Guest post contributed by Peter Minkoff
Juggling a full-time job of being a mom and pursuing a full-time career is definitely not easy, it’s almost impossible. Even if your dream is to only have the first full-time job, you’re well-aware that in today’s economy it’s almost impossible to pull this off from the financial aspect. Luckily, thanks to the wonder that is freelancing, you can now have it all – a good income without sacrificing being a good mom. So, whether you’re mulling over the idea of becoming a freelance writer, graphic designer or anything else, this is the time to take the plunge. Entering the freelance world isn’t as difficult as you might think, especially if you take the time to follow our guidelines that are guaranteed to help you navigate the waters with ease.
The thing to be aware of from the get-go is that this venture will entail some investing. In addition to a phone, desk, a laptop, etc., you’ll also require educational material, such as books and taking part in seminars. There are also trade association memberships, marketing materials (a website and a blog) if you want to be noticed by potential future clients. Of course, don’t forget the business cards as well as coming up with a name for your business. If you want to be taken seriously, you most certainly need to kick things off in the most professional manner and create a trustworthy image for yourself. Another smart thing to do is to invest in accounting software in order to keep track of all expenses and revenues. This will give you an insight into how much you’re making, how big your expenses are, etc.
A mom and a professional
Every mom will tell you that babies are a wonder, but they’re also very demanding and require almost constant attention. It’s even more taxing if this is your first baby because you’re bound to overreact to every little thing. However, after the initial six months, you’ll become more confident in your parenting skills and juggling work and a baby will serve as a crash course on multitasking. At one point you’ll find yourself working while breastfeeding with the greatest of ease. Bonus tip: instead of the old rule – when the baby is napping you should be too, as a freelancer use a different approach: when the baby is napping you get as much work done as possible.
It takes a village
The one mistake you shouldn’t make is trying to do everything on your own. When you have an infant, you’re sleep deprived as it is, but throw in running a business into the mix, and you’ll burn out. This is why it’s highly important to turn to your spouse for help; you are a team after all. If both your schedules are jam-packed at a certain point during the day, hire a nanny to help out, at least during those hours where you have loads of work to do.
The space issue
Once the baby is bigger, finding a quiet place to work becomes a real challenge. You could try to ‘set up camp’ in a spare room or a home office if you have one, but that does not guarantee you peace and quiet. This is why many Australian moms do their research and find a great coworking space where they can sit for a few hours, get their work done in a professional environment (sans interruptions) and then go home and take care of their kids. Another perk of a coworking space is the possibility of meeting other professionals who can even help you expand your client base. This is an amazing option for all those moms whose kids are now big enough to stay in a daycare center for a few hours, or even at home with a nanny.
Enjoy every minute
Even though there will be times when it’s so hard you will think about giving up, you have to appreciate every moment. Be thankful that you’ve been given this opportunity to be close to your baby at all time without sacrificing your professional goals. Yes, it’s hard in the beginning, but once you get through the first year, you won’t even dream of trading your business for a full-time office job, because the moments you get to spend with your family while creating an income are irreplaceable.