Being your own boss is the new-age American dream. But instead of starting up your own company, why not work on a contract basis? The benefits of being a freelancer are numerous and you don’t even need to start your own LLC to do it. Most freelancers can find online writing gigs with relative ease and countless other professionals are able to offer IT services, website design tips, and graphic designs with their education and background. While choosing when to work is among the top benefits of being a freelancer, working as a parent means that you gain even more freedom.
Here are some of the top benefits of being a freelancer when you’re a hardworking parent.
You get to choose your hours
Choosing your hours has never been easier than as a freelancer. Sure, you might need to hop on a call with a client now and then, but most of the time, you’re able to work bright and early or deep into the night. This is perfect for people that aren’t married to a strict schedule or for people who hate working the corporate nine to five. After all, morning people will do best at the start of the day while night owls prefer the peace and quiet of a cool evening.
For parents, the benefits of being a freelancer are even more numerous. Picking your hours means that you can take a little more time in the morning with your kids. You can hit up your favorite family restaurant or take a stroll to encourage healthy habits. Some parents will even go for a dip in the swimming pool during the hot months of summer to start their day off right. This might have never been possible if you were working for a larger corporation that demands timeliness.
As a freelancer, you’re stuck to a results-based work environment. You need to finish a project by a specific deadline. If that means you want to go on a small vacation and finish up work from there, you have that ability. But from a parental point of view, that means that you can adopt a healthier life full of the great habits that you want to engage in.
Children also have ever-changing schedules that a parent needs to work around. In the fall, a freelancing parent will have no problem looking after their bundle of joy after school. Working in line with your child’s schedule might be the best way to make the most of your time with them. However, these schedules change depending on the time of year. You might not get days off that naturally coincide with big-name holidays that offer paid time off. But you’ll also be able to better prepare for those school holidays that aren’t in line with bank holidays anyway. The flexibility of freelancing when it comes to your child’s schedule cannot be understated.
In the summer, you might find that it’s easier to spend days with your child and then drop them off at daycare in the evening to work on those important projects. As your kids grow older, working on the weekends might become a possibility since your kids are engaging with sports, friends, and other extracurriculars that they couldn’t do at a younger age.
If you’re working with younger kids in the home, however, you might be able to clock in and out of work at your leisure. Is it time for the kids to lay down for a nap? You can take that hour to respond to emails and do some writing. Does your ex-spouse have your kids for the weekend? There’s no problem with working while your children are otherwise occupied.
Being a freelance parent means that you have the freedom to pick and choose hours at a time that’s convenient for you.
You can make time for appointments
Choosing your hours is one thing, but making time for sudden changes is another. In a corporate environment, you might not be able to pick up your sick child when they throw up at school (at least, you won’t be able to do it with ease). If you’re a freelancer, you get to make your schedule work for you. You can drop everything if it means your kid needs family medical care sooner than later. Since children are prone to get hurt a little more frequently than adults, this type of flexibility is essential as a parent raising younger kids.
Being a freelancer also means that you’ll have time to make room for those pesky appointments. Kids should visit a child dentist at least twice per year to ensure that their teeth are healthy and that their jaws are developing in a healthy way.
Appointments are essential but so are other errands. Running to the post office might be essential for your job as a freelancer, but it makes sense that you would want to stop at the supermarket on the way back. Running a household takes a lot of work and knowing that you have the ability to dip out to the store when needed can be a lifesaver.
Parents are most stressed when they’re worried about the health of their kids. If you’re concerned that your child needs kids braces, you can also try to work more or fewer hours to complete those big-time projects that pay well. After all, most jobs stick you to an hourly rate or a salary amount. When you’re a freelancer, you have the ability to stretch yourself a little more to get those higher-paying projects when they’re needed.
Mom guilt is a thing of the past
Parents want to spend as much time as they can with their kids. That’s a given. But parents are also expected to work hard to pay the bills and provide for their families. In turn, society casts an unfair gaze on hardworking mothers, especially. They expect you to do it all and ridicule you at the first sign of failure. While fathers are held to similar standards, the patriarchal idea of motherhood has yet to be totally extinguished in the modern era. Stay-at-home moms are ridiculed while professional parents are admonished on the other end of the spectrum. You can’t win, but at least going to work means that you will be able to put food on the table.
