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!
Youngest blogger in the world?!
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?