I was an executive, a manager, with more than 50 staff under my command. Then… I left that to become a freelancer. And I am a top rated freelancer, specialising in writing, career consultation and recruitment. Then… I upgrade to become a WFHM (work from home mom).
As with any other transition, there are challenges and hurdles to overcome, sometimes with help from others but many times on my own. It can be a scary jump from someone who is ambitious, treasures her freedom and loves life to a child binding role that succumbs to daily piles of wet diapers and dirty milk bottles. One thing I refused is to let motherhood define me, I should be the one who defines my own mommyhood (hmm.. maybe I should open a new blog about it.. whatcha think?).
I may be ditching the travel-on-a-whim, butt-rocking party girl but I’m not leaving my freelancer status. Refusing to close the doors of freelancing means I need to carefully juggle both. And mind you, I’m doing it all alone without help from family since they are in another country and no way I’m hiring a nanny for my baby. Not that it is anything wrong to have hired help but if I’m spending money to hire my help, what’s the point of me earning from home?
So for the past months (except the first month) since the birth of the little one, I’ve been working hard as a freelancer and loving hard as a new mommy. Don’t mommy bash me, I did not skive off any precious time with my family to make sure I have my own identity. Here is how I manage to do it!
Set Existing Clients Expectations
Thank you for them and their patience. I have a steady stream of loyal clients who appreciate my work. That being said, I wouldn’t want to disappoint them with sloppy half done work and empty promises. So I came clean with them.
Like you reading MiddleMe, they joined me in my pregnancy journey and congratulate on my birth. I set timeline and expectations with each of them. I updated them what’s going on with me and my health status. I am reachable via my work SkypeI and I am honest with them every step of the way. They know as much as they love my work, they shouldn’t wait for me if they couldn’t and I wouldn’t be sore if they couldn’t because, in business, nothing is personal.
Take on lesser workload
In order to spend time with the little one, I opt to take on a lesser workload. I don’t want to work like a madman or keep the hours I have been working before birth. My time and focus should be on her, teaching her, guiding her and making her happy. Yes, I still cringe within when I have to turn down a cushy job because it takes up too much of my time and will eat into playtime with her but I know that is the compromise I have to make.
Delegate Delegate and Delegate
When I caught out and a task is too time-consuming to complete, I delegate accordingly. If a client needs an urgent task to be completed, I’ll have to delegate laundry folding to my husband. Or if I was busy the whole afternoon and didn’t have enough time to cook dinner, he will take over our daughter’s bath time (great daddy and daughter bonding time) while I prep something quickly. However, I always try my best not to do that. It is a special case by case basis.
Take on non desk-bound or time-based jobs
I can’t be locked down to my desk neither can I do telemarketing on Skype when my little one is crying, I need to go to her immediately. Taking a desk-bound task means I’ve to bring her into my study room and we don’t really want to be coop up in a small room when we should be out on the patio or taking a walk in the park. Time-based jobs are out as well since her routine is never constant and she is an active child.
So I take on tasks that do not need me to be tied to a laptop or a specific time. Tasks that I can fulfill on my iPhone or iPad, that I can quickly put it aside or in my pocket and attend to my baby when she needs me. Just like I am typing this sentence as I am singing and rocking her to sleep.
At the end of it all, remember to breathe. Remember you need to set aside some me time, all to yourself. Whether it is a quiet nap time in the afternoons or to curl up on the armchair with a good book, no matter it is a good two hours or a short twenty minutes, it will do you some good.
Do you have any tips for this new mommy? Please do be generous and share them right below! Looking forward to reading them.
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