By working at home, however, you can get the best of both worlds and ease some of that “mom guilt.” You can fire back at any critic by mentioning that you’re able to work and spend time with kids. At the very least, you’ll be able to take more breaks to ensure the health and safety needs of your children are met. Food allergies, like being allergic to peanut butter, are a thing of the past when you’re the one making your child’s lunch each day.
To make your work at home easier, all you need to do is modify your home furniture to craft the perfect home office for your needs. If you’re not working in a comfortable environment that fuels your creativity, freelancing as a parent will be harder than ever.
You might want to consider the help of an office moving company to identify cheap desks and materials that you can use. These companies usually work for corporations but countless freelancers have been able to get into contact with local options that offer discounts. Even if they say no, at least you had the opportunity to get that desk you wanted!
Keep in mind that you do have feet in two separate worlds. If you try to invest too much time into one than the other, you’ll get stressed out. That’s why maintaining a consistent schedule is key. You can also find ways to accommodate your work life and your role as a parent. Studies have shown that children who attend daycare usually have higher levels of speech progression since they’re learning from their peers. It just goes to show that not all activities that might reflect poorly on you as a parent will harm your child. As such, if you still want to drop off your child at daycare for some socialization, you can always invest in a half-day curriculum instead of a full day. These kinds of benefits are great when it comes to modifying your schedule for parenting.
You can dress comfortably
Being a parent means that you’re almost always in a state of pain. Whether it’s a headache from a toddler’s tantrum or back pain from lifting your baby every half hour, parents work hard to hide this bodily stress from their kids. When it comes to putting on a suit and tie, most exhausted parents can’t imagine coping with the discomfort of an outfit on top of everything else.
One of the best benefits of being a freelancer is dressing comfortably. Those Instagram moms might all wear pretty sundresses with countless accessories, but a true mom’s battle gear typically consists of a comfortable pair of blue jeans or sweat pants.
It might seem like a smaller benefit of working as a freelancer, but it can make all the difference when you’re dealing with chronic pain, too. You will also be able to keep up with your energetic children easier while wearing a pair of comfortable shorts instead of a pencil skirt. If you need to jump on a phone call with a client, do what all remote workers do: business on top, party on the bottom.
You will save money
One of the best benefits of being a freelancer is how much money you’ll save. It’s all too easy to stop by the drive-thru to get breakfast on the way to work. The same can be said if you forgot to pack your lunch. Then, you have to worry about spending gas on your commute, pitching in for office activities, and more. At the end of the day, you might be spending almost as much as you make.
When you’re working from home, it doesn’t make sense to drive all the way to your favorite coffee shop. After all, you have food right in your cupboards! When you do choose to treat yourself, it will feel all the more special instead of just being the “norm.” Cook that breakfast sandwich for lunch, if you want. Eating at home more often might also encourage you to eat more healthily. After all, you don’t want that salad mix to go to waste.
Saving money on eating out is great, but you’ll also save when it comes to maintaining your home. Hiring cleaning services can be an expensive habit, but it makes sense when you’re struggling to raise a child, go to work, and deal with a long commute. When you’re working from home, you have more time to clean and maintain your household. Use that money you save on a cleaner to take your family to kids science museums to learn something new instead.
There are countless other people doing what you do
If you’re stressed out at the thought of becoming a freelancing parent, you’re not alone. There are tons of online support forums and message boards to offer you help. These sites can help you better manage your expectations and give you tips to make your time as a freelancer even better. One of the true benefits of being a freelancer? You’re working alone, but you’re never abandoned by your community.
The benefits of being a freelancer parent
Working is hard when you’re a parent, there’s no doubt about it. Luckily, there are plenty of advantages to consider when you’re weighing the pitfalls and benefits of being a freelancer. Whether you’re trying to make that appointment to get braces for kids or you’re trying to save money on your commute, think about these benefits of being a freelancer before you choose.