In about six weeks my little family of three is going to become a family of four. I can’t wait to welcome this new little bundle and I plan to use the next few weeks to wrap up some work projects and prepare for what I’m calling the self-employed version of maternity leave.
This little miracle warrants my full attention, as will my little guy who will be facing an adjustment period of his own as he learns to share mommy’s time. But, building and maintaining a client list requires attention as well and isn’t something I can just put on autopilot for the summer. So, I plan to focus on slowing down versus stopping. Here is my approach:
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: I’ve already let me key clients know that I am planning to take off some time in June and July and will be ready to submit stories to them again in August. Knowing I am back on editorial calendars for the fall has helped ease my mind and makes sure we’re all on the same page.
Be Flexible: As a full-time freelancer, my career is built on meeting my clients’ needs when they arise. Great opportunities are hard to pass up, and I have several steady clients that I plan to remain available to for last-minute projects and story edits during the summer. The biggest benefit of steady clients (for both of us) is that I know their style and I understand their needs. That will allow me to better plan my time and ensure I can meet their needs while still focusing on my growing family.
Save Up: Freelancing means I will have to fund my own maternity leave. Luckily I was able to take on a few extra projects early in the year, and I married a CPA who does an excellent job of setting our family budget and ensuring we stick to it. I was also able to take on some extra projects earlier in the year, which will help with the budgeting.
Call for Backup: I’ve called in reinforcements for the summer (thank you, mom) to help me get settled in my new routine and allow me to tackle work projects.
I think a little advanced planning and preparation are going to go a long way in easing the transition as I become a mama of two. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot as I go—I always do.