I’m not usually one for ‘sorry I’ve not been blogging’ posts. But I’ve been quiet on the blog for a really nice reason this time (rather than my usual ‘life got busy and I let it slide’ one.)

Peter and I are excitedly expecting a baby, in July. As Lego is an ongoing theme in our relationship (my mother-in-law made us a Lego cake for our wedding, and I made Pete a Lego board game for our 1st anniversary), we told our families by giving them these customised Lego figures from Minifigs.me.

legofigures

While I haven’t been hit too badly on the morning sickness side of things (thankfully ‘only’ constant nausea for me), I have been completely exhausted. Someone told me that the first trimester of pregnancy is like a heavy hangover and PMT all at once, and that’s very accurate. Still, in the grand scheme of things, it’s the best reason to be feeling crappy.

So blogging has taken a backseat. Actually, most things have taken a backseat. I’ve been feeling horrible guilt about not being productive, and feeling very lazy (even though I have been pretty busy, growing a baby and that). Thankfully Pete has been brilliant at looking after me and picking up the slack around the house. Plus all that time not working has lit a rocket under me when it comes to this blog and some ideas I have for 2015.

Freelancing and parenting

In truth, the idea of having a baby when I’m freelance is a little intimidating. I don’t have the luxury of maternity pay (although as a Limited Company, there is a way to get paid maternity pay) and it’s unlikely I’ll be able to take more than a few months off work. On top of that is the ‘what if I lose all my clients while I’m off’ fear. But as I learn more about how to navigate all of this, I’m hoping to share any helpful information on this blog to help others too. Plus, freelancing (in theory) should make it easier for me to get back into work, as I can take on enough to balance income and looking after my little one.

I’m thinking about doing a small monthly post about freelance pregnancy/maternity leave and beyond. What do you think – is that something you’d like to read about?

Have you gone through pregnancy and having a newborn as a freelancer? How did you cope? Share your tips with us in the comments below!

22 Comments on A little Freelance Lifestyle announcement

  1. Congrats I guessed this might’ve been the reason! You’ll be fine juggling a baby and freelance career. It’s when baby number 2 comes along that it really starts to get tricky.
    My advice would be to try and establish a routine, so you know when you can work etc xxx

    • Thanks (I am the world’s WORST secret keeper, and I hate lying, so it’s been a huge relief to reveal all). Did you manage to get into a routine fairly quickly?

  2. Congratulations Emma! Fantastic news. I myself have had the maternity leave fear as freelance but now little man’s here I couldn’t imagine any other way of working so I’m able to be at home. I may have not technically taken a year off but I stayed in touch with vital people & dabbled when needed. Only challenge I have now throwing myself back in is no childcare to go out for meetings! Would change the lifestyle for the world though & would love to read anything you wrote about it x

    • Thanks Kerri! Seeing how engaged you are online (especially your Facebook page, which I LOVE), has definitely been an inspiration for me.

  3. Congratulations! And I’m looking forward to future posts as you navigate this tricky but awesome journey! I had my first while still employed & quit to go freelance after 6 months back at work as my employer made it nearly impossible to see my son and it was having such a bad effect on him. I’m now a year into running my own ‘business’ and I’m constantly getting the ‘when are you having baby number 2’ question fired at me! The concept genuinely puts the fear of god in me as I have NO idea how I could possibly manage another one on top of working, and giving my son the time he needs with me. So I’m genuinely fascinated with how others manage to make it work! Congrats again and good luck! 😀 x

    • Oh god, there’s so much pressure isn’t there? I guess with a second child, it’s all about timing e.g. having a second when the first is at nursery or school? I guess you’d have to be a master juggler! That said, one of my friends has two kids and has just launched her own business (doing something very cool – forest school), and she’s said that it’s easier somehow as the kids keep each other company more. I guess sometimes it’s a ‘throw yourself in and take it day by day’ situation 🙂

  4. Congratulations, Emma. I became pregnant with my oldest son (now 9) a year after I started freelancing and also have a younger son, who’s now 6. My advice is to be realistic about how much time you’ll have to do work and also to give yourself as much time off at the beginning as you can afford. I only took 10 weeks off for my oldest son and, for me, that wasn’t long enough. Be kind to yourself. Automate or outsource what you can (thank goodness for social media as it makes it easier to stay in touch with your customers). Ask for help when you need it. I’d agree that it’s if and when you have baby number 2 that life gets even more complicated, especially if you’re dealing with school runs or children with two completely different sleep habits. Whatever happens, you’ll deal with it though and, very much on the plus side, freelancing has given me the freedom to go to every school pick up, sports day, school performance, parents’ evening, etc. I would never have got that anywhere else. Good luck. x

    • That’s really interesting Emma, I’ve found lots of info about going freelance when you’re a parent, but less when you’re doing it the other way round, so this advice is really helpful. I’m hoping to have enough savings for three months off, perhaps more, then not to put myself under pressure to work more than 10 hours a week until 2016. I’m fortunate that my both of my sister-in-laws both work in a nursery and are keen to pitch in, and my mother-in-law works part time, so I’ll hopefully have help there, plus a really supportive husband and my parents and sister are really excited too.

  5. Congratulations, very happy for you! I for one would be very interested in reading about the freelance/having a baby cross over sort of things – whilst not on immediate horizon. For future I’d definitely be interested to read.

    • Thanks Jen! Yes, it feels like there’s lots of info out there about going freelance when you’re already a parent, but not a huge amount of info the other way round.

  6. Ooh, a post I feel qualified to contribute to having had two children whilst freelancing as a copywriter/editor/proofreader (plus, in the early days, translator). The main difference I guess is that I started my freelance business when I became pregnant with no. 1 (after leaving my full-time job for various reasons which I won’t bore you with here), so it was more a case of trying to build up a small biz that I felt I could sustain with a little one rather than trying to continue an established biz. It was 18 years ago – the boys are now 17 and 14 – so somewhat of a blurred memory now, but certain things do stick in my mind. Like having to breastfeed at a client meeting (poor chap was so uncomfortable that he left the room – I still got the work though!) and the fact that despite booking 2 days a week at nursery from 3 months so that I could focus on work, the work rarely coincided with those days. At least it meant I could do the supermarket shop etc in peace! But, as Emma H says, being a freelancer has meant that I was able to work around the boys, enabling me to attend every Harvest Festival, Carol Service, Sports’ Day and so on. I also picked up one of my best clients from a playground conversation! And it gets easier as they get older/need less supervision. Even easier once they reach senior school as the working day becomes longer, especially if they travel by school bus.

    So my advice… Go for it and enjoy. It’s tough juggling it all at times, but less so than it is for full-time employed mums. Wouldn’t change it for anything!!

    • That’s really reassuring, thanks Geraldine! I guess the benefit of working online largely, is that you can breastfeed while on a conference call without them knowing (unless they prefer video calls!)

  7. Massive congratulations, Emma!!

    I don’t have children (yet) but I’ve been on the receiving end of freelance work, outsourced by new mummies – so that may be one solution for you. I’m sure there are plenty of ways around it and it’s all going to work out fine.

    Looking forward to the updates!

    Melissa x

  8. Congratulations Emma, this is fab news!

    I don’t have children yet, but long-term, that’s one of the reasons I want to freelance, so that I can fit work around a family rather than the other way around. Looking forward to seeing how you get on 🙂

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