on to finish your work if you’re ill, childcare options etc etc)

    It’s tough being a freelancer juggling work and kids but also the most amazing way to work, live and earn a wage! Great post! X
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…SPONSORED POST: iZettle prove dreams really can come trueMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      OOh fab tips darling, it is amazing being freelance but like you say, important to have boundaries so you can feel in control x

      Reply
  7. Joy

    i really need to learn how to switch off and relax. I find myself often saying just one more and before you know it leads to two extra hours online

    Reply
    • honestmum

      We are all guilty of that Joy but I’ve gotten really strict with myself and just saying, right time to switch off and following through. Helps you to properly unwind and sleep better x

      Reply
  8. Sharmin

    Excellent tips! The one about switching off really rings true to me as well. I’m going to check out Hiive, it sounds really interesting. X

    Reply
  9. Donna

    Such great tips. I am juggling family life with a three day a week job and my blog and this has helped me to reassess it. I think for me the main things are switching off and managing my time. Thanks for a great post! x
    Donna recently posted…Review: 90:10 HoodieMy Profile

    Reply
  10. Donna

    I love that you have an off time at night. I need to start doing that. Great tips! X
    Donna recently posted…The TMI Vlog Hop #MummyVlogsMy Profile

    Reply
  11. Franglaise Mummy

    Great blog post, with very wise words for all of us. Now if we could just find a few more hours in the day…. 😉
    Franglaise Mummy recently posted…Do you bunk bed?My Profile

    Reply
  12. mummytries

    Another *brilliant* set of tips Vicki! I couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to feeling guilty (.pointless exercise) and switching off. I also think it’s really important to either not take phones and tablets up to bed or put them in aeroplane mode beforehand xxx
    mummytries recently posted…Why Should You Read My Book? #BTBYMy Profile

    Reply

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