If you want to work as a freelancer and have young children you will need a double dose of dedication to your work, as you will have more obstacles to deal with. Before starting out on a freelancer career, decide what you want out of life and make sure your work fits in with it. Think about how you wil balance client deadlines and sick kids or broken nights. You may find yourself working late into the night after the day has not gone as planned. Small children do not always understand when ‘mummy is working’ or ‘daddy has to get this finished right now’.
I get a big buzz out of my work: I love seeing clients’ news being covered in the media or my books in print, and really enjoy the great variety of work I do. If I didn’t have a passion for it, it would be very hard to stay motivated. In a lot of ways my work is a far more tangible thing than raising children: the visible outcomes are easier to measure, so it makes a nice balance. I found it incredibly hard having 6 months of maternity leave after the birth of my daughter: just thinking about feeds, nappies and baby groups wasn’t enough. With my third child on the way I really value the chance to balance work and family in the way I want.
Antonia Chitty is author of Family Friendly Working(www.familyfriendlyworking.co.uk), A guide to Promoting Your Business (www.prbasics.co.uk) and a number of other parenting and health books. She has a book on earning a living from writing, The Commercial Writing Guide coming out in July 2009. You can find out more about her own freelance writing career at www.antoniachitty.co.uk and her PR business at www.acpr.co.uk