Motherhood and stress go hand in hand. While being a mom is hugely rewarding, it’s also very stressful. For freelancing moms trying to earn a good living, balancing parental pressures with client demands can often feel overwhelming.
Being a mom is joyful and full of love but it’s very hard, especially when you’re developing a career at the same time. Freelancing is an excellent way to spend more time with your children but in so doing you also open yourself up to different kinds of pressures. Freelancing can be perilous and there’s never any certainty as to where the next client will come from. Unlike a salaried job, freelance work is usually transitory by its very nature.
A freelance lifestyle is ideal for parents of young children. It’s easier to modify schedules and rearrange tasks so as to meet the needs of your little ones. Yet your work is ubiquitous and it can be very difficult to define the boundary between home life and work, especially when trying to make use of every spare minute. This can lead to increased stress levels and burnout.
With this problem in mind, how can you go about making your freelancing life less stressful?
Here are 7 ways busy freelancing moms can reduce their work stress:
- Be realistic about your manageable workload
One of the fastest ways to burn out as a freelancing mom is to take on too much client work at any one time. When you first begin freelancing, the idea of having too many clients might seem fanciful, but with good marketing, the workload can soon add up. It’s all too easy to find yourself working late into the night when you really need to be sleeping, for the benefit of yourself and your children.
When a new prospect makes contact, inquiring about your services, take into account just how much extra work their project will entail. Sometimes you might just need to say “no”.
- Track your time to better predict future productivity
A good way to accurately predict how long projects will take is to track your time. Measuring the number of minutes and hours you spend on different tasks, whether billable or not, allows you to assess your speed and availability when it comes to new client work. You can time record nearly every facet of your life from child care and exercise to client work and marketing.
You’ll quickly be able to analyze how long different tasks and projects take and how they might impact on valuable family time. Time tracking will also ensure you’re paid accurately for your time and effort.
- Charge more for less work
As a mom, you want to spend as much time as possible with your children, especially babies. While a work-at-home career brings you into closer proximity to your kids, the amount of time and effort required to earn decent money from freelancing can be distracting. The last thing you want to be doing is working when it’s time to be playing with the little ones.
That’s why it’s important to charge clients what you’re truly worth and raise your rates whenever possible. It might feel scary at first but demanding a certain pay rate will ensure you can work less while still earning a similar – or a higher – amount of money.
- Work with the right clients
Part of raising your rates as a freelancing mom is to attract the right clients. Bad clients are a pain in the backside and are usually overly demanding, insensitive to your needs, and cause problems when it comes to payment. They also expect you to work for peanuts. You don’t deserve that.
Good clients respect your professionalism, experience, expertise, and knowledge. They pay good rates and pay on time. In order to attract these clients, you need to brand yourself in a way that resonates with their expectations. A nice logo, good web design, strong copywriting, and industry standard rates (or higher) will portray you as the ultimate professional they’ve been looking for.
- Get clients on repeat work
Good clients are worth their weight in gold. A good tactic for any freelancer, regardless of industry or sector, is to get repeat work from the same lucrative client. When you have a client on retainer, you’re better able to plan projects and quickly understand exactly what’s needed and when. There’s also less marketing required and getting up to speed with new clients.
Irregular work is the bane of many a freelancer and can be particularly stressful for moms really needing a reliable source of income. With intelligent branding, marketing, and planning, you can work with the same clients for years, week after week.
- Delegate frustrating tasks
As a freelancing mom, you’re already juggling multiple tasks and putting out many fires. The last thing you need is tons of unbillable admin work to wade through as well as constant self-marketing. With children running around and so many things to do, your freelancing career can feel overwhelming even with just a little client work.
These days however there’s no reason for you to do everything alone. Delegating tasks to fellow professionals is an excellent way to free up more time to spend with your children or working on billable projects. Bookkeeping is one example of a task you can delegate, as is social media marketing.
- Use technology to streamline your processes
Technology is a vital tool for busy freelancing moms. In fact, the latest apps, tools, and cloud-based software are essential for all freelancers these days. Whereas just a few years ago the whole process of preparing, formatting, sending, sorting invoices could take hours, nowadays it can all be done in a few minutes. Everything is recordable and many things can be completely automated.
If you’re finding tasks a handful, whether billable or otherwise, then consider where you can introduce technology to help you streamline processes.
Reducing stress as a busy freelancing mom
With Invoice Ninja, you can vastly reduce the work stresses associated with solopreneurship, especially as a freelancing mom. We have developed a platform which makes nearly every feature of your freelance life a whole lot easier. From seamless invoicing and time tracking to inbuilt project management tools and a vast array of integrated apps, you can soon find your freelancing efforts feeling a whole lot easier and faster.
Most importantly, you’ll free up more time to spend with your family.