Those of you who’ve followed me for a while now will know my main motivation for going freelance was to have flexibility around spending time with my daughter, especially on the school holidays.
My first two years in business were a slow build work wise. August was generally a quiet month, so taking lots of time off then wasn’t an issue. This year however I’m proud to say things have really taken off for my business.
I always wanted illustration to be part of my offering and in the last 6 months this dream has really come to life, with three exciting illustration projects over this summer alone. So this year the school holidays have definitely been a test for how freelancing can be juggled with home life.
How it went
We had two weeks away in the sun at the beginning of the holidays which was great, I just gave all my clients plenty of notice and was upfront when taking on any new projects. I did find it took me a few days to de stress and stop thinking about work at the beginning and then the last few days work crept back into my thoughts, but I guess the benefit of having a two week holiday, is that I did get a good break in between.
That left us with four weeks of school holiday to juggle work and home life. My daughter went to a holiday club two days a week with her cousin and she had a blast, so no guilt for me there. And this gave me two full days to focus on client work. On the other days her Grandma was a massive help having her for a couple of hours each morning, then my hubby who also works for himself generally got home around 4pm so I could get a few hours in then too. That left me with afternoons to enjoy things like picnics in the park and playdates with her school friends.
It’s been absolutely brilliant feeling like I’ve had time each day to enjoy with my daughter, but of course it wasn’t all plain sailing. I did end up working a lot of evenings until very late and fitting in a few hours on the weekend which I would normally do my best to avoid.
The other negatives have been by the last couple of weeks my house literally looked like we’d been burgled - I can’t stand mess but had to accept that I’m not superwoman! Also you might have noticed posting anything on my social media went completely out the window. But I just had to prioritise and know that it wasn’t going to be for long. I’m gradually starting to catch up on the house work and I’ve now got a few case studies in progress, plus of course this blog post!
My Take Aways
So I can definitely say freelancing has worked for me on these school holidays. My advice for keeping your sanity during the juggling act is to try and fit pockets of time in for yourself.
I’ve massively got back into reading this year and I find it so relaxing. I typically read a book a week, fitting it in when I would have been wasting time scrolling on social media or during snuggle time on the couch when my daughters watching Shaun the Sheep for the millionth time!
I also try and go for a run 2-3 times a week, although it can be difficult to fit in. My only available time has been at 6am before my hubby goes to work, which can be a bit of a struggle to get out of bed. But I honestly feel much less stressed on the days when I do, so it’s totally worth it!
So to anyone who's found or is still finding life a bit of a juggling act, you deserve a massive pat on the back (and a large glass of wine!) - you got this!