Six tips for navigating work-life balance as a freelancing mother

For many mums, becoming a freelancer is a great way to build their careers around their family responsibilities and children.

Whether through consultative work, creative services, admin or tech support or simply a money making sideline, there are plenty of ways women can contribute to the household income while still focusing on being mothers. 

However, as a freelancer, your salary is never guaranteed. So, there is a real danger that you might burn the candle at both ends trying to devote sufficient time to grow your business and meet the needs of your children and, possibly, partner.

For this reason, it is important to strike a good work/life balance. But how do you do that?

Here are six tips you should consider.

1) Work smart

Working hard is good. But working smart is better. And the best way to do this is to structure your workload towards increasing productivity and focusing on high-value activities.

Doing this will enhance your decision making, improve your time management and help you to achieve more in a shorter space of time. You will also, most likely, incur less stress and avoid burn out.

The key to increasing your productivity is to determine what your time is best spent doing. In this respect, a Brainiact business coach can be an excellent resource.

Their 1-on-1 personalised mentoring and business coaching service can help you drive tangible results, predominantly by identifying strategies to increase your profits and productivity and maximise your growth and output potential.

2) Outsource

As a freelancer you run your own business. But it doesn’t mean you have to do everything within it.

Instead, it is a good idea to determine how much time you spend on different aspects of your business and outsource what takes you too long to do, is not your forte, or is not an especially profitable use of your time.

For instance, if you find yourself spending hours on activities like accounting or writing blog posts that don’t generate revenue, consider outsourcing to other freelancers or companies that can do it more efficiently and effectively.

This doesn’t just apply to your professional work; it can also work for your domestic chores as well. So, if you are financially better off spending an hour doing something that will bring in more money than you will outlay on a cleaner, don’t be afraid to hire one.

3) Work on your time management 

As a working mum, one of the hardest things to do is manage your time effectively because there is always a distraction. The key is to minimise them.

If your children are at school between 8.30 am and 3 pm, these are golden times to work. So, make sure you get straight to it and avoid the temptation to scroll through social media or chat with friends on Messenger.

Instead, focus on completing your to-do list and, in particular, finishing the most important or profitable activities first. Consider using time management or tracking apps to help you keep abreast of what needs to be done.

4) Enjoy quality time with your family

It’s true that as a freelancer, you do not get paid if you don’t work. However, it is also worth noting that because you work for yourself, you are firmly in control of managing your work-life balance. Therefore, it is important not to neglect it.

Make sure you designate specific times of the week when you will not work but rather focus on spending quality time with your children and partner. You can even schedule these as ‘meetings’ in your diary to ensure you stick to this commitment.

During this time, try to do something that will give you a chance to recharge your batteries and have fun. Also, avoid the temptation to answer work-related phone calls unless it’s absolutely necessary.

5) Prioritise your health and self-care

As a mum, business owner, and possibly someone with a partner, you spend much of your time focusing your energies on others. However, it is important to look after yourself, too.

Self-care is a crucial component of striking the perfect work-life balance. So, it’s vital that you take some time to look after your mental and physical health.

Doing this can involve anything from exercising and socialising with friends to ensuring you get good sleep and enjoy hobbies.

All work and no play makes mummy a very tired individual – and when you are tired, you are in danger of succumbing to ill health.

Therefore, you should prioritise yourself because, as a freelancer, you can’t afford to be ill.

6) Find a community

Being a freelancer can be tough, especially as a working mother, which is why it is important to find a community of individuals in a similar position to you who can provide you with support.

There are plenty of communities that you can join. So, do some research on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google to find people within your hometown or industry to connect with.

They can prove to be an invaluable resource and source of motivation for those days when it all gets a bit too overwhelming.