Being a freelance copywriter and stay at home mom feels like a tightrope act most of the time. I feel like I’m always walking a fine line between success and disaster. However, I also know that pretty much every mom-identifying human is WAY too hard on themselves… and rarely recognizes just how well they’re actually doing.
I’m gonna talk about 4 tips for stay-at-home parents who are also running their own business from home. These strategies help me be an attentive mom, manage (and build) my freelance career… and keep me from going insane (most of the time).
Let’s do this!
Implementing Deep Work
The term “Deep Work” is a concept introduced to me by YouTuber, Rowena Tsai (who I talk about CONSTANTLY on my blog lol). Rowena created a video discussing the topic after reading Cal Newport’s book: Deep Work.
Deep Work is when you set aside a specific amount of distraction-free time, and it’s meant to help you tackle the really important projects each day- ESPECIALLY creative tasks.
Learning how to master “deep work” is tough, but I strongly recommend checking out Rowena’s YouTube video. She gives a ton of actionable advice to help you get started.
I’ve incorporated deep work into my routine by devoting the 1.5-3 hours in the afternoon that Jake (my almost 2-year-old), naps. This is my most critical time for work each day, and I protect it fiercely.
I eliminate any distractions I can think of prior to sitting down to work:
- I’ll fetch any drinks/snacks I may want so I’m not tempted to get up and grab one
- I tidy up the house so I’m not distracted by clutter
- And I turn on music or documentaries in the background
You’d be amazed at just how much you can accomplish in a few hours… and as a FT mom, I’ve learned how to make the most out of this time. My work day is usually about 4-6 hours on average, leaving me more time to give Jake the attention he needs.
Sometimes I’ll also practice some deep work in the evening after he goes to bed. I tend to get a second-wind in the evening (I’ve always been a night person), so this is helpful if I have a day where my day is too busy with non-work related things.
I wouldn’t be able to do anything without a way to keep track of my tasks. Even before I started my business I was a “list person”, but once I started tackling client work, it became a fine art for me. I’m a productivity junky, and I love using apps to help me stay on track.
Some people prefer a journal and pens (which rocks, do whatever works best for you), but I’m a digital girl in a digital world. I’m writing this blog post from my phone right now because Jake was a little extra cranky, and wanted me to sit with him on the couch instead of at my desk lol.
Creating to-do lists is critical for me, and it helps alleviate so much stress and anxiety when I know how my week will pan out. I don’t risk forgetting anything because it’s all written down, and that’s a priceless gift. Here are my favorite productivity/organization apps(and they’re all free):
- Notion (this is the hub of my business, Notion is always open on my desktop)
- Milanote (super fun and visual, it’s like Notion and Trello had a baby- but even better)
- Trello (GREAT for anyone new to digital productivity apps)
- Asana (I use Asana for organizing BIG projects, I usually list out all of the elements of the project so that I keep track of everything)
- Google Calendar (helps me track deadlines that are further out than a few days/week)
I use all of these apps concurrently and for different things… you don’t have to go as crazy as I do, but I STRONGLY advise devising your own task-management strategy.
(here’s a more in depth blog post about my favorite productivity apps)
This is the most important thing you can learn to do as a stay at home mom/parent. We have to accept that, no matter how much we plan and hope… days won’t always go the way we want. Honestly, most days will be a juggling act lol.
But that’s OKAY, guys (says Kenz as her 2-year-old son is literally frog-jumping on-top of her because he’s just learned how fun jumping on the couch is).
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and like we’re not doing “enough”… but everything is going to be okay. You’re a beast who always finds a way… and your clients and your kid(s) love what you bring to the table.
Remember Why You’re Doing This
The reason you started your freelance business as a stay at home mom was to spend time with your little one. You wanted to be there for the milestones, and be their cuddle monster when they needed a hug. Whenever you’re feeling frustrated with yourself… just stop and give them a hug.
It’s easy to focus on everything that must be done, as well as feel guilty for things we wish we did differently… but it’s important to try and be present in the moment as much as we can.
Last But Not Least
DON’T FEEL GUILTY for feeling frustrated. Just because we’re doing what we love doesn’t mean it isn’t hard… and feeling overwhelmed or frustrated doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful. No matter what your life looks like as a stay at home mom, we all face challenges.
Be gentle with yourself. All of this is HARD.
It’s beautiful, wonderful, fulfilling… but HARD… and that’s what makes it all so worth it, right?
We’re all in this together, and you’re doing a GREAT JOB!
Comment below with your own tips and strategies for being a full-time parent and small business owner! I’d love to hear about your experiences. 🙂
See ya next week!