If you’re pregnant and planning on taking some time off after having the baby, you might be worried about how this will affect your freelance writing career.
The truth is that there are many ways in which becoming a parent can provide an even stronger incentive to be successful at your job so that you have more money for childcare expenses, diapers, formula, etc.
There are also tons of benefits to being able to work from home when you’re a new mom (or dad). For example:
- You can take care of the baby while working or vice versa.
- You don’t have to commute into an office and back each day which means more time with family!
- The flexibility that comes with being able to work wherever and whenever is invaluable for parents who don’t want every aspect of their lives planned out down to the minute.
Here’s how I juggle being a freelancer on maternity leave:
You Can Still Be A Freelancer After You Have Kids
You can still be a freelancer after you have kids. Freelancing is a great way to work from home and set your hours, especially if you want to leave the house for a few hours in the morning or stay up late at night when your children are sleeping.
You also don’t have to worry about working on weekends or holidays because it will be up to you when those days come around.
Get Organized To Make Sure You’re Ready To Go When Your Baby Arrives
As a freelancer, you need to be ready to go when your baby arrives. You’re not working from an office or scheduled into a specific time of day or week. You can make yourself more prepared for when you start writing again by getting organized now.
Make Sure You Have All The Tools You Need To Get Started
You may have gotten away with using Microsoft Word or Google Docs on your laptop while pregnant, but once the new baby arrives and life gets busy it will be important to have everything in one place so that it’s easy for everyone in your family (and yourself) to access.
Consider purchasing an external hard drive that can hold all of your work files and documents and make sure that everyone who needs access has their username/password combination so they can log in whenever they need something from the drive.
It will also help if there are folders set up inside of this shared network location where people can easily find what they need without having trouble navigating through many layers of folders/subfolders just because someone wanted them kept separate from other types of projects (like client letters).
Plan Out Your Maternity Leave By Setting Your Schedule
A few months before your due date, start planning out your maternity leave. I know, I know you don’t want to think about the fact that you’ll be having a baby any time soon (if ever).
But planning out your schedule before it happens will save you from being stressed out when it does happen and help you get used to being responsible for another human being.
Think about how much time off work you’ll need after giving birth. If possible, take about two weeks off for your recovery period and then go back part-time until you’re ready to return full-time again.
Before making any decisions about how long or short this period should be, make sure that these plans are acceptable within the structure of both companies: yours and theirs (if applicable).
As far as other projects go, consider what needs to be done during those initial weeks after giving birth. Will any deadlines be affected? Do they need special attention at this point?
How do they fit into this new life stage? What kind of schedule would allow them all to coexist peacefully?
These are questions worth asking yourself before making any commitments one way or another because once that baby arrives on Earth there won’t be much time left over for planning anything else!
Stay Flexible In The Face Of Inevitable Changes
As a freelancer, you need to be flexible and adaptable. Your clients will be juggling their own lives, so they’ll likely ask you to do something different from what was agreed upon or on the contract.
Sometimes this happens because of an emergency or other extenuating circumstance; sometimes it’s simply because they forgot about something and didn’t tell you ahead of time, either way, your client could ask for changes at any point in the process.
You should try to stay as flexible as possible in both how much time you take between assignments and how many hours per week/per day you work on an assignment.
As long as it fits into your schedule (or if there are still gaps), don’t be afraid to say “yes” when a new project comes along!
Also keep in mind that some things can always change: if one assignment gets canceled at the last minute but another comes up right after, take advantage of those unexpected moments by doing whatever makes sense for yourself right now!
Don’t Forget About The Importance Of Exercise And Nutrition
You might be too busy to work out when you’re on maternity leave, but it’s important to remember that exercise and nutrition are key to a healthy pregnancy.
Staying in shape will help reduce fatigue and stress, which can have negative impacts on both you and your baby. If you don’t already have good habits in place, now is the time to start!
Exercise during pregnancy
There are many reasons why exercising during pregnancy is so beneficial. Here are some of the most notable benefits:
Helps prevent gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy).
Helps keep your blood pressure within normal limits by decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline; all three tend to rise throughout pregnancy because they’re needed for various processes in both mother and fetus’ bodies.
This can cause complications if left untreated such as preeclampsia or eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure), preterm labor, or miscarriage.
Exercise also helps relieve back pain caused by increased body weight during this period along with muscle aches from carrying extra weight around every day – all these things put together can make even simple movements painful while pregnant!
Have A Back-Up Plan For What Happens If Your Baby Is Sick Or There’s An Emergency
Have a backup plan for what happens if your baby is sick or there’s an emergency. If you don’t have anyone to watch your child, it’s best to stick with writing jobs that don’t require being home all day.
But even if you do have someone on hand, this can be tricky: You might have to work around nap time or other drop-off/pick-up schedules.
In those cases, try searching for work that needs only two hours of your day instead of three and make sure it pays well enough for the amount of time required.
Dress For Success
Don’t just dress for the job you have now dress for the one you want to have next week. Dressing for success is about projecting an image of a person who will be successful, and that means looking like someone who performs well at work.
You might feel self-conscious about dressing up while on maternity leave, but remember that dressing up doesn’t mean wearing suits or heels:
It’s more about making sure your clothes are pressed and clean, and that they fit properly with an appropriate amount of tailoring (nothing sloppy or ill-fitting).
