5 Ways Becoming a Mom Made Me a Better Freelance Writer

5 Ways Becoming a Mom Made Me a Better Freelance Writer

When I had a baby last April, I was worried my freelance writing career would take a hit.

But since having my son, I’ve been published in two of my dream publications and even landed a copywriting gig for a national chain!

In many ways, being a mom has made me a much better freelancer. Here are five things I’ve learned about my freelancing career in the past five months.

1. I’ve become an expert on time management

I have two daily nap times during which to get things done. They can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, which means as soon as the pacifier’s in his mouth and the sound machine is on, it’s go time!

Procrastination isn’t an option — if I spend even a few minutes poking around Pinterest, a third of my work time could be gone.

I also find time in the “fringe hours” to get personal development done: I’ll listen to inspiring podcasts, like Smart Passive Income or Being Boss, while in the car, or read books on entrepreneurship while breastfeeding.

2. I know how to prioritize

When you’re so short on time, you need to think about the long-term picture.

Being a busy mom has helped me to feel confident in raising my prices, because I just don’t have time for projects without a payoff. I also need to pitch projects that don’t require a ton of outside research or interviews, since I have a baby who might start suddenly crying. It’s helped me laser-focus my dream clients and go after them with intention.

Being a mom has also encouraged me to focus on more copywriting and content marketing because the pay is much steadier.

Do I miss the fast pace of freelance journalism? Sure, but I can still pick up those projects on lighter weeks.

3. The ideas are endless

Kids are full of imagination, and they make you see things in such a different way.

My son is fascinated by silly things like the ABCs or his stuffed frog. He also has literally no social filter, meaning he’ll just stare at someone for an hour if he thinks they look interesting.

He helps me slow down and think about the world in a different light.

mom writers

4. I know things don’t need to be “perfect”

The perfect, Instagram-ready office with a white desk, flawless manicure and hot coffee? Ha!

Most of the time, I’m working from my husband’s cluttered desk while listening for the baby monitor. There’s often drool on my shirt, a stuffed animal at my feet, and a baby’s sound machine playing in the background. When you have so much going on around you, you can’t depend on your muse or just decide you don’t feel creative that day. You need to power through and get things written.

And if you’re not waiting for your setting or mood to be perfect, you can get a lot more done. I definitely don’t need the perfect set-up or atmosphere to get work done; I now feel like I can work anywhere at any time!

5. Disconnecting from social media has been good for my brain

Since having my son, I try to limit the amount of time I’m on social media around him. I don’t want him to think my iPhone is his little brother.

Less time scrolling through my Instagram feed means less time comparing myself to other writers, being overwhelmed by an excess of media, and feeling the constant need to “hustle.”

That means I’m in a way better headspace when it’s time to sit down and write.

Overall, being a mom has helped my freelance career thrive. I feel inspired, driven and further in my career than I ever have been. So although I might spend most of my day singing Disney songs and playing “Patty Cake,” I’m happy I can continue my craft and still be a successful freelancer.

New parents, how have you balanced freelance writing and getting accustomed to your new role?

Filed Under: Freelancing
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5 comments

  • Krystal says:

    I think the kids also give me motivation. I look at them and know that all the work I put in is for them. The dance class, the weekend away, music lessons…it all has to come from somewhere.

  • Becoming a parent has been one of the biggest clarifying influences in my professional life. It motivates me to stay true to work that I can truly identify with. It’s clear when a project is less than ideal. For example, I recently started being mentored by an SEO Copywriter because as I understood it, there is more work that needs doing then there are writers to do it. When my heart isn’t into the subject matter, I am not in my element as a writer. Those projects take longer than they should which is not a win-win.

    My sense of priorities is clearer and I also communicate clearly what is my work style and process when quoting work. I am also grateful for the support of my partner for having my back. My kiddo brings out the best in my ability to work and create a future career of my creation. And, I am confident she’ll value good grammar and spelling in an age of emojis and shortcuts when texting. 🙂

  • Leanne Sowul says:

    I completely agree with all of this. I was shocked at how much creative work came AFTER I had my first child, even just a few months after. Parenting gives you such a sense of priority and focus. I wish I’d had those tools and attitudes back when I was childless and had more time! But I’ll take increased productivity over having more time.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story, Claire, and to all the commenters who echoed the thoughts.

    I’ve recently transitioned into freelance writing after leaving the Air Force and am just gaining my footing. I found out yesterday I’m (unexpectedly) pregnant. All sorts of worries set in, but after reading how much you’ve benefited from being a freelancer and mother, I think everything will be ok for me too.

  • We just had our baby in April and at first I thought it would really hurt my career. But it hasn’t! I’m got a job copywriting for a Fortune 10 company and am still writing content for popular social media sites. Plus, I still find time to work on my novel for at least 20 minutes daily during my lunch breaks.

    Your story also reminds me of my wife. She is home with our daughter and has rejuvenated her craft and baking career. Because she is meeting all new moms like her, her business, Gold Sugar Cakes, keeps getting calls and orders. Plus, she is launching a crafting page on Etsy. I am so proud of her for progressing like that while taking care of a newborn. She is so strong!