A lot of mothers have gone before me as stay-at-home moms. And a lot of professionals have gone before me as stay-at-home freelancers. I am thankful for all of them, their advice and their example. But I am also thankful for those who combined the two and lived to tell the tale.
As I type, my son grunts and squeaks his way through tummy time, lifting his head and then dropping it in frustration. He’ll build those muscles soon enough, and I get to stay home and watch it happen.
Motherhood is a challenge. Even as I write that, I have to start typing one handed as I scoop little Yoon up and distract him with a toy. Baby attention spans are short, and babies are still developing the skills necessary for, well, everything. With that in mind, freelancing in the midst of motherhood is a double challenge. But it’s one worth taking. In order to really get my work done, and done well, I have to develop new tactics:
- Babysitters. Knowing who I can ask, and when they’re available. One lesson I’m still learning is to accept offers of free babysitting from friends and family without feeling guilty.
- Naps. Using the baby’s naps for either focused work or genuine rest. Sometimes I’ve got to get a nap of my own in order to function.
- Flexibility. Using those 10 and 15 minute windows instead of waiting for a whole hour. As Maria from The Sound of Music so sweetly says, “When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” (Thank you Julie Andrews!)
- Grace. Forgiving myself for being tired and less productive than I’d like. It’s a work in progress, and I’ve got to remember how much I’ve already progressed over the last 3 months.
It’ll take time to get used to everything, especially since children develop at an amazing rate during their first year. So, fellow freelancers and fellow mothers, how do you make it work?