Most parents dream of having the time to take care of their children. But how can you do that with your office work? Traffic alone consumes most of your time. Not to mention, most are exhausted when they arrive home.
With freelancing, it is not a dream anymore. You can have the flexibility to be with your children in their formative years.
But when you were actually there, did it become easier? Was it easy to work while your kid is out on the loose — climbing the highest point in your house, ready to jump?
We feel you. That’s why we give you these 8 tips to balance your freelancing career while parenting.
Tell Your Clients
First of all, being a parent is not a disadvantage for your remote work. But it would be if you don’t manage your client’s expectations. If they picture you as someone too distracted to actually do work, you might not have a client anymore.
Your clients should know that you are a parent. And that it won’t affect your productivity. Surprisingly, most clients would accept that as long as you deliver the desired output.
Focus on Tasks One at a Time
It’s hard when you are juggling two full-time professions at once. Kudos to the people who can do it. But can you really work while typing your articles with your left hand while carrying your baby at the right? Even if you can, how would the articles look like with your divided attention?
And that’s for passive freelancing roles. Imagine doing that on active roles like telemarketing? You need to focus on tasks one at a time.
Get Some Help: Family, Babysitter, Daycare Centers
You might think, how can you do that when you have a child who has no respect for your schedule? I mean, your one-year-old baby needs to be fed when they want to. And you need to look out when your kid decides to play with your extension cords. It’s time-consuming.
Consider getting some help. Most grandparents would love to take care of their grandchildren. If they are not available, a babysitter would be ideal. A babysitter can allow you your much-needed peace during work hours.
If your child is a little older, you can try daycare centers. Not only can they run around like crazy with supervision, but they can also learn new things and socialize at an early age.
The good thing is, you have the flexibility to check-up on your child in person during your self-appointed break times.
Follow a Schedule
When you are working remotely with a kid, you need to make every second count. What’s the use of getting help when you don’t have a structured schedule to maximize productivity?
Now that you are balancing two demanding roles, you need to be disciplined enough to follow a schedule.
Visualize your day. What is the priority? You will be working on what hours? You need to strategize to be an effective parent and freelancer.
Savor Your Downtimes
But again, your kid doesn’t care about your schedule. So you have to be flexible and savor your downtimes.
Most likely, you will see a pattern. What hour of the day are your kids sleeping? When they are calm, do you decide to work on your to-dos or watch another episode on Netflix? You need to make the most out of your time.
And if parenting is important to you, your extra 10-20 minutes of downtime can work wonders with your productivity. You can even use the Pomodoro method to ensure that fruitful pockets of time.
Increase Your Rates
Even with all these, parenting might provide us less and less time. We can’t be hustling 100% of our time anymore. The good thing, we can control our rates in freelancing.
Check your schedule. How much time can you give to your clients? And set the rate that could make it all worth it. You’ll never know, increasing your rates will allow you to work fewer hours for even more income.
Learn to Say No
A lot of people think that freelancers are available all the time. Your family and friends might need you for errands like driving them or that afternoon tea out of nowhere. You have a kid now. Learn to say no!
You have a lot on your plate, and your time should be spent on the things that matter.
And this is not just for the people close to you; you should also say no to clients. Some clients may be demanding your time like they’re your life. It’s time to find new ones that respect your time and your other responsibilities.
Outsource Your Other Tasks
Check your current tasks both from work and for your family. And think of ways to delegate or outsource some of them.
You can learn how to fix your broken plumbing, but you are better off getting a plumber to do it for you. How about cleaning the whole house? If you’re in a particularly busy week, a maid per hour can probably clean it better than you.
The extra time would mean so much for your kids.
You Will Get Back Your Time Eventually
As your kids grow more independent, you will get more time eventually. There will be times when you can explain your working conditions, and then they can understand and not disturb you anymore.
For toddlers, you can devise creative strategies when you can play. For example, you have a child who likes cars. You can explain that when the signboard showing red is up, it means stop playing, and you need to work. When the green signboard is up, you can now play.
With that, you can be the best parent you can be. You just have to know how to use your time flexibility well. Cheers to remote working your way to parenthood! Good luck!