Although making the transition from a 9 to 5 to being a freelancer is worth it, the journey can be a tough one. Freelancing requires a lot of hard work, discipline and perseverance. And juggling freelancing with parenthood can be a handful to deal with.
There are, of course, a lot of upsides to being a freelancer. You get to spend more time with your family and never miss out on special events or moments with the people you love and care about.
Be this as it may, this doesn’t mean that you should close your eyes to the realities that freelancing presents especially as a parent. Here are some truths about freelancing as a parent that you need to know.
You may experience dry spells
Unlike a 9-to-5 where you know what your take home every month is, income from freelancing projects are hardly stable. There will be months when your freelancing income is great while some months may be frighteningly low.
As a parent with a lot of responsibilities, fluctuation in your income may prevent you from making sure that you meet your family’s needs. Your income may go up and down but your responsibilities remain the same.
Depending only on freelancing projects won’t be enough. It will be a wise decision to create multiple sources of income, especially passive income. This will give you something to fall back on when you’re experiencing a shortage of projects for the month.
Flexibility of freelancing gives you the opportunity to be there for your children when they need you
Unforeseen situations like accidents or sudden illness can mess with your normal work schedule and it may be difficult to get permission from the office if you work in a 9-to-5. But as a freelancer, you have the flexibility to take care of your children when they’re ill and injured.
The only downside to such sudden unforeseen circumstances is that when the payments from clients don’t come in on time you may be stuck in a tight corner.
- Clients can pay late and it will disorganize your plans
In order to ensure steady income, freelancers have to make sure that clients keep to their financial commitments. However, sometimes clients may not keep their word and the payment comes in late. Some clients even fail to pay and you may get nothing at all.
This is a frequent occurrence in the freelance industry and this can negatively affect the financial responsibility to your children.
- You’ll have to contend with shortage of time
It takes a lot of discipline to be a full-time freelancer and you need to be especially phenomenal at managing your time. When you’re a parent your time is divided between your children and your freelance work. This may mean that after taking care of your energetic kids you need to make do with the little time left to dedicate to your work.
However, with a little adjustment and proper arrangement of priorities it is possible to effectively manage your time with your work and with your children.
How do you freelance and parent at the same time? Do you deal with any of these issues?
I’ve been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years – I think I’m constitutionalised now and could never adapt to a 9-5 again. As a freelance you need to be prepared to work through the night and through weekends – we did. On good months, put money aside for the dry work moments (we all have them). I love it though – wouldn’t change a thing
I won’t change it for anything too! Thanks Tracey.
I’ve been freelancing for just over a year now and totally agree with everything you have said 🙂 x
Glad you do Kira x
I freelance and have three kids and it is such a juggling act. I too love the freedom of being there if they are ill or for school events etc, however sometimes it is a struggle finding the time to work. I totally agree the not having a steady income can be stressful too, I have been so quiet lately and some big clients are very overdue on paying which isn’t great. xx
It has been quiet here too but I am sure it will pick up soon.
I always admire parents who are freelancers, especially mums. My hubby is a freelancer (IT consultant) and he can become incredibly busy when a project is ramping up. Skype and conference calls back to back. So I know how much time management comes into it. But then, I’m here to sort our son out. So how mums combine both is beyond me and I take my hat off to those who manage to do it!
It can be hard but I won’t change it for anything. Thanks for reading 😊
It drives me insane when people pay late, I always try and keep a bit back just in case
Yes it drives me crazy too!
It amazes me the amount of companies that pay late, its the thing I hate most about it!
I hate it too! It is very frustrating.
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