Traditional gender roles have long vanished, as have traditional 9-5 working roles for many people in this country. Long gone are the days where the father of a young child would be waiting outside the room as his wife gave birth, he’d be back in the office or factory the next morning and the mother would stay at home raising their child.
Now, there are so many other possibilities for all different types of parents. New mothers and fathers can be in a position now to work from home as freelancers and start their own businesses, whilst balancing a young (or older) child in their arms at home. It is possible to be successful, as long as you stick to some rules.
Find a Quiet Space
Obviously, at the very beginning of your child’s life this isn’t always possible but as your children get older you should make time to dedicate solely to your work. It just isn’t possible to focus on your work whilst also holding a baby in one arm and entertaining a toddler across the table from you. It may have sounded like a perfect possibility to all be happy together but it is unlikely to succeed and would lead to tiredness and errors on your part, something you can’t afford as a freelancer or business owner – no matter what line of work you’re in!
Whether you find child minders for dedicated hours or choose to work at quieter times of the day it is important you have a ‘work’ space to call your own, somewhere away from the clutter and the noise, that allows you to focus on your work and get the job done.
Work Those Hours
This leads on to your work hours. No one ever said it would be easy to be successful as a business owner or freelancer, whether you have children or not. Of course it is difficult to find the hours in the day when you are raising a child as well as working from home but it is possible. What you have to do is be realistic. As well as having your own work space, ensure you make time, enough to time to get everything completed satisfactorily.
It might not be a 40 hour week, but you might not need that at this stage in your development as a freelancer or small business owner. Make the right choices and work out exactly how many hours you need to work to be successful, and fit them in.
Once you’ve worked out how many hours you need to work and that you need a dedicated area to work in at home, now’s time to get organised. Figure out exactly when you’re going to work and stick to a routine as best you can. This will help you get into the flow of working from home without missing deadlines or lowering the quality of your work and service. It will also ensure that you have a plan for both your family life and working life that are separate on the whole but dovetail nicely where needed.
Your family will always be the most important thing in your life, staying organised with your work will ensure the quality of your family time doesn’t suffer and neither will your work.
Utilise Your Flexibility
Clearly, being a stay at home mum or dad, whilst working as a freelancer should have its perks. You’re not a robot and you do deserve to make the most of the flexibility freelancing allows you. So don’t stay robotic at all times, freshen things up and take your children out to the park once in awhile and enjoy the great outdoors with your family.
Another way you can be flexible is by changing where you work. Co-working facilities allow you the freedom to get away to a dedicated work space with other freelancers and business owners, when distractions at home are getting in the way of a looming deadline or the like.