So you want to have your cake and eat? Well do, please. Otherwise I will. Big fan of all cakes and cakey things so if you don’t eat I may try to.
Back to the question? You want to have it all? You want a work and life balance, that means you can be there for the whippersnappers but also earn the dough to pay for the things, all the lovely things.
Oh the things, the bloody lovely things, The House of Hackney dresses, yes they have done a collaboration and the clothes are mega. I would also love a soda stream.I realise that isn’t particularly fancy or clever. But look them up on the amazon’s and you are talking big money to get that pop, fizz and bang in your bottle….
I digress, again. Forgive me. You are not reading this to learn of my fetish for bubbly drinks or expensive dresses I cannot afford. You are here as this Chapter is entitled “Freelance Hacks and Tips for working parents”. So, I will stop blabbing and write a list. It will then be easy to digest hopefully for you the reader and you can take what points from it you wish.
I wanted to write this after taking part in a brilliant panel chat with other Blogging Mums chaired by the brilliant Anniki Sommerville. We were at the gorgeous co-working space with crèche, Cukooz Nest and it felt like a great evening of sharing brilliant advice. So I thought, why not? Rude not to share, right??
My current set up for your viewing pleasure
HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY? I freelance in Commercial Production + Marketing / Act and Model for UGLY models / small (very small) fee’s occasionally for doing the comedies.
WHO LOOKS AFTER YOUR KID? I have a local childminder – it is called a boutique nursery / 3 women to 10 children who allow me to pick days when I am working – praise the lord and yes this as an option does exist. I pay a premium for this and they are not always available. If so I then get a trusted freelance Nanny to look after the toddler. If I am not working I look after her.
HOW MANY DAYS A MONTH DO YOU WORK? Some months a week, some month’s full time. You never know when you are going to work as a freelancer. Ronan Keating was right – life IS a rollercoaster. I do a bi -weekly radio show and a monthly radio show also on Soho Radio. I do stand up approx 8-10 times a month.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE EVENINGS? I am a stand up comedian. So often I will be gigging. That or drooling over Kit Harrington in Game of Thrones or Prince Phillip in The Crown.
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF? Planning it. If I need time out – I have to schedule it in. If it is a night out or a yoga class, it needs to be planned so as my husband can help and cover baby care duties.
- Get a good accountant. You will need it.
- Or get a good budgeting app – so you are prepared and you can see what you are spending on flat whites and fun times.
- Anne from Early Hour – suggested having 3 months worth of all your expenditures saved in a bank – so as when you may not work and times be dry you have a buffer. All hail the buffer.
- Go for it. You are free. The world is your Oyster. So if you want something. Really, really go for it.
- Get good childcare in place. If you have family to help, you are one of the lucky ones. So take it with both arms. If you don’t have this kind of luxury find the best childcare option you can afford. Go with your gut. It says a lot. I didn’t have a clue in the beginning and ended up having to go to a local leisure centre to get 2 hours crèche and thus time in their café to do work. It wasn’t ideal. So find your ideal.
- Bubble is an app I learnt about the other night, that can offer you a Nanny to come to your house on short term notice which may be able to help you if you are in a pickle and need to get a project delivered, article written, coffee made.
- Join communities of other freelancers maybe in your field (Facebook is great for this in my world of comedy). This will help you not feel alone.
- Consider regular meet-ups with other entrepreneurs (yes you can call yourself that now) – this was something that was done and mentioned by influencer Lisa Williams.
- Be prepared to WORK!!! Harder and longer than you ever had. Be prepared not to work too at points too. It can be tidal.
- The main benefit of freelancing as a parent – is that you get time with your baby/toddler/kid – quality time. Relish it. Turn the phone off and make the most of the moment. I need to take heed to this one too.
- Work on your passion projects alongside your money making ones. It is amazing how the passion projects can turn into money making ones if you give them the time they need.
- BE ORGANISED. Schedule your life within an inch. Make a plan. Stick to it. Use a journal, I recommend –
- A shared googlecalendar for you and your signifcant others could be a good plan too – so as all can see who is doing the pick up and who is doing the drop off etc, when you are working.
- Consider saving your TAX money in a Premium Bond – you get prizes and I love prizes.
- Enjoy it. Its your life. You have ditched the 9-5. Now go and make the most of it.