Practical Work-Life Balance Advice for the Female Freelancer
Editor’s Note: As you know, we do like to mix things up once in a while. Undoubtedy, a large percentage of our readers are women. Chances are, quite a few of you are running a small freelancing business out of your home. This is for you, or for anyone who knows and loves one of you!
Have It All: Work-Life Balance Advice for the Female Freelancer
We all want to have it all and women have more to want now than ever. With the gender gap closing in many industries, women have a vast range of opportunities to earn a decent income doing what they love in the world of creative freelancing, whether it is as a designer, content writer, journalist, or photographer. But this new world often leaves us wondering how we can, in fact, have it all, without completely giving up our personal freedom. This is especially true for women freelancers, who may be struggling between independence and motherhood. If you are wondering how you can make it happen, take heart knowing there are ways to successfully manage a business and a family.
As with all endeavors, being a freelancer means you have to compromise in other parts of your life, as you are often at the whim of clients. This may mean missing out on your children’s dance recitals, having consistent working lunches just to squeeze out what little time you have each day, or saying ‘yes’ when you really should be saying ‘no.’ Learn to focus on what’s important to you and don’t neglect what matters the most in order to make the secondary dreams a reality.
When it comes to personal sacrifices, do what you can to make up for what you’ve missed. For example, ask your spouse or another parent to record the recital you’re missing, and get a play-by-play from your child the moment you arrive home. Have an honest conversation with them about why you weren’t able to attend – sometimes just letting your child know how much you wish you could’ve been there can ease some of the pain of your absence. If you can make it up to them with a Saturday at the park, do so. But make sure you don’t make any promises you’re not certain you can keep.
It’s very easy to feel like you are failing when you can’t devote 100 percent of yourself to every single aspect of your life. Television, social media, and even your friends might make it seem as though you are less of a woman if you are not thriving as a mom, wife, freelancer, and social butterfly. If you want to be truly successful, forget about trying to live up to everyone else’s standards. After all, public image is only half the story.
Remember: as a female freelancer and pilot of your own career, you’re already shattering stereotypes and paving the way for others. Feel proud of all that you’ve already accomplished, and the success that’s yet to come.
The most important thing you need to hear as a working woman is this. Take care of yourself or you won’t be able to take care of everything else. Working moms often neglect themselves, since it’s the only thing they can change without someone complaining. Set aside a few minutes each day to do something just for you. It can lower your risk for depression and anxiety as well as put you at ease. And remember, work is meant for work, so make sure your home is a stress-free oasis.
As a freelancer, your home is your workplace. But that doesn’t mean your entire home has to be your place of business. Designate a room, such as an office, where all your freelance-related work takes place. Avoid letting it carry over into other areas of your home such as the living room or bedroom. While it is tempting to lock yourself away all day to get as much done as possible, take some time for yourself. Meditate, exercise, read a book, pain your nails, or soak in a hot bath before going to bed. You need to fuel your soul, or your tank will run dry and you will lose your passion for everything.
Don’t lose sight of general self-care, either. Make sure you’re eating healthy (and regularly – the time you earn from skipping a meal is never worth the energy you lose). Also ensure that you stay active and get enough sleep each night. Cutting corners with maintaining your well-being will catch up with you eventually. You never know the kind of negative impact that could have on both family and work. Take care, truly.
Sometimes working moms are made to feel guilty for not choosing to solely be a stay-at-home mom. Even with the times rapidly changing, many people have trouble separating old-fashioned ideas from present-day realities. And they aren’t afraid to let you know their opinions.
Keep in mind that every mother has a different parenting style and that, in the end, you will be the ultimate judge of what’s best for your family. Work for the right reasons, whether it is to pursue a passion, chase a dream, or set an example for your children about pay off from hard work. Don’t pay any mind to the negativity of others; you’ll prove them wrong in the end.
Don’t believe the nay sayers – you can have it all as a female business owner! Be willing to make a few sacrifices in the beginning. Set your own standards of success. Make self-care a priority. Free yourself of guilt and societal pressures. And be strategic as your company grows. Find the work-life balance that works for you, and both your family and business can prosper.
Do you have any additional advice you’d like to share with female freelancers? Please leave your comment, below.
Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_kjekol‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
Lindsey Weiss is the co-creator of Outbounding, which connects your organization with the publishers and webmasters who care about your vertical.
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