How To Stay Creative While Freelancing During Maternity Leave

Freelancing is hard. Freelancing while pregnant is hard. Freelancing while on maternity leave when you have a new-born baby to take care of is even harder than that. This can be especially difficult for those who freelance in creative roles. 

Many creatives thrive off a constant flow of ideas and need creativity to fuel their workday, so finding time to be creative can be challenging when you’re busy with a newborn baby and all the other things that come with being on maternity leave. 

But staying creative while freelancing during maternity leave is possible! Here are some tips I’ve found helpful over my years as both a freelancer and mother:

Read One Book A Month

When you’re feeling tired and unmotivated, it can be hard to read a book. But I highly recommend making time for this one activity every month during maternity leave (and beyond). 

And not just any kind of book: make sure to pick books that are related to your business, whether it is a how-to guide or something else that can help you with your freelancing activities.

But also try reading non-work-related books as well! Read something fun and entertaining that doesn’t even have anything to do with your work at all. 

There was a time when I didn’t read any fiction because I was so busy working on my projects! 

It’s so important to take some time off from everything once in a while just for yourself whether it’s watching Netflix or reading an entire novel without stopping once along the way.

Get Fresh Air

Being a freelancer can be tough, especially when you’re on maternity leave. But if you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, getting out of the house can help.

Fresh air is important to your physical and mental health and it’ll also give you some space and perspective to gain new ideas. 

So go for walks around the neighborhood (or even just outside your office), take up gardening, go for runs outdoors, or find other ways in which spending time in nature will refresh your mind and body.

You may also want to consider getting some exercise every day even if it’s just taking the stairs instead of an elevator at work! 

The more physically active you are during pregnancy and after giving birth, the better off both parties will be: A recent study found that women who exercised regularly gave birth faster than those who didn’t work out regularly during pregnancy


Doodle is a great way to get your mind thinking, off things, and focused. It’s also a great way to relax and be creative. Doodle for fun or inspiration, especially when you need it most!

I doodle whenever I can, even if it’s just on a napkin during lunch at work (although I try not to because my coworkers probably think I am eating crayons). 

Sometimes I use my fingers or pencils but mostly I just use my phone with the drawing app it’s easy and doesn’t require any experience!

You can doodle while sitting at home in your pajamas or on your commute to work; either way makes no difference.

Because there are no rules here except that once you start doodling nothing else matters except finding that perfect combination of shapes, colors, and lines so that whatever is inside of you (which may have been trapped due to stress) comes out onto paper.

Try A New Recipe

You might be surprised at how much you can learn from trying a new recipe. Experiment with different ingredients and cooking techniques. Maybe try something more unusual or fancy, like a dish you’d only order at a restaurant. 

Or maybe it’s time to get your family involved in cooking! Involve everyone in the kitchen when you’re making something together even if they don’t have any specific skills, it’ll be fun for everyone involved.

This is also the perfect time to experiment with some of those TV chef recipes (or anything else) since you won’t have any deadlines looming over your head and can enjoy things in whatever way works best for your schedule. 

And if nothing else, try making one of those recipes from memory it’ll help keep all those years spent watching Food Network fresh in your mind!

Ask For Advice

If you’re feeling stuck, ask for advice. Several people in your life can help get you back on track. Ask them what they think about your work and how they would approach the creative problem at hand. 

You might be surprised by how helpful their insights are! The following list provides some ideas to get you started:

Your friends and family members may know the best way to solve a problem, but keep in mind that most likely none of them have experience as freelancers (or even full-time employees). So don’t be afraid to ignore or reject their advice if it doesn’t feel right for your situation.

Ask other freelancers who do similar work as yours; they probably have tons of tricks up their sleeves that will help make things easier on yourself while working from home with a baby around too!

Join A Co-Working Space With Childcare

Co-working spaces are great for freelancers because they provide the community of other freelancers and the amenities (like coffee, tea, and snacks) that you need to get through the day. 

They also offer some of the most affordable office space around you can rent multiple desks at one location for much cheaper than if you were to rent an entire office on your own. 

And many of them offer free classes on how to set up your blog or website or how to start freelance writing in general, which is helpful if this is all new territory for you!

Find out what kind of childcare options there are near your home/work location. If possible, try negotiating with your spouse so they can meet their needs while meeting yours as well: 

Maybe one parent watches the kids during lunch hour every day while working from home (this works particularly well if there’s an enclosed porch area off their bedroom). 

Or maybe both parents work from home on Tuesdays so each has time off during the week? Whatever works best for everyone involved should be considered here – do whatever makes sense given everyone’s schedules!

Get Dressed

While this seems like an obvious point, it’s important to get dressed in clothes that make you feel good. You’re a busy mom and you don’t have time for self-loathing or for dressing in an outfit that makes you feel ugly. 

You also need to wear comfortable clothes; there is no reason why maternity leave has to mean wearing a pair of Hush Puppies with an oversized sweater from the ’90s you deserve better than that!

