Being a stay-at-home mom who also wants to work on her professional development definitely isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. Trust me, there were times when I thought that I wouldn’t last another week – swamped with work and exhausted by sleepless nights, I was on the verge of giving up my career in interior design. However, my desire to achieve my professional aspirations while simultaneously being with my children every step of the way prevailed, and I tackled the challenge in front of me more determined than ever. So, here I am, trying to help other strong-minded moms learn from my mistakes and persevere.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I started working as a freelance interior designer was not starting early enough. Although I made some connections before I had my little one, I should have started preparing much earlier. Taking up freelance projects before even thinking of having a baby will make your life so much easier. Not only will you start increasing your savings, but you’ll also build up business relationships with possible employers. Who knows when it might come in handy, but it certainly will.
Build up your savings
When I decided to become a self-employed freelancer, I knew that it’s high time I tightened my belt. Starting out as a freelancer means that, for a while, you won’t be living in the lap of luxury unless you’ve already started putting money aside. Eventually, you’ll build up your reputation, gain regular clients and have a steady income. However, until then, you should turn to a budget-friendly lifestyle and steer clear of shopping sprees.
Organise your time
With your kid screaming, crying, eating or pooping all the time, your life will be chaotic. The sooner you accept that, the easier it will be. Nonetheless, you can still organise your time so that you can handle the chaos more efficiently. You can try making a schedule, but I didn’t have much luck with it. It seemed as if my kid had done everything in his power to undermine it. Well, after losing several battles, I won the war – I’ve learnt how to be organised and use every minute wisely despite the chaos. I’ve learnt how to get into my working mood easily even when I’m interrupted, or how to stay motivated even when I’m exhausted. You should try making a to-do list and ticking off items one by one. It will keep you on track, and you’ll focus on one thing at a time.
Research your options
My love for interior design has always driven me to succeed in the field, so when I decided to become a freelancer, my career choice was quite obvious. However, if you still don’t know what you would like to do, start be researching your options. You’ll find out soon enough that there’s a variety of possibilities for freelance moms, including writing, photography, teaching, designing, web and software development, accounting, and many others. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to even find your passion along the way, and then you’ll have an opportunity to do something you love.
Get additional training
Once you’ve decided to work in a specific field, you should assess your skills and competencies necessary for the job. Even if you don’t possess all the necessary skills, you can easily acquire them. Before I went to a design school, my love for interior design had been exactly that – love. I didn’t have any specific knowledge in the field – it was my passion, and I did have an eye for detail, but that was it. So, I had decided to go to a design school to expand my knowledge and acquire the necessary skills. And I’m so happy I did because my freelancing job has become much easier from the moment I signed up for the design courses.
Balancing your job and your private life at home is quite challenging, especially in the beginning. However, once you’ve overcome the first major obstacle, the rest of them will be nothing more than a piece of cake.