I see a lot of beautiful blog posts from travel bloggers (I’m looking at you here, Girl Tweets World!) who work from exotic locations on a regular basis. I thought today I would share a bit about where I generally work as it’s a lot less, um, fancy and relaxing.
Here is an example of my week and how I get work done while working freelance and also being home with my threenager.
Monday is ballet day and now that Cheese is in a drop off class, I can sit outside with my laptop and write while she is fluttering away. I set up tethering on my iPhone to give me a bit of internet so I can still get something done while she’s dancing.
Since it’s school holidays, this week she has a special Frozen-themed ballet class, and while I’m trying to write, all I can hear is 15 preschoolers screeching “Let it gooooooooooo!” at the top of their lungs. I’m also sitting on a concrete step, which is getting colder and more uncomfortable by the minute. The rest of the day I put my phone and laptop down and take Cheese to see her grandparents or friends.
Tuesday is swim day for Cheese and I sit on the side of the pool replying to anything urgent on my phone, jotting down article ideas and following up on pitches while simultaneously telling Cheese to put her bottom on the pool step and to stop squirting water out of her mouth at the kid next to her. Tuesday is, obviously, not a work day. After swimming we often go to a playdate, playground or park. I love how in Sydney we can be outdoors all year around, except for the torrential rain days.
Wednesday to Friday
These are my usual work days while Cheese is at preschool 9-3. After a quick gym session (I’m loving the Ballet Barre classes), I work from my living room couch. I do not have a designated workspace as our apartment is just too small. My husband also works from home, so I do have an office mate to bother when I need some companionship, but I generally don’t see many other people except for Jayne from Girl Tweets World, who lives near me and has a similar freelance working schedule as I do.
Weekends and evenings
I do a lot after Cheese goes to sleep, pretty much every night of the week. This is when I work on social media, edit photos, finish up blog posts and reply to blog comments and emails. I try to switch off at around 9:30 and watch a TV show or read a book after that.
Working freelance and from home is great in many ways. The absolute biggest plus is that is gives me so much freedom. I can spend a lot of time with Cheese, and also work towards my own career/business goals at the same time. I also set my own goals and priorities. While I do have clients I answer to for the work I do, I am the one who decides what i think is important to work on for my own progression, rather than having a manager tell me what I should be working on to benefit a company.
On the down side, it doesn’t pay as well as a regular office job, and there is a lot of unpaid work that needs to be done, like pitching work, finding clients, networking to get more work, etc, and it can also get a bit lonely and disheartening if it’s a period of not much success. I find the best way to deal with this is meeting with friends when I can, particularly people who are attempting the same career path as I am.
I’ve been thinking of launching a video or blog series on working as a freelancer, to give tips to anyone thinking of a similar path. I would love to know any questions you have about what I do that I should cover in the series.
Linking up with Grace and Bron.
This is so insightful. So impressed at you blogging from outside Cheese’s ballet classes! Also loving the black and white photos – very arty 🙂
Thank you Jayne! Lol in colour they looked a mess, much how my life really looks 🙂
This is fabulous! Good on you for “taking the show on the road” – so to speak. Love your images too. Great to discover your blog on FYBF with With Some Grace. Have a nice weekend.
Thanks so much Tonia! I love the show on the road quote – it’s exactly what my life is like! Thank you for dropping by – off to check out your blog!
Thanks for asking, Christine, and yes I’m over at toniawithaneye.com. Have a nice weekend.
So good to see how other people work. I’m a bit the same – I have a corner of our kitchen bench, a special laptop on couch cushion and a table outside. The thing I struggle with is when I have to take calls and sound vaguely professional x
Your special couch cushion sounds good! I might need to invest in one. I don’t think I sound overly professional when someone calls either tbh – also, I dislike the phone, so that makes it even worse!
Well done, I tend to take my IPad everywhere, when I go out, I’m positive others think I’m on Facebook.. Well sometimes I am.. but I can justify that time as work related.
Thanks Mandy. I think FB is absolutely work-related. It’s where I get tip offs about opportunities ALL the time!
great post! insightful – honest.. thanks for sharing CK.
Thank you lovely xx
So many mums think that working from home after having kids is the easy answer, but don’t realise that it’s hard & you never really switch off. Great honest post!
Thank you Meg! It’s so true, I never switch off (like right now, when it’s 3:45 on a Saturday and instead of relaxing I’m replying to blog comments!)
