Freelancing with a pre-schooler
A while ago, I wrote a blog post about my experience of growing a freelance copywriting business, holding down a part-time job, and raiding a 2 year old (read it here). Well, now my 2 year old is a 3 year old, and how thigs have changed! When you have children, things can change at lightning speed, and so when I read that last blog post back, I realised it needed updating. In just over a year, my daughter demands different things, can do much more for herself, and has a completely different schedule. In some ways, this makes things easier, and in some ways much, much harder.
Shortly after her third birthday, I was entitled to apply for 30 childcare hours. Those who have subscribed to this scheme will know that in reality, those hours are allocated during term-time, and to get childcare over the whole year, the hours are divided between 51 weeks. So instead of getting 3 free days, I get 2.
Around the same time, my family situation changed – my mum and auntie were no longer able to commit to taking care of her on a regular basis. So I really needed those 3 days at pre-school. I had no option but to pay for the additional day, but as my regular job is 3 days per week, that left me with no days to freelance…
Thankfully, my mother-in-law was able to step in, so I now have 1 day at home to freelance. And I really have to make that one day count. If I was asked for advice for freelancing with a pre-schooler, it would be this:
Get childcare established. By this point, it should be much easier in that you’ll pretty much know what your child needs with regards to childcare, and will hopefully have already got this sorted. Of course, if you have relatives on standby who can take your little dears for a day or 2, then this will save you a lot of cash, but bear in mind that they are doing this as a favour, and having their own lives can’t be taken advantage of. Get your 30 hours sorted out as early as possible so that you at least have something in place.
Create a work schedule. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t plan my workload. To me it’s absolutely essential and without it I’d get nothing done. I’m a great advocate for bullet journaling, but even a simple diary works. Plan plan plan!!
Spend time with your child. I know it’s a cliché, but they really do grow up so fast! Don’t miss out on the early years because you are too busy working. You will never get that time back.
And on that note – Spend time with yourself!! You’re now at the stage where your child’s routines are pretty well established, and they are a bit less needy and a bit more predictable. Take a bit of time out now and again, while she is watching her favourite film, or playing make believe, or when she’s gone to bed. Remember that you are more than just a mummy, you are a human being, and deserve to just have time to be yourself once in a while (thanks for my MIL for these words of wisdom!!).