Keep your wardrobe appropriate for the season and weather. Whether it’s summer or winter (or anything in between), try not to wear clothing that doesn’t match the current temperature outside it can lead to sweating when there is no reason for it!

Finally, keep your wardrobe appropriate for whatever occasion may come up during the day if there aren’t any planned activities on your calendar, then don’t worry about dressing up too much!

Listen To A Podcast

Podcasts are a great way to stay informed and entertained. They can also be an excellent source of inspiration, as you’ll likely hear other people’s ideas that challenge your thinking. 

For example, if you’re working on a blog post about how to make vegan meals more exciting for kids, there may be a podcast episode that talks about making vegan food fun for picky eaters or feeding kids who are allergic to certain foods.

If you like listening while driving (and who doesn’t?), then podcasts are perfect for this type of activity because they don’t require constant attention and allow your mind the freedom it needs during long drives. 

Podcasts have been shown to help reduce stress levels by 30 percent!

Take Breaks From Social Media

As a freelancer, you’re already dealing with the anxiety of feeling like you’re not working enough. But when in-between projects, social media can make things even worse. 

You feel bad about not having anything to show for yourself, and then feel guilty for feeling bad about it because everyone else seems to be so productive on Instagram. Don’t worry! Taking breaks from social media is healthy and here are some tips on how to do it:

Take a break from social media: This is something that I struggled with when I had my first child. I couldn’t imagine just unplugging and doing nothing but sit there and stare at my phone. 

While my baby slept peacefully nearby (although maybe some people would want me after spending all day looking at phones). 

But here’s the thing: It’s okay if you take breaks! Your friends aren’t going anywhere; they know you’re taking care of your family as well as running your business. 

And if someone doesn’t understand why this matters so much to you then maybe that person isn’t worth your time anyway?

Set An Alarm To Have A Bath Or Do Some Yoga Mid-Day

Take A Mid-Day Bath

This is a great way to relax, de-stress, and feel refreshed. You can use an essential oil like lavender or jasmine to help calm you down. 

Also, try adding any of these other bath products: Epsom salts; bath bombs (which are fizzy balloons); bath salts; candles (for lighting); bath oils; body wash/shampoo/conditioner combo sets (so you don’t have to make a separate trip upstairs).

Do Some Yoga

Yoga is also amazing at calming your mind and body so that you can be more productive throughout the day. It will also help keep your back pain at bay!

Go For Walks During The Day And Evening With The Baby

One of the best ways to stay sane and focused is to get outside. And there’s no better time than when you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby.

When you go for walks with your little one, it promotes bonding and helps them develop their motor skills. It also gives them time to be socialized with other people and animals (if you meet any on your walk). 

You might even find that taking a stroll around the block is an effective way for both of you to relax in between feedings!

Attend A Meet-Up/Workshop/Class In Your Local Area

Attending a workshop or class in your local area is the best way to stay creative while you’re on maternity leave. 

Not only will you get out of the house and do something new, but you’ll also have an opportunity to learn something from other people in the same boat as yourself. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! 

There are tons of meet-ups for freelancers all over the world that can help you learn a new skill or meet people who share your interests (or both).

The most important thing is to try different things so that when it comes time for your maternity leave, it doesn’t seem like such a waste of time! 

Just because there aren’t any clients coming into work doesn’t mean we should stop working altogether – especially if we’re going through this period by choice rather than necessity.

Review Your Processes Regularly And Question How Things Can Be Done

A regular review of your processes will help you stay on top of things while you’re off work. Look at how the process works and ask yourself if it’s working for you. If not, think about what can be done to improve it.

For example: Is the process working? What are the steps? How can they be improved? What is the outcome? How can we measure the outcome? How can I improve this process in a way that works better with my schedule now that I’m going back to work full time?

Don’t Feel Guilty About Being Creative When You’re At Home

You can still be creative even when you’re at home during maternity leave. Or maybe you’re not at home! 

Maybe your partner is working and you’ve decided to stay with your child for a few months. There are so many ways to be creative when it comes to childcare. Here’s an example of what I do:

  • Cooking
  • Sewing
  • Playing music (keyboard, guitar, etc.)
  • Painting

There’s no reason why being creative at home or while caring for children should feel like a guilty pleasure; if anything, it should make you feel proud that you’re taking care of yourself while also taking care of others.

Journal & Brain Dump For 20 Minutes Each Morning

Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. The act of writing down what’s on your mind helps you get in touch with how you feel, which in turn can help you get in touch with your creativity and goals.

To do this exercise, all you need to do is grab some paper and a pen or pencil set them aside for 20 minutes each morning before starting work, then write whatever comes into your head during that time frame. 

You don’t need to worry about spelling or grammar just doodle if you want! This process allows us to tap into our creativity without having any expectations from ourselves.


I hope you’ve found this post helpful in terms of how to stay creative whilst freelancing during maternity leave. It’s tough, but it is possible! 

I love the variety that freelance work brings and the bonus of being able to spend those precious early months with my babies. Hopefully, I can help some other mums out there who are looking to follow a similar path 🙂

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