After so many months, I chatted with another freelance writer and in one of our conversations, she asked me how I juggled freelance writing and family life. Even if you are in a different craft, freelance writing can be confusing. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts, it is hard to put a line between work and your personal life, even if you are still single – in a relationship or not.
Why is it important? The obvious reason might be to be focused on what you are doing without your kid/s, asking you to play with her/him.But also, to be productive; many freelancers are guilty of spending too much time on the net without working. And in this field of freelancing, no work means no pay.
So here are my tips for those who want to be productive as well as focused in their freelance work.
Set a schedule
This was my answer to that freelance writer who asked me about juggling my work and family. Like any job, you must have a schedule- everyday and every week.
On my case, I try not to write during weekends unless I have urgent things to do or I have some free time. I dedicate weekends for my whole family especially for my husband who works so hard during the whole week.
Also, I work when my son is sleeping and when I’m done catering my husband’s needs- two hours in the afternoon and after 10pm. So on the average, I work at least 5 hours a day.
Shifting schedule with the nanny
I don’t wake up at 6am since I sleep late at night working. Also, freelancers with kids especially mommies must not totally leave her/his kid to the nanny. What is the purpose of working at home if you can’t spend time with your child?
I leave my son with the nanny in the morning usually from 6am ( when he wakes up) to 10am. And in the afternoon ( 4pm-6pm).
On my part, I play with him before lunch and his afternoon nap. When he wakes up, I play and eat snacks with him before giving him to his nanny for his playtime with our neighbors. Before dinner, I spend time with him until he falls asleep.
Inform or give the yaya an idea of your work and stress that you don’t want to be disturbed as much as possible. You may be able to spend time with your child during ” your schedule” as a break or just to spend time with your son but make it sure with the nanny that she should handle your child during those times.
Train your child
Children can be easily be trained and taught. It was easy for me since I started this business of freelance writing when my son was still a little boy; so he is already used to Mama working on the keyboard and taking down notes.
My son knows our schedule and will not bother to knock on the door in my “little office”. I also close the door to show that “Mama is working”. But if I hear that my son wants me ( without being bratty or spoiled); I automatically stop and cater to him for a few minutes.
For those who have older children, tell them that you have to work and will play with them in a little while. If you are not working or done, spend time with them. This way, they will know that you really want to be there as long as you have the time.
Let them work with you
This works with those with older kids. Children want to imitate adults and if they “disturb” you, give them something to work on. I let my son scribble or color his books if he wants to stay with me. I also have an old laptop that he can use pretending doing what I’m doing.
The tips above may let you organize your working schedule with kids around.
To end up, I feel very contented with my life as a career woman and as a woman. In this craft of freelance writing, it is a matter of setting priorities and making most of the time you have.