Being a full-time mom while trying to learn how to start freelancing work—and succeed at it—can feel impossible at times. In fact, the thought of parenting your kids while working from home can be frightening. If you’ve ever second-guessed yourself, you’re not alone. Balancing your freelance work with parenting responsibilities as a stay-at-home mom isn’t easy. Working from home for you means juggling tight deadlines, diaper duty, never-ending emails, grocery shopping, and much more. Your kids also demand around-the-clock attention. How do you even manage to attend to all these?
Don’t panic or give up just yet. There are plenty of opportunities within the freelancing space and you can learn how to be more productive at your work as a stay-at-home mom. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you with your freelance work:
Freelance Tip #1 Create a Dedicated Workspace
There’s nothing wrong with working from the kitchen counter or dining table. In fact, there are times you’ll find it more relaxing to work from those spaces. However, for the most part, you want to have a comfortable workspace with ample lighting and some privacy. You need a clean and tidy space that’s dedicated to working.
Whether you create a separate room or put a desk in one of the corners of your living room, it’s up to you. Keep everything organized so your kids don’t trip when they come visiting “at work.” Creating a dedicated workspace will help establish a clear boundary between your work at home and mom-ing responsibilities. Remember to make your home workspace personal to boost creativity. Just don’t overdo it.
Freelance Tip #2 Create Daily To-Do Lists and Stay Organized
Keep in mind, you’re not working in a traditional workplace where you’ll be assigned specific tasks and targets to meet. If you don’t line up and plan your day carefully, you’re less likely to succeed at freelance work as a stay-at-home mom. How many hours do you intend to work each day? What are some of the tasks you can do while your child is having their afternoon nap? Which ones will you start with very early in the morning?
Be realistic with your schedule and maintain meticulous to-do lists for each day. Use task management apps to help you stay organized. You’ll get more work done at home if you work smart, not harder. You’ll sleep better knowing which tasks you’ll have to accomplish the next day. So, make sure you write a to-do list for the next day before you go to bed.
Freelance Tip #3 Set Realistic Expectations and Create a Support System
There’s an art to juggling the responsibilities of full-time motherhood while focusing on your freelance work. Understand that you’re on a different schedule than moms who work from the office and freelancers who aren’t raising kids.
One of the things you must do is to keep your roles as a mom and remote worker separate. And this is why you need a dedicated workspace where you can fully concentrate on your assignments for a set amount of time. The reality is that you can’t do everything by yourself. Consider finding someone (like a partner or family member) who can help you manage your responsibilities before you start your freelancing career.
Have them watch over your kids during your working hours so you can work without any interruptions. Your workspace should be untouchable. Never ever allow your kids to play around your workspace or watch on the same computer that you use for your freelance work.
Tip #4 Maintain a Stable Everyday Routine with your Child
Your baby is just starting to discover the world. If you have other young kids, they’re still curious to learn and sort out things. However, you need to understand that varying their schedule can easily scare them. You want to maintain a stable everyday routine so your baby can know what’s coming next and stay calm. Don’t experiment too much with their routine as it can affect your working hours. Always take advantage of your kid’s naptime. Use the time they sleep to focus on your work-especially tasks that require your complete concentration.
Tip #5 Plan for Interruptions
Here’s the thing—you have to be flexible enough to focus on your to-do list but also ready to be in the moment with your kids. Picture this: you’re on an important call with a client then your toddler walks in crying or asking for food. You have to attend to them. But that means the client has to listen to a whining child instead of your brilliant ideas.
The reality is, you may not always be able to have a babysitter on hand, and you might have to simply hit the mute button as soon your child comes calling. But you have to plan for such interruptions. Older kids can stay away as long as you tell them you need quiet time. But toddlers can’t understand why they can’t have mom’s attention. So, they’ll always interrupt. The best thing to do is to excuse yourself from the call or whatever you’re doing then come back to it later.
I hope you found these tips helpful!