Perfect Mix: Freelancing and Motherhood

I started freelancing by accident.

Two years after the surgery that removed a cyst and my left ovary along with it, my husband and I were ecstatic at the news of a baby coming into our lives. However, it’s not all peaches and roses and that infamous pregnancy glow. For me, the pregnancy was difficult. I was hospitalized the first month and had to spend the rest of my first trimester in bed. After years of being hands on with our coffee shop business back then, I was uncomfortable with the thought of not being able to do anything productive. So I signed up for a freelancing marketplace site.

Until now, almost three years later, I am still working with clients I have found there. My daughter is turning two in a few more months and I honestly wouldn’t have anything any other way.

I would tell my friends why I love freelance writing and that it’s the perfect job for me now that I am a mom. To sum it all up, here are the reasons why freelancing and motherhood is a perfect mix:

I can get straight to work. 

I’ve worked in a marketing agency and in a couple of business process organizations that are all located in metropolitan areas. I have also experienced going to various activation venues and meetings with clients from all over the metro. And from someone who, for years, used to commute from Cavite to Metro Manila and back on a daily basis, I know full well the hassle and exhaustion that come with travelling along EDSA on rush hour and the obstacle course-slash-war zone of elbowing your way into the MRTs. There’s also the long lines of shuttles (or vans) that would often leave me tired and sweaty even before I officially start my workday.

Now I’m relieved I don’t have to go through those now that I’m a mom. I honestly can’t afford losing time commuting when that time, I can spend with my daughter. I can wake up and head straight to work in my pajamas, drinking my first cup of coffee for the day. When I’m done, I can go play with my daughter and put her to sleep before I get back to work again.

I can set my own schedule.

As a freelance writer, I have the freedom to create my own schedule and make the most out of my 24 hours. Doing work on an hourly basis for three years now, I have learned the value of my time. As a freelancer doing projects that are mostly on an hourly basis, I have learned to not waste time, and that’s what many of my clients have come to commend me for.

I look at my work and see it as time away from my child so I choose my projects carefully, I schedule my day thoroughly, and I make the most of every project that I have. Best of all, I can revolve my schedule around my growing baby’s changing routines and so far, it has suited me wonderfully.

freelance-writing-and-motherhood

I can be a totally attached parent.

I have always loved the poem Children Learn What They Live, by Dorothy Law Nolte. As a teen, I would post excerpts of the poem on my closet door so I would see it all them. Fast forward to when I found out I was pregnant, and I wrote some excerpts from the same poem and posted them on my closet door, this time, in a house that my husband and I live in.

Here’s some of my favorite lines:

If children live with encouragement,

They learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance,

They learn to be patient.

If children live with praise,

They learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance,

They learn to love.

If children live with approval,

They learn to like themselves.

With this, I always knew what kind of mother I would be, and that motherhood will simply, and naturally, be a fulfillment of my own womanhood. I have always believed in attachment parenting and why it helps raise well-rounded and secure children. I have always believed in it even before I knew about the term.

As a freelance writer, I can stay home and better manage my time with my daughter. Simply put, I can be there for her–and in the first few months, the little girl pretty much made it sure I truly am. She was exclusively breastfed from day one because of her milk allergy and the first few months, she would keep me on my toes all the time, which led me to believe that she was a high-need baby. I just had to be there for her, and now, I believe everything is paying off. Our constant togetherness has allowed me to hone in more deeply into her needs to the point that we are very much connected. After that rough first 5-6 months, motherhood has been a breeze!

And I have my freelance writing career to thank for.

I can totally breastfeed.

I am a big believer of breastfeeding and how it is one of the greatest, most amazing ways that we can celebrate our bodies as women and as mothers. After all, it’s been said that breastmilk is love turned into food–and if you’re a first time mom who has fearlessly breastfed, you would know what I mean (but I don’t  mean to downplay other moms who chose to bottle-feed or can’t breastfeed).

I can apply for jobs, answer client emails, send reports and write my articles–all while my baby is latched onto me. Need I say more?

I have time for all my other roles.

We as women have tough roles to play: breadwinner, business-owner/employee, housekeeper, mother, wife, lover, friend, sister, daughter, and of course–woman. I have read somewhere that if we neglect our role as a woman, that all the other roles suffer. It is important for us to give ourselves some time-off from all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and just pamper ourselves, have a nice time with our girlfriends, or simply unwind with a good book. It’s important for us to be in a good place as women so we can be empowered and inspired to do our best in the other roles we have to play.

Being a freelance writer makes this happen for me because I can easily schedule my work around my activities and I am not restricted to day-offs or weekends to go out, which is a great thing in terms of avoiding weekend traffic and crowds.

So there. I have listed the things that worked for me as a freelancer and an attached, breastfeeding mom. The important thing is whatever you choose for your self will be what floats your own boat and what’s best for your own family.

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