I love “how I work / where I work” posts. I’m in a similar position, but with three in school I generally get that 9:30 – 2:30 window to work in. Then I catch up the rest at night time, working into the night for as long as it takes to get everything done. I don’t call my blog “work” as I don’t make any money from it, so everything I do for the blog just has to get slotted in around my work. It’s a very intensive hobby!!! Unless we are away, I do all my writing and social media from my desk in my home office. I virtually never take my work elsewhere and have social media turned off on my phone. x
Thanks Bron! I agree, blogging is a super time consuming hobby that hopefully will pay off! I mostly blog in the evenings too, and sometimes squeeze in a blog post when Cheese is at school if I finish off my paid work too. Good move turning social media off on your phone – it’s addictive. Do you turn off notifications or remove the apps? 9:30-2:30 goes super fast, doesn’t it? It flies by for me!
Great post. I’ve worked from home for nearly a decade now and agree the flexibility is a huge plus. Now with a one year old daughter I’m really appreciating being able to see her more each day an a parent with an office job. The downside has always been the social isolation, so connecting online and making sure I get out of the house each day is a priority!
I wonder if you’ve found it harder or easier as your daughter has gotten older? I’m thinking soon my Miss One will start calling out for Dad when she is home but I should be working!
Hi Jason, I haven’t found it easier or harder so far. When she was a baby/toddler I used to get a lot done in her nap times. Now, if she is around, I can’t do anything! Our days together have no breaks which is exhausting for me. If she wants my attention (which is a lot of the time) I can’t get her to play on her own while I get anything urgent done. Sometimes (like right now) she will happily occupy herself so I can do a few things like replying to comments!
Love that you’ve been working WFH for 10 years – I agree, I need to get out of the house each day or the days blend together and I start to feel a bit down.
Thanks for the reply Christine. I do a full day of care for our little one and it is a long and tiring day – no time to work except the occasional email at nap time! For two other days in the week my wife and in laws do the care but I am home working. So far it has been fine but she is starting to want to climb up the stairs to my office now. We’ll see how it goes
Good luck! The full solo days are exhausting, aren’t they?!
Love how flexible you can make your work Christine and it’s great to see you can still get things done during the day rather than staying up to all hours. That’s been me and I’ve found working from home tough. I’m about to start work for my client in their office two days a week during school hours. I’m looking forward to doing the work and then leaving and not having to think about it or taking it home. Night time can now be just about the blog! Need to start getting to bed earlier!
I need to get to bed earlier too! I always wake up exhausted – not a good way to start the day. I’d like to hear how you go with the 2 office days, if it makes things easier for you or not. I haven’t worked in an office for so long I’m kind of terrified of it now!
Sounds like a great lifestyle balance you’ve got there Christine! Best of both (or rather all) worlds. Great post 🙂
Thank you Lauren, I’m definitely trying! Some days it feels like I have a good balance and others the opposite. The way of life! 🙂
I love these how I work posts. I don’t have a home office, but I do have a corner of the dining room table! I think sometimes you have to work harder when you work for yourself because you’re wearing so many different “hats” and you’re responsible for making all the work happen. It sounds like you’ve got a great work/life balance going on and the time that you have with Cheese, well, that’s just priceless isn’t it?! xx
Thank you Sammie! And yes, it’s so true! I feel like I work a zillion times harder and also more than when I had a proper full-time job. I’m more passionate about what I do as well, so I want to keep doing more. I’m definitely trying to get the balance right, and I agree the time with the little Cheeseling is priceless 🙂 xx
These are my favourite posts, Christine. I love to see how other mums fit it all in.
Good on you for finding little pockets of time to get stuff done.
And your B/W photos are glorious 🙂
Thank you Lisa, on all accounts 🙂
Awesome. I felt like writing about the exact same topic. Seems like cheese goes to bed early enough for you to get some work done by 9.30pm! By that time I’d have worked between 30 and 45 minutes max!
Can’t wait to write a response to your post!
The other thing I cherish is to work for/with other mums so we all work at those same hours And are so not judgemental about kids being sick or calling each other while at the playground etc…
Haha omg she is asleep by 7:30-8! I like this path and working with similar people too – it’s lovely, isn’t it?
I love sneak peaks into people’s lives. How people run things, life, families, it all. You are inspiring on how you fit work into pockets of your life.
Thank you so much Karin! I love looking into how other people get about their lives too 🙂
Sound very familiar! I just wish my kids would go to bed early enough for me to get more work done at night. x
Wouldn’t you know it, the last two nights I wasn’t able to get her to sleep before 9:30?! Argh!
I would love to see a series on freelancing!
Thanks! Slowly working on it!