Are you striking the right balance between your career and looking after your kids?
The summer holidays are well underway, although from a childcare perspective they don’t feel so different from the last 4 months! Here, we run through some of our favourite tips to manage life as a self-employed parent…
Keep work and childcare separate
It’s hard look after your child and work at the same time. Rather than compromising on your family and professional life, try to set clear boundaries for both. If you possibly can, schedule large projects during nursery hours or days your kids can spend with family members to help you work more efficiently. It should work out better than chipping away at tasks while your child plays next to you.
Build a support network
A reliable support network is vital when raising children. For many of us that means a family member or friend we can ask to look after the little ones while we crack on with a project. Your options don’t end there, and you could be eligible for help with paying for childcare. Childcarechoices.gov.uk will help you find the support you’re entitled to. Some providers will even allow you to ‘stretch’ your allowance over the summer holidays by using fewer hours per week.
Don’t compare yourself to others
It’s not hard to find examples of other freelancing parents who seem to have a perfect work-life balance. Making comparisons as you scroll through social media can put you under pressure. Everybody’s work and children are different and focusing on your own situation rather than others will help you to manage things. And remember, there’s often a less glamorous side to raising kids that doesn’t appear on influencers’ timelines.
There are only so many hours in a day, but with the help of remote professionals you can reclaim precious time to spend on more important projects and to look after the kids. Whether it’s a social media manager or a virtual assistant you need, the online assistance is out there and ready to help lighten the load. Start by identifying your least enjoyable, or most time-consuming tasks, and you’ll soon clear your schedule.
Be open about your responsibilities
Raising children is the most important work any of us will do and yet many freelancers feel a need to keep their parenting life a secret from clients and colleagues. Although you shouldn’t overshare with your professional contacts, be open about your parenting responsibilities. Helping others understand your situation could pay off when the unexpected happens and deadlines overrun.