How to properly organize work as both a freelancer and an active mother

When I decided to become a freelancer, I imagined my future in a certain way: a busy day with publishers and major translation projects. Gradually, I began to tell myself to be careful and not to forget to rest and breathe, because translation is not an easy job.

That job is quite difficult and even unstable if you are not organized. But all this didn't scare me, until one day, when I became a mother, and 16 months later, I became a mother for the second time. I had to reconcile my “double” motherhood while also working as a freelancer.

The struggle of being a freelancer and a mother at the same time

Lately, I've been giving myself answers to questions like: “Can you take the kids to school?”, “Can you go out and buy a new book or pencil…?”, etc.

My response is usually “Oh, I'm sorry, I have an urgent deadline for this morning, I have to deliver this project by noon! Would you mind doing that for me?” It was a time when I was more involved in my children's lives because they were young and therefore I was at home.

But now they go to school five days a week. I know I can go with them and meet moms and why not make new friends – especially since I've only lived in this country for four years and I don't have many friends. Moreover, sometimes I think that my life is a bit lonely because of my profession. I thought maybe this life wasn't for me; I am very sociable and like to chat very often! However, I like translation a lot but what should I do after that?

Combining the life of a mother with a career as a full-time freelancer is not difficult. Here are some tips that I've 'tried' to apply to myself as much as possible, to be a good freelancer, and an active mom at the same time.

First, you should get out of the house, socialize, and chat for 10 minutes with the mothers of the child's friends. Deadlines are important and clients always want a quick translation, but you can also organize your time around your kids' schedule, or at least take the time to get them to school. .

You will say to me: “Yes, okay, but why? Is there an easier way to let our partners know that they have to go out to work? Why do we also have to go out and be able to use this time to work?”

Splitting the weekdays between you and your partner can be a good idea to get some fresh air and socialize. You can make friends and talk about your work, maybe even create new clients. A friend of the child's mother's brother could become your best customer. Don't forget to always have your own business card. 

Besides, you can work in public spaces such as coffee shops with Wifi, public spaces and parks, libraries, etc. There are many places where you can work alone, carrying your computer in your pocket without any problems. don't become lonely. You may even meet other independent professional parents or other moms who like to work this way to lead a more sociable life.

Next, you can work in groups. You can rent some office space and go there when you want and need it. Many of these spaces are often more than just offices for rent, they are collaborative spaces where people share knowledge and skills. There is always a need for a translator, translation skills are very useful for many people! In addition, you can meet other translators, or even parents with similar concerns (and you can share tips with them).

The final piece of advice is to register with local associations. If you have an extroverted personality, but your job keeps you in front of the computer at least 8 hours a day and you spend the rest of your time with your family, you can join local associations. They give you the opportunity to meet other parents and neighbors.

Alternatively, you can create your very own association or simple weekly meetings of independent professional parents in your area! People will work together a few hours a week to share each other's experiences if they feel less alone. Maybe one day you may need to rent a space for independent professional parents working in a number of different fields.

I think there are many methods, you just need to reorganize your work and get to know other parents with whom you can share a few hours a week. Furthermore, setting up a children's school as a place to socialize at least a few times a week can be a good start to becoming a more active mom.

(This article was originally written by Gabriela Kouahla, a Romanian translator, interpreter, and proofreader.)

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