You’ve got a lot going on right now as a new mom; don’t worry about hitting all the fashion trends when you’re shopping for new outfits. Just make sure everything fits well and looks professional enough to meet with clients at reasonable hours.
Set Up A Home Office If Possible
It’s all about your mindset. If you don’t have a dedicated space and/or time, create one. You’re working remotely, so you can work from anywhere! Create a workspace that makes sense for your needs.
For example, if you like to listen to audiobooks while writing but also need silence sometimes, consider putting up some foam panels against the walls of your home office or partitioning off an area with curtains or blinds (and maybe even a door).
If noise isn’t an issue for you, consider getting rid of anything that might be distracting: TVs and gaming systems should go elsewhere you want to focus on writing now!
If it helps, think about how much time and energy is worth investing into this project and make sure it’s worth it before starting any project at all (e.g., I couldn’t justify buying $100 worth of foam panels when I could get away with using blankets instead).
Figure Out A Routine That Works For You And Stick To It As Much As Possible
There are days, of course, when all you want to do is a lounge on the couch and read. But if you’re going to keep working as a freelance writer while taking maternity leave from your day job, you need a routine that will help you stay focused and productive.
Routines are especially important for freelancers since we have so many more opportunities for distraction than our office-bound counterparts.
Now that I work from home full time (and also have two kids), my family life has become much busier than it used to be and that means it’s easy for me to get distracted by kids’ needs or household chores.
If I don’t stick to a daily schedule of writing tasks, there are too many other things competing for my attention!
Be Available, But Don’t Be At Everyone’s Beck And Call
Being a freelance writer is all about flexibility, but it’s important to know where the line is between being available and being at everyone’s beck and call.
You can’t be expected to answer emails or phone calls at all hours of the day or night, so it’s best to set your availability times ahead of time.
If you’re working on a project for a client, say you’re available from 9-5 pm GMT (and don’t get into details like “I’ll be checking my email every few minutes from my phone so don’t hesitate to contact me if something comes up.”)
Some clients will want access whenever they want it, which is fine but other clients might not need that level of contact.
As long as you’re in touch with them before starting work together and make sure that both parties are clear about how much communication should take place during each project (or month), then everything should run smoothly!
Stay In Touch With Colleagues And Clients Who Can Help You Get Back Into The Swing Of Things Once You Start Working Again Full Time
Maternity leave can be a great time to recharge your batteries, but it’s also a chance for you to get back into the swing of things.
Having a freelance career allows you to work from home and set your schedule, which is awesome when you’re working part-time or taking care of an infant.
Once he or she starts sleeping through the night, though, you may find yourself anxious about returning to work full-time again.
If this describes your situation (or will soon), here are some ways that other moms have found success in making sure they don’t fall behind on their workload:
Stay in touch with colleagues and clients who can help you get back into the swing of things once you start working again full time.
Have a list of people who are willing and able to provide professional references if necessary; these might include former bosses or colleagues who have worked with both parents at different points during their careers (elders at church or synagogue often make good candidates).
It’s also helpful to keep contact information handy for family members who live nearby so that they can help out if needed during busy times like holidays or even just regular weekends when everyone else has plans but mom doesn’t want her daughter watching TV all day long!
You Will Never Completely Unplug, But You Need To Find Ways To Disconnect When You Can
You will never completely unplug, but you need to find ways to disconnect when you can so that you don’t burn out or neglect other important aspects of your life like family, friends, and self-care.
If you are working from home, it can be easy to let work creep into every corner of your day and that is not healthy.
You may find yourself in the middle of a phone call with clients while making dinner or folding laundry while talking on the phone with someone who just needs a quick answer.
Here are some tips for keeping yourself sane while freelancing:
Schedule daily blocks of time where you won’t be able to access email or Slack even if it’s only for 30 minutes at lunchtime (serious bonus points if this is during the day).
This way there won’t be any chance of getting distracted by non-urgent messages when they come through at all hours of the day and night!
Take Advantage Of The Freedom That Freelancing Provides By Doing Work In Different Work Spaces Or Locations Whenever Possible. This Will Help Prevent Burnout And Keep Things Interesting
As a freelancer, you are not tied to one location and that can be good for your productivity. You can take advantage of this freedom by working in different workspaces or locations whenever possible. This will help prevent burnout and keep things interesting.
Working in a coffee shop: Grabbing a cup of coffee before getting down to work can be helpful if you want to feel energized after sleeping all night (or whatever).
It’s also fun because there are always other people around! If you prefer working at home, consider renting an office space instead.
Working at the library: Libraries are quiet places where people go to study and read books making them perfect for getting some work done without being distracted by social media or other distractions like phone calls/text messages etcetera… …
I hope this guide can help you find some confidence as you take your first steps into freelancing. I know that being on maternity leave can be a confusing time for working moms, and this industry is still very new territory for many of us.
But luckily, we’re moving toward a future where women are not only accepted but also celebrated in the workplace.
It may be tough right now, but if you stick with it and keep learning every step of the way, then I promise that one day you’ll look back at all your struggles with pride AND gratitude!
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.