As back-to-school season quickly approaches, visions of dance class, play dates, and helping your kids with their math homework flash before your eyes. And if you’re a freelancer, juggling the responsibilities of both work and family life can get a little complicated. After all, if you have no set schedule, where do you draw the line when it comes to work versus play? We’ve outlined some things to consider as you seek to balance it all.
Make Your Schedule Work for You
The freedom of freelancing is in the ability to set your own schedule, which can be a pretty great thing when it comes to parenting. Take full advantage of this to make that ice cream run with your kids or take them to soccer practice. But make sure you’ve got dedicated time in your day for work too. 24me is a great app for those who have trouble keeping track of to-dos, as it acts as a digital personal assistant of sorts. Keep your calendar, schedule, notes, and even pay bills all in one place.
Don’t Try to Do It All
To that end, don’t feel like you need to be teaching your kids French after school or spending the entire day at the park to keep them entertained. Freelance work is just that – work – and still requires time in your day to get projects done.
While it is perfectly fine to spend extra time with your children during the day, know that it’s okay to say “no” to some of the fun stuff too. If you are truly swamped, it might be time to consider outsourcing some of your work to free up your time.
Get Help When You Need It
There’s no shame in asking for help when things are overwhelming! While hiring a nanny is not always possible on a freelancer’s budget, a strong network of friends and family who are willing to lend a hand when you need it are essential.
Digital concierge services can save you some time when family and friends are unavailable. Check out TaskRabbit for doing everything from cleaning your house to grocery shopping to furniture assembly, and Favor for getting your mid-day fresh juice delivered from that shop across town.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
The easiest trap to fall into – you’re scrolling through your social media feed of choice and see picture-perfect snaps and posts from other freelance parents who seem to have it way more together than you do. The comparison game is the quickest way to think you’re a bad freelancer and an even worse parent.
Keep in mind that what works for someone else may not work for you and your family. The things you see on social media are only snippets of someone’s day, and of course, we're not going to post about all the bad stuff. Try keeping a gratitude journal to shift your focus to the good things in your own life. You might be surprised at how much better you feel!
So whether you’re new to the parenting world or just want to make things a little easier for yourself, these tips will help you stay (a little more) sane. What advice do you have for freelancer parents? Let us know in